Is Nursing Work Experience Necessary Before Applying to University?
Are you thinking about applying for a nursing degree course without work experience? Wondering how difficult it will be? Whether applying to study Nursing in either the UK or the USA, nursing work experience is highly recommended before you apply to your chosen universities. Check out our guidance and advice below.
Much like applying to medicine, nursing or midwifery applications can benefit greatly from drawing on students direct experiences of shadowing a doctor or a nurse in a clinical environment.
Places at nursing school can be quite competitive at certain institutions in the UK especially since the NHS pay for tuition fees and there are bursaries are available to cover living costs. This attractive proposition was partly introduced to combat falling numbers of applicants to study nursing and boost intakes into nursing school.
A direct result of this however is that nursing students must now demonstrate a real desire to go into the profession, drop out rates at university for nursing remain above average and undertaking a form of nursing work experience can show your willingness and aspirations to become a nurse.
Some of the reasons cited for dropping out of nursing school are that the course and the profession are not what students were expecting. Nursing work experience is therefore recommended not only to use as a tool to boost your application to get into nursing school but also to cement your decision to study nursing.
Getting some hands on experience volunteering in a hospital will give you a taste of what the profession really entails and whether it is the right career choice for you.
As a student nurse you will need to demonstrate the following key skills:
- Empathy and sensitivity
- Communication and relating to people from a wide variety of backgrounds
- Distress management
The more opportunities you have to demonstrate both to the universities and to yourself that you have these desired skills then the more likely you are to be accepted onto a nursing course at university and to also be sure that a career in nursing is for you.