Student life blogs
A placement at a hospital in Finland gave Laura more learning opportunities than she ever expected…
My first year in training as a learning disability nurse (LDN) was a rollercoaster ride to say the least.
As I draw closer to completing my second year of nursing training it feels as if morale both outside and inside the NHS has never been at such a low.
This is nursing, I hear you say.
Prior to going to university I had never lived with another person for longer than a month; it was the aspect of the whole experience that scared me the most.
“Difficult, difficult, lemon difficult” is the memorable line from the mouth of bumbling Simon Foster MP in the hilarious political comedy In The Loop.
Often, lecturers, nurses and friends say things like ‘I don’t know if I could have done my nurse training with children to look after’ or ‘I don’t know how you do it’.
At a recent conference I witnessed celebrations for adult nursing, with sections relating to learning disabilities and mental health nursing. During the course of the day I was waiting for recognition for children’s nurses; it never happened.
Have you ever been in a situation that made you think about your future and the type of legacy you want to build?
To help your life at university run a little smoother without breaking the bank, student Kathrine Schulze has rounded up and reviewed a few of the best free apps for students.
The first thing we were taught at university was how to wash our hands; at degree level, this seemed almost comical until the importance of infection control was impressed upon us.
As a mum to three children and a full-time nursing student I am often asked how I manage to cope with my responsibilities.
I recently talked at a fringe at the NUS Conference on behalf of Unison on a topic that impacts upon all of us as student nurses; that of the state of financial support given to nurses in training.
Poem by Claire Tinnion, a student nurse at Oxford Brookes University
It is easy to fall into unhealthy habits when you do not have much time to devote to taking care of yourself.
An area of interest to me at this time in my studies is the theory of change blindness, otherwise known as inattentional blindness.
As a student at university I have never been a stranger to stress, but it was not until recently that I discovered first-hand the negative effects of the more serious aspects of anxiety.
How does nurse training in the US compare to the UK? Jennifer Bell, a student at Baptist College of Health Sciences in Memphis, Tennessee, gives us an insight
Poem by Crystal Wilson, third year student nurse at Canterbury Christ Church University
Marlene was surprised to her about a student being told to watch how she speaks to staff of higher grades. Does this reflect an old-fashioned attitude to nursing hierarchies?
“It has always been my dream to become a nurse in the UK. It is such an important profession that allows you to help change lives for the better, and I am very proud to be working towards a career in the NHS.”
Being a student nurse is the best thing I have ever done.
We’ve all been there: experienced one particularly gruelling shift with one particularly testing patient. But this time, Emily turned it into a learning experience
When Becky didn’t get a place at her first-choice university she didn’t know where to turn, but a cadetship helped reignite her love of nursing
What do you do if you feel you’ve chosen the wrong branch of nursing?
How do you come to terms with a patient telling you they’re ready to die?
Since volunteering at a children’s hospice, Mikey can think of no better place to work
Sherry was struck by how effective treatment of post-natal depression can be, but realised the importance of raising awareness
On 14 April at 8pm, Diverse Learners, WeNurses, and Plymouth University will be teaming up to deliver an interactive, engaging webinar discussing student placements.
Claudia was thrilled to find out her first placement was at a GP clinic, but the placement wasn’t exactly what she expected
#HelloMyNameIs Krissy Scott and I am a 3rd year mental health nursing student at Stirling University.
As newly qualified nurses we found ourselves asking an irregular and difficult question: should we go and help combat the Ebola epidemic in Sierra Leone?
Let’s face it, we hear a lot of bad press surrounding the nursing profession these days.
The thought of having to produce work as a group can bring about feelings of dread and fear, sending a shiver up the spine of even the most dedicated student.
Recently, I stopped to help an elderly lady who had collapsed in my local high street
A visit to RCN Congress resulted in student nurse, Deanne, contributing to one of the most important reviews into whistleblowing
It has been a while since Cummings’ 6Cs theory was first introduced to nurses and midwives.
Let’s be honest, being a student nurse is a huge financial burden and it’s not always easy to find ways to make some extra cash.
As I sit here on a Saturday night, procrastinating instead of revising for my statistics exam on Tuesday, I look back and wonder if I have done the right thing.
