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Nurses play a vital role in our healthcare system, as well as patient experience and acting as the first point of contact for visitors and patients. Nursing is a branch of healthcare which is focused on the care of families, communities and individuals who are unwell, or in need of assistance, and they maintain the quality of life. Although doctors make diagnostic decisions, perform surgical procedures and apply direct medical techniques, nurses take responsibility for administering medical treatment.

What A Levels do I need?

Requirements to study nursing is less strict than studying a medicine degree. Although many institutions prefer science (and social science) subjects, some universities won’t ask for rigorous subjects as prerequisites for the degree. The university entry requirements vary, from universities asking for CDD to ABB grades at A-level.

Students are advised to refer to their chosen universities’ prospectus to ensure they understand what grades, and subjects they need to obtain to gain admission onto the course in terms of UCAS tariff points.

You can also see our Nursing personal statement examples; these along with the use of our personal statement editor will help students help complete their statements to a university accepted standard.

What are my study options?

Nursing is traditionally a vocational course, allowing individuals to practice their skills they have learned in a practical environment. The fundamental principles will be taught in lectures, seminars and tutorials, while the practical setting enables students to apply their knowledge. The majority of the practical settings will take place in a hospital ward where students will apply first-hand skills in dealing with patients. Most nursing degrees are three years in length, and there is an equal divide between lecture and practical time. Students tend to spend an intense amount of time in lectures during their theoretical time at universities, whereas the hands-on work will occur at placement – (Learn more – What if my course has placement).

Also, Bachelor of Nursing (BN) degrees tends to relate to a particular patient group, with students being able to study a degree in adult nursing, mental health care, children’s nursing, and nursing with learning disabilities.

Nursing degree - Nurses

What should I expect from studying Nursing?

Nursing degrees are focused on caring for those who are unwell and suit individuals who find this comes naturally to them. Candidates will find placements tough, as they are prime examples of what kind of work they will be doing after they graduate. Also, the theoretical side is not going to be a walk in the park, as nurses need to learn about administering drugs, illnesses and medical equipment. The entire course can be intense, which is why students need to take their time when choosing the right university and course which suits them best.

How will I be assessed?

There will be assessments for both practical and theoretical elements of the course; therefore the methods of assessment will vary, from essays, reports, presentations and exams.

What skills will I learn from studying Nursing?

A degree in nursing is ideal for those who want to become a nurse and learn the skills that come with it, from care and communication, and intelligence regarding healthcare knowledge.

Students who attend university gain a variety of transferable skills such as, time management and organisation from working on deadlines, and social skills from presentations, group work and the practical elements of caring.

Why study Nursing?

Despite the high pressure, and low pay of the job, nurses report high levels of job satisfaction due to their input of improving lives and making people happy and well. There will also be employment opportunities as the world will always need nursing professionals. Students will gain a complete set of medical skills, and undergo training, including technology, health science, social science and theory. The job will also include a lot of variety, each patient will be different, and each day will involve different things to the day before, the job offers challenges that individuals can thrive on.

Furthermore, the career also features lots of chances to work the way up the ladder – it is truly a fast-paced and rewarding career in the healthcare sector. Nurses are in charge of running hospitals, wards and providing health care.

Nursing degree - Nurses listening

What happens after I graduate?

After graduation, students will be a qualified practitioner and be able to apply for nursing jobs from the get-go. The National Health Service (NHS) is the United Kingdom’s biggest employer or nurses; however, individuals can work for charities, private companies or work abroad.

There are other options for nursing graduates, such as care work, social work, or even medical journalism for individuals seeking an alternative career direction. Lastly, there are a range of postgraduate qualifications available if students wish to go into research.

Will it help me get a job?

Taking a nursing degree will provide a clear passage to the career, and provide students with the valuable skills needed to provide excellent health care and patient communication. The degree will also aid candidates to find their passion within the health care system, from sex education to sexual health.

What types of jobs can I get from studying Nursing?

Particular jobs within the sector include a home visitor, adult nurse, mental health nurse, paramedic, midwifery, social worker, counsellor, or a nurse for those with learning disabilities.

What can I study after Nursing?

Candidates who wish to continue their studies after graduating can start a postgraduate course, including a Master’s of Science (MSc) in advanced practice, addiction nursing and solely in nursing. There is also an opportunity to obtain a Postgraduate Diploma (PgDip) in community health nursing, as well as a Master’s of Philosophy (MPhil) in nursing and midwifery.

Famous Nursing studies alumni

Julie Walters, English actress who won two British Academy Film Awards, and four British Academy Television Awards, studied nursing at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham, where she worked for 18 months thereafter, on casualty and coronary care wards.

Tina Turner, who was titled as one of the top 100 greatest singers of all time by Rolling Stone, studied as a nurse’s aide at Barnes-Jewish Hospital.

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