Get into UK Nursing School For Dummies book cover

Get into UK Nursing School For Dummies

By: Andrew Evered Published: 05-28-2013

The need for nurses is always great, but so is the competition to secure a place in a pre-registration programme at university. If you’re considering a career in nursing, Get into UK Nursing School For Dummies can provide you with the vital edge you need to succeed at getting into nursing school. This compact book provides you with expert advice at each step along the way, including:

  • Career assessment — is nursing for you?
  • Choosing a field to specialize in — adult, children's, mental health or learning disability nursing.
  • Long term planning — A-levels, extracurricular activities, volunteer work, and work experience — that can make you a more attractive candidate
  • Considerations for mature/non-traditional students.
  • Personal statement — Plenty of insight and examples to help you create a winning and — truly personal — personal statement
  • Research — Put together a plan that ensures you find a university that’s right for you.
  • Test preparation — Brush up on your literacy and numeracy skills.
  • The interview — Common questions and how to tackle them whether you’re in a one-on-one and group interview.

From "How do I get started?" to "When can I expect to be offered a place?" Get into Nursing School For Dummies answers the questions you have with the information you need.

Articles From Get into UK Nursing School For Dummies

7 results
7 results
Get Into UK Nursing School For Dummies Cheat Sheet

Cheat Sheet / Updated 04-25-2022

With the right approach and preparation you can give yourself a head start in applying to nursing school in the U.K. This Cheat Sheet gives you the key things to know about the application timeline, choosing the right university, writing your personal statement and preparing for assessments and interviews.

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Planning Your UK Nursing School Application

Article / Updated 03-26-2016

Getting into nursing is very competitive. To improve your chances of success you need to research nursing, demonstrate commitment and show motivation. Preparing your application to the highest standard takes time and effort. This timeline illustrates the milestones to consider in your preparations: 24 months before starting a nursing course: Consider your academic options. Do you need to choose full-time courses such as ‘A’ levels and BTECs or are part-time courses such as ACCESS more appropriate? 20 months: Plan any necessary work experience. Do you need to gain care experience or will any work experience with people be sufficient? 16 months: Undertake research into nursing and the different fields. This helps identify your options. 14 months: Think about attending open days and UCAS events. Visiting potential universities helps you plan your choices. 12 months: One-year academic courses are available for mature candidates. Consider enrolling now. 10 months: Prepare your UCAS application, develop your personal statement and seek out appropriate referees. 8 months: If your application is accepted you’re invited to selection events and interviews. This can be a busy time meeting admissions tutors and other candidates. 6 months: Should any universities have made offers, this is the time for you to make your decisions. Picking your first choice and reserve university can be challenging. 2 months: The results of your exams are published and universities confirm your offers. If you didn’t quite make the grade for your first choice, seek other universities. 0 months: If all has gone to plan, it’s time to go to university; your career starts here!

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Applying to Nursing School: Ten Stress-Saving Tips