The recent revelation of maltreatment of people with learning disabilities in an institution in Lechain, Greece shocked the learning disability nursing community.
Community hospitals are key in the further rehabilitation and care of patients discharged from acute or emergency settings.
Christian Betteridge, Practice Education Facilitator at 2gether NHS Foundation Trust which serves Herefordshire and Gloucestershire, is January’s 6Cs in Action: Celebrating Excellence winner.
Christopher was amazed at the increased responsibility he had on placement in Finland, but he found the exchange programme offered far more than practical skills
'If we don't fight mental health stigma within the nursing profession, how can we ask our clients to do so?'
Fighting stigma is part of most trust’s policies and even some people’s contracts, but little seems to be done to support this.
Prince was not sure how to feel about seeing his first dead bdoy, but helping with last offices helped him recognise the respect and dignity involved in preparing a body
'I realised that not being able to calculate drugs correctly could be a matter of life or death - literally'
Why do I find maths so difficult when my peers tend to sail through? Why is my handwriting such a mess? Why does it take me so long to understand? Why am I so dumb?!
When Elaine received constructive criticism on her record keeping attempt, she was able to step back and take away some key learning points - and not give up!
Student nurse, Tracy, learnt a valuable lesson that it can be all too easy to make judgements about quality of life issues when it is not your own life you are considering.
How to cope with being allocated a placement miles away from home
After feeling let down by the lack of action offered by the care maker scheme, student nurse Anna offers some crustructive criticism on turning words into action
'Now that I've performed last offices, I know that I can do all those things I doubted I was capable of'
As a mother of three sons, it’s not often I feel nervous or worried about what I might encounter in my life. Then again, until now, I had never seen a dead body.
Many student nurses are unaware they are entitled to DSA, meaning they miss out on valuable emotional, practical and financial support
It’s easy to let yourself be swallowed up in trying to become a good nurse, but, as Mary points out, you already have the characteristics of a great nurse
Stevie-Jade’s final placement initially knocked her confidence, but speaking to her mentors helped her realise just how normal her fears were
'As the next generation of nurses, we shouldn't have to stand for behaviour that gives us a bad name'
Should you raise concerns if you witness poor care on placement?
Kieran was disappointed with his first community placement, but on reflection he realised that the aspects he had seen as “bad” were valuable learning opportunities
As she starts second year, Amy looks back on the year just gone and reflects on how her feelings towards the course have changed as her confidence developed
When Helen’s patient’s experience mirrored her own father’s, she was torn as to how much was OK to share.
We all know nutrition can be a key factor in aiding recovery, but how can you help a patient when they point blank refuse meals?
Mikey’s own experience of being a patient has helped him realise that as student nurses we can all play a part in changing the future of healthcare
While most of the ward staff were busy dealing with an emergency situation, Colin was surprised by another patient’s reaction
After realising that student loans do not take into account that healthcare students have longer academic years, Alice is calling on student nurses to join her in campaigning for a fairer system
Have you ever had that sinking feeling when you’ve seen where your next placement will be?
After being rejected on the grounds that she didn’t have enough experience, Amanda started to feel that she would never find her first nurisng job
Helena’s personal experiences of the mental health system are helping to shape her into the nurse she wants to be
Choosing which field of nursing to study was not difficult. I spent time thinking seriously about it and researching each option, but I always knew learning disability nursing was for me.
Third year student, Ben, asks why it’s so common to see coca-cola machines outside diabetic wards and smokers outside the hospital doors.
In the build-up to his nurse training, Andrew wants to get a good idea of what the course will entail. Can you help?
As the start of his course fast approaches, Andrew reflects on how he ended up on the path to becoming a childrens’ nurse
Meet Poppy, a student nurse who bravely spoke out about poor care on placement twice, and experienced a different reaction each time
Gemma’s life was turned upside-down by tragedy during her course, but today she’s able to look back on how much she’s grown as a person and as a nurse
What would you say if one of your role models asked you to present in front of 200 of your peers?
Becoming a Care Maker helped Susan reflect on her role and reassess her priorities
Before I started my community placement I was not excited. My placement was with a city team, covering seven GP surgeries and I was expecting a slow paced day spent mainly dealing with leg ulcers.
