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Studying Nursing – Student Success Stories

Want to know what it’s like to study nursing at University? Students from Staffordshire University share their experiences which should help you with your research.

Click on each name to read their story, or simply scroll through:

20 year-old Ellie from Stafford is studying adult nursing at Staffordshire University’s Stafford campus, at Black Heath Lane.

Tell us what brought you to where you are today?

Throughout this time I had been applying to study midwifery at university, but had been unsuccessful twice. After failing to get into midwifery I applied for nursing, to start in September 2017. I was successful and was offered an earlier start date in March 2017.When I left school I started a full-time job as a waitress for a catering company. I then started a job in community care and stayed there for three months before I went back to waitressing. After a few months I was promoted and started an independent job within their finance department.

What inspired you to study this subject?

I was inspired to study this subject as I have always wanted to work with people, and to work in a job that makes lives better. I come from a large family, many of whom work within the health sector, so this is a profession I have grown up to admire. Even though my original plan to become a midwife was not successful, I am so glad that I went on to apply for nursing as I feel so passionate about the subject.

What qualifications did you have for your course?

I completed 10 GCSEs which included English Literature and Language and Maths. I then went on to do my A levels in Biology, Psychology and Health and Social Care.

Why did you choose to study at your university?

I chose to study at Staffordshire after falling in love with it on an open day. Not only was it close to home, but was welcoming, clean, friendly and made me feel so at ease.

What do you like about the course?

I like many aspects of the course, my favourite being the people I have met along the way. I have made friends for life, many who are similar people to me with individual quirks. All of the lecturers are understanding, helpful and approachable, which I believe is key to achievement while at university. I enjoy the wide range of topics that are covered within lectures and the chance to spend time in the labs and out on clinical placements.

What learning methods does your university employ? Are you offered the opportunity of industry/work experience?

We have lectures, group work, individual study, clinical lectures in the skills labs and one-to-one tutorials, in addition to clinical placements in hospitals three times a year.

What aspects of the course are you finding difficult? Does the university support you well?

It was hard getting back into education when I first started my degree, but Study Skills talked me through academic writing and helped me regain my confidence. Going out onto placement was scary and overwhelming at first, but we were able to come back into University and discuss this with lecturers and friends which made me feel more at ease. We also have placement facilitators which we could contact at any time if we had any concerns.

How are you funding your studies?

I have a student loan which I receive in three instalments throughout the year, as well as a monthly bursary. I recently stopped working as I found it difficult to manage a part-time job as well as being on placement.

What do you plan to do once you’ve graduated? 

I am still unsure about where my degree will take me. I am still keen on midwifery studies, but after visiting clinical placements as a student nurse I believe my career ideas will change a few times before I graduate.

Natasha from Shropshire is studying Adult Nursing Practice at Staffordshire University’s Centre of Excellence at Blackheath Lane

Natasha -ashby

Tell us what brought you to where you are today?

I am studying Adult Nursing because I love caring for others, making a difference to peoples’ lives and want to try and make a difference in care services. Also, I want to make my family and partner proud.

What inspired you to study this subject?

Caring for my Aunty before she passed away, working in local care homes, nursing homes and in the Royal Stoke Hospital on the neurosurgery ward all inspired me to study nursing.

What qualifications did you have for your course?

I have an NVQ level 3, BTEC national diploma.

Why did you choose to study at your university?

I chose to study at Staffordshire because the lecturers were very welcoming on the open day, it has an excellent reputation, and I heard positive feedback from their current students. Also because I am able to experience different trusts and how they work when on placements, not just working at the one hospital. I feel this gives students a wider knowledge on different trusts, their policies and how they work.

What do you like about the course?

I enjoy the lectures and group work, to get the cohort working together and with people we have not met before. I feel this increases my confidence, communication and listening skills as I will be in similar situations once qualified working alongside the MDT (multidisciplinary team), and making referrals to people that I have never met.

I enjoy the practical side to my degree. The clinical skills lecturers are very knowledgeable and supportive with any questions I have had. I feel we cover a good amount of clinical skills, moving and handling, basic life support, in hospital life support, and nutrition to name a few.

I love the eight weeks we have on placements in various trusts and getting to know how other trusts work, seeing new places and faces. I feel the placement books are a very good tool and provide guidance to see our improvements through different placements and mentors, and achieving new goals for each placement.

What learning methods does your university employ? Are you offered the opportunity of industry/work experience?

The learning methods we use include group work, self-study, PowerPoints from lecturers, presentations, the Blackboard virtual learning environment, tutorials, problem based learning, motivational interviewing, exams and objective structured clinical examinations (OSCEs). We also use Padlet for class feedback and spend time on practical skills. I have placements within various care settings for eight weeks at a time.

What aspects of the course are you finding difficult? Does the university support you well?

I find the academic side hard but I do enjoy the challenge. I have been supported with everything, whether that is work-related or whilst on placement. We have a personal tutor that we are able to talk to whenever, lecturers always offer support, library staff are very helpful, and placement facilitators come to see students whilst on placement to see if everything is okay and support us.

If our lecturers or personal tutors are not available or able to support us with our query they will signpost us to whoever they think will be able to help, e.g. Study Skills.

How are you funding your studies?

Luckily I have been seconded from Royal Stoke Hospital, and I receive the student maintenance loan. In terms of a part-time job, I am on the nurse pool at Royal Stoke Hospital.

What do you plan to do once you’ve graduated? 

I am planning on going on a short break to celebrate with the girls from Uni first. Then I am hoping I will get a community nurse post in Stoke-on-Trent or with Winsford District Nurses in Crewe (where I spent my last placement). I would in the future consider a postgraduate course studying prescribing and district nursing, but I will be over the moon with a Band 5 post for a few years.

How is the university supporting your career aspirations?

Well, they have given me the best already by offering me a place to study Adult Nursing. I have spoken to a few lecturers regarding becoming a community nurse and they have advised me and given me some information on their job role. I feel positive about my future career and I know the staff here will support me through this course to help me succeed and reach my dream!