Article / Updated 03-26-2016

Every applicant to UK nursing school experiences some level of stress during the process. But get too stressed and you struggle to perform well and think rationally. Here are ten tips to help you manage stress and therefore deal effectively with the challenges of your application. Manage your time effectively Time is a valuable resource that you need to use wisely. Having a disorganised approach to how you manage time only increases the level of stress in your life. You find it easier, no doubt, to do jobs that you like or that are easy to complete than spend time tackling those jobs that are more urgent and important. Your nursing application is one of those really important jobs that you need to prioritise. Simple time management strategies can make a big difference between using time productively on your application and wasting precious hours on inconsequential tasks. For example, you can: Identify what you like doing and what you’d rather not do; then plan on doing the not so nice jobs first. Focus on the length of time it takes to do the jobs; prioritise those which require more time. Plan your jobs on what needs to be done, daily, weekly and monthly. This way you’re managing your time both in the short- and long-term. Build recap periods into your time management plan. Often it takes longer to complete tasks than you expect and having a safety cushion stops tasks eating up time allocated to other jobs. Poor time management is one of the main reasons of underperformance by nursing students. Not having the ability to prioritise commitments causes problems in all aspects of your studies. Start managing your time now, and you’re on the road to coping well as a nurse. Breathe to calm A small level of stress in your life is good for you. It stimulates the hormones that enable you to deal with difficult situations. But too much stress is harmful and you need to balance the stress with periods of relaxation. Breathing exercises help you concentrate on something other than what’s causing the stress, and the extra oxygen entering your lungs calms the body. You can do breathing exercises unobtrusively in any situation – exams, interviews, open days. Try this simple exercise to settle your nerves: Sit upright in a comfortable position. Place one hand on your stomach and the other on your chest. Breathe in slowly and deeply through your nose, concentrating on expanding your abdomen so the hand on your stomach moves out, not the hand on your chest. Hold your breath and count to five. Breathe out through your mouth slowly counting to eight as you exhale. Repeat for several minutes to help relieve tension. Take some exercise Physical activity clears your mind and brings about a feeling of wellbeing. Exercising encourages the release of endorphins, the ‘happy hormones’, and helps combat the negative effects of stress. So when you’re wrestling with writer’s block as you work on your personal statement, or anxiously counting the days to an interview, grab your trainers and get moving – you’ll feel positive and energised. Competitive exercise can help you with your application. Not only does it ward off stress, but the mental side of the sport helps you manage the competitive nature of the selection process. Think positively Stress tends to induce negative thoughts and feelings, which can lead to a less confident application and a more subdued performance at interview. Is your glass half empty or half full? Your outlook on life has a big impact on how you deal with stressful situations. Not everyone can be an optimist, but having a positive view on your application can really benefit you. Rather than thinking negative thoughts, tell yourself you can do this and remember what you have to offer. For example: Remember the last time you helped someone in need and they were grateful to you. Think about when you got a better mark in your essay or test than you expected and how that made you feel. Recall when you had a problem or difficult situation and you managed to solve it successfully. Engage in a hobby or interest Find a hobby that you can absorb yourself in. Having an activity that draws your attention away from the selection process and gets you to use your brain in a different way reduces your stress. Make time for your friends Friends are a very important part of your life. They can: Offer an alternative view on your problems and life’s little issues. Put your worries into perspective. Make you laugh and help you let off steam. Your friends let you see life from other people’s viewpoints and can challenge your own preconceived assumptions. This can help you manage your stress as you can assess your problems against a wider context. Friends also help you develop your people skills. Be assertive and take control Stress can be caused by feeling that much of your future is out of your control. The selection process for a nursing course involves many people in different organisations, and you may feel that you have little say in how your application is judged. Taking back control of your application helps you manage stress. Plan your timeline and what you hope to achieve and by when; this gives you more control of events. Research what happens with your application so you can understand the process. Knowledge is power and gives you back ownership of your application. Attend open days and visitor events. Doing so helps you appreciate that these abstract participants in your application are in fact real people who you can chat to. Engage with your application and be active in its smooth progress. Follow up on references, check that the university has received all your documents and prepare your documents in advance of a CRB check. These are all ways of taking control. There’s a fine line between being assertive and being aggressive in how you manage your application. Accepting responsibility for your application will be supported by the admissions team, but overly forceful behaviour isn’t becoming. Scrub out unhealthy habits People develop coping mechanisms to deal with stress. Unfortunately, many of these mechanisms actually exacerbate stress by impacting your life in a harmful way. It’s not always possible to remove the causes of stress, which makes having appropriate coping techniques all the more important. How many of these strategies do you use to cope with stress? Smoking Drinking too much caffeine Exceeding recommended alcohol consumption Excessive sleeping Sedate lifestyle or watching too much TV Compulsive shopping While using some of these strategies in moderation could help you relax, overdoing it on any of them indicates that you’re not coping with life’s stresses. This will impact your application, either through your performance at interview or at your occupational health check. Treat yourself In preparing your application you may end up working long hours either studying or working (or both!) and leave little spare time for yourself. Make a point of giving yourself some ‘me time’ – time out from your hectic schedule when you relax in the way you know best. Me time doesn’t have to be extensive or expensive, but it does have to let you wind down and enjoy the moment. Going to watch your favourite football team, spending an hour soaking in a scented bath, or just curled up on the settee reading a good book all help you de-stress. Talk to someone If you find that even after using the suggestions in the preceding sections you’re still feeling stressed and your health, wellbeing and performance are suffering, then don’t be afraid to speak with someone. Nothing is wrong with asking for help, and many people are happy to talk with you and offer advice. Your GP, school or college tutor are good places to start.