Just answer this simple question for your chance to attend IPS’s annual conference in Glasgow* (worth £599 each)
Without the specialist help he recieved following a traumatic brain injury, Mikey believes he would not be able to continue studying to be a nurse
Lecturer, Mark Gagan, recalls a the strict hierarchical system that existed when he trained. How things have changed!
Student nurse, Catherine, found healthcare professionals gave mixed reactions to her dyslexia diagnosis
Hannah found she experienced a different emotion every hour while on placement at a nursing home
Facing end of life care on my first placement, with limited experience was a challenge. I found myself questioning myself, my experience and my student nurse title.
Regardless of the move to degree-only training, or the increasing emphasis on evidence-based practice, compassion and care still underpin nursing and are by far the most fundamental aspects of the role.
Approaching the last term of my second year is a frightening and daunting thought. But I have a sense of accomplishment for everything I’ve done so far.
The news that NICE are not going to fund a new breast cancer drug had personal resonance for student nurse, Caroline
Let me start by saying, I completely understand and agree with the reasoning behind student nurses having supernumerary status.
Support Mencap in campaigning for better healthcare for people with learning disabilities
Starting a new placement is probably the scariest, yet most exciting, part of the student nursing calendar
American students from Loyola University in Chicago have been given a unique opportunity to experience the UK health system
When you first start a nursing course, you are asked countless times, “why do you want to be a nurse?”. Some answer it without thinking; for others it takes more time.
Student nurse, Emma Corbett, recalls her first experience giving last offices, having never experienced working with a dead body before
Elaine’s research into stigma opened her eyes to the reality many service users’ face
Caroline found herself considering death and humanity after nursing a patient at the end of her life
Mikey questions whether nursing is still lagging behind in the race towards gender equality
Get ahead of the game in the high-pressure, fast paced life of the surgical ward by keeping these crucial tools to hand.
Second year mental health nurse, Stephen McGhee, remembers his first day of placement on an acute ward in East London.
When I heard the title of my postoperative nursing placement it did not excite me, to me “low dependency” suggested a slow area, but I was completely wrong.
The starting salary for graduate nurses in Ireland has recently dropped making it harder to remain in Ireland and work as a nurse
Student nurse Mikey found out first-hand what it’s like to be a patient and gained a new understanding of how to care for patients in a confused state
Amy Perry qualified three years ago and wants to dispel the myths about her job
On joining her nursing course Lucy felt anything other than an adult, now she’s discovering that nursing has required her to grow up …
Experiencing a difficult patient death on his last night shift as a student nurse helped James to shape the type of nurse he wants to be
Raising concerns: ‘Would I be willing to risk failing a placement to report a member of this close-knit team?’
Jayne looks back on her first placement and questions whether, if the need arose, she would feel able to speak out about poor care
SOS Student Ambassador, Caroline, reflects on the role universities play in teaching students the importance of questioning poor care
SOS ambassador, Alice, was horrified at the treatment she witnessed and felt it her duty to speak out
Chief Nursing Officer for England, Jane Cummings, explains why a desire to make a real difference for patients, carers and staff makes you an ideal Care Maker
Caroline questions whether hard work really is enough for everyone in society to get where they want to be
Student nurse, Megan, found communication between student and mentor is one of the most important elements of a good placement experience
Nicola’s involvement in the National Junior Leadership academy made her realise how badly the definition of leaders in the health service needs updating
Constant negativity in the media aimed at nurses and the health service, has student nurse Sarah worried about the future of the career she is training for.
Callum’s experience of a needlestick injury left him shaken, but the supportive staff helped him see the positives
Newly qualified nurse, Donato, found that learning to give patient-centred care was one of the most important parts of his course.
Soon-to-be student nurse, Jade, asks “Should student nurses spend a year working as a HCA before starting their course?”
Courageous, strong, brave, committed, supportive and kind. These are the words I most associate with the service users I have been working with over the past four weeks.
Rarely signposted but positioned at the heart of most organisations, the operating theatre can be a daunting place for student nurses.
