Sunday, 17 May 2015

Applying for Child Nursing (Part 1) - The Process

While applying to study child nursing, I found that there was a lot of information online on adult nursing specifically, and not so much on child nursing. It's the same thing for paramedic students or ODP students who are looking for personal statement examples, and it's a case of looking at nearby subjects for help as there isn't much out there for specific subjects. Because of this, I thought I'd create a little blog series based specifically on applying for child nursing (but with some tips for other NHS funded and healthcare courses along the way).

Unlike other courses such as English, Maths or History, all nursing applicants, if successful with the initial part of their applicant, must attend an interview. That's the aim of the UCAS application: to get an interview. And in turn, the aim of the interview is to get a place on the course. But first thing is first: what is the process?

  1. Decide what subject you want to study
  2. Do some work experience
  3. Write the personal statement for the UCAS application
  4. Get reference for UCAS application
  5. Send UCAS off
  6. Get invited to interview
  7. Complete numeracy and literacy tests at interview
  8. Complete the 'interview' component of the interview 

Step 1 may seem obvious, but it can also be one of the most difficult parts (and was a lengthy process for me of figuring out what I actually wanted a career in). I'll talk about some of these points in more detail later in separate posts, such as work experience, the personal statement, and interviews (specifically Multiple Mini Interview (MMI) style interviews). For now, this post is just a brief intro!

Onto an important question to start us off...

How can I get an interview?

Like I mentioned earlier, this is the aim of your personal statement. It's like a condensed little, "this is why you should pick me!" advertisement of yourself, proving why you're suited to the course and that you understand what is required of you, the role of a children's nurse, and that you have the skills and qualities required to excel.

There are 3 main pieces of criteria you need to meet during the application process to be successful, and different universities use that criteria in different ways.

Universities will look at your:

  • Education qualifications (grades for GCSEs, A-Levels or equivalent and subject specific requirements such as Biology)
  • Personal statement 
  • Reference

It's easy to say your personal statement is the most important part of your application, and in a way it is - without a good personal statement it's unlikely you'll get an interview. But they won't even look at your personal statement if you haven't met the minimum entry requirements, so it's really important to apply to places that are within your reach. For me that was easier, as I was applying with my grades rather than predicted grades, but I took a gamble on one university that was asking for Biology A Level and it didn't pay off as I got a rejection based on that (I have AS Biology but not A2) so make sure you do your research and apply to as many universities as you can to up your chances!

Next: Personal Statement (coming soon)

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