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Perfecting Your Personal Statement for Your UK Nursing School Application

Article / Updated 03-26-2016

Being the ideal nursing candidate isn’t all about being the best academic student. The admissions tutors are looking for candidates who also demonstrate a high level of personal and professional aptitude towards nursing. To increase your chances of success ensure you sell yourself in your personal statement. Here are a few tips: Have a balanced introduction. Set the scene for your statement but steer away from quotes and references to childhood aspirations. Explain your application. Identify which field of nursing you have chosen and why you think it’s right for you. Demonstrate motivation and commitment. Illustrate what you’ve done to prepare for nursing, such as gaining care or work experience. Sell your abilities. Explain what you have to offer your chosen field and say how you can match your abilities against your choice. Personal qualities. Explain other life experiences that make you a sound candidate for the nursing role. Clear conclusion. Offer a summary of your dedication to nursing and some insight into your nursing aspirations.

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Choosing the Right University for Your UK Nursing Course

Article / Updated 03-26-2016

With over 68 universities to choose from in the UK, finding the right one for you can be quite a challenge. Do your research to ensure success and a happy education. Before you decide, attend open days and read the university prospectus. Consider the following: Location. Do you want to stay close to home or are you happy to move further afield? Is the accommodation suitable for you? Atmosphere. Does the campus feel welcoming, and how do the lecturing staff and team engage with you? Clinical environment. What learning opportunities are on offer? Are there any interesting placements? How far are you expected to travel to placements? Programme structure. How is the course put together, and does it feel right for your way of learning? Others’ experience. Check out student surveys to find out what’s good and what’s not about the university you’re considering.

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Winning at UK Nursing School Assessments and Interviews

Article / Updated 03-26-2016

All candidates who show potential on their application form undertake some face-to-face assessments before being offered a place at university. It’s crucial to score well at these assessments to increase your chances of receiving an offer. Assessments differ between universities but here are some general tips to help your preparations: Know what to expect. Research each of your chosen university assessment strategies. Information is available to you beforehand and often the university websites give more details. Revise. Don’t assume you know everything. Revisit your numeracy and literacy skills. Practice. Interviews are stressful and you can forget things when you’re put on the spot. Gain some interview experience to understand what it’s really like. Behaviour. You may be judged on how you engage with other candidates and admission staff just as much as you are in the assessments and interviews. Brush up on your people skills. First impressions. Really do count! Be good, look good, do good!

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What’s Involved in a Nursing Career?

Article / Updated 03-26-2016

When applying to UK nursing school, you’re expected to have researched nursing. The term ‘nursing’ is used liberally by the public and the media as a collective way of describing the many disciplines of the profession, but you need to be more specific. To improve your chances of success you need to demonstrate which field of nursing you’re interested in, what the field entails and what you have to offer. As a good candidate you can: Explain your chosen field. What’s special about the field; how does it differ from the other fields of nursing? Identify similarities. Although your chosen field is very distinct from other forms of nursing, what do they have in common? What are the general principles underpinning nursing? Show what you have to offer. What drew you to particular aspects of the role, and what do you have to offer nursing? Make clear what qualities and abilities you can bring to this nursing field. Your future in nursing. Nursing isn’t just a job but a career. While you don’t need to fully understand career opportunities, do realise how nursing relates to healthcare in the UK and have some appreciation of how you want your career to develop.

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