Chloe knew that at some point during her Year to Care, she would need to confront her feelings about death
Sneha and Alexandra found their capacity building elective in Sierra Leone opened their eyes to new learning opportunities
All student nurses should experience a critical care placement, argues staff nurse Rachel Davies
Keeping focused as a third year student is essential for success
When she heard I was preparing to start my nurse training, my 85-year-old neighbour, Mrs Marjorie Trousdale, offered me some insights into her own experiences as a student nurse in the late 1940s.
James Merrell, a third year student nurse, at Bournemouth University, takes a look at the reasons why an increasing number of men are entering nursing.
You may have seen the petition circling social networking sites fighting for an improved nurse to patient ratio.
On the 25 September the Faculty of Health Sciences, at the University of Southampton, held an alumni evening to celebrate 30 years of its nursing degree, which commenced in 1982. Over a hundred former nursing graduates attended.
Leanne’s poem is in response to the negatively she and her peers often experience when on placement
The benefits and drawbacks of the Year to Care scheme have been much debated, but for Chloe, it represents a chance for her to find her calling
Are you passionate about delivering high standards of patient-centred care and committed to making a difference?
We all know that compassion, patience, kindness and care are just some of the traits that make a good nurse.
I came into nurse training knowing that when I qualified I intended to work with older people in mental health care settings.
Throughout my training, I was continually asked by patients and families “who is who?”
After seeing first-hand the pain and misery pressure ulcers can cause, student nurse Charlotte stepped up and did something about it
An insight in to the role of nurse mentors and teachers
Are you working with patients with dementia? Joni’s “Dementia Matters” card helps healthcare professionals improve the care they provide
Student nurse James Merrell discusses engaging staff with intentional rounding and the moral and ethical implications it carries
Justine felt hurt and betrayed when a student she had tried to support made accusations against her.
Giving personal care for the very first time can cause anxiety to both patient and carer - however these useful tips should help abate any unease of the situation.
Before I started my nursing course last September, I excitedly trawled through articles, forums and blogs looking for every single piece of information I could find about being a student nurse.
Mentors often report not being able to give students the support they would like, how can this be changed?
While placements are essential to help students develop skills and relate theory to practice, unsupportive mentors can increase anxiety and prevent students from learning
On the adult branch we’re mainly guided by a medical model, patients’ physical care needs are at the forefront of all interventions and conversations.
Currently, I am on my summer holidays following my first year as a student nurse.
Working as a student children’s nurse, I can sometimes feel like the meanest, least popular person on the planet.
One of the questions I keep hearing as a student nurse is “can you teach someone to care?”
Since I started training to become a children’s nurse I have been already qualified in the eyes of my friends and family.
My course gives me the training to become both a learning disability nurse and a social worker and I aim to use my understanding of both these specialisms to draw health and social care together in the future.
I am about to start my fourth year studying children’s nursing.
Negative news stories about nurses are all too common, but we must highlight exemplary care so that the morale of nurses and student nurses isn’t damaged and to restore public confidence in the NHS, says Claire
Trisha uncovered the world of nursing apps during her course and found them invaluable for helping her through.
Well-organised placements have a variety of opportunities and time for reflection
Learning disability student nurse, Vishakha Abbi, wonders what other cohorts make of learning disability nurses
There has been a change at university recently, a change that you can feel in the air, in the corridors and in the eyes of your colleagues and friends.
Habiba was shocked by the lack of activities for residents on her residential home placement, so she did something about it
Although my first year as a mental health nursing student is not over yet, so far it has been truly amazing.
I am not one of those nursing students who always wanted to be a nurse.
Only 10 weeks of placement stand between me and my second year of adult nursing.
With more care being provided outside acute hospitals, placements in the private, voluntary and independent sector can widen newly qualified nurses’ career choices
Student nurse, Oluwafemi Faniku, thinks student nurses have alot to offer
Niall found an innovative way of remembering everything he needed to complete mental state examinations
Student nurses are under attack. We lack compassion, we’re too posh to wash for daring to seek a degree and we’re blamed for care failings on wards we’re not yet staff on …
Student nurses on overseas electives often choose destinations with high health and personal safety risks. Thorough risk assessment and minimisation are therefore vital
After three years of waiting for this moment, it was a mixture of emotions stepping onto the ward for the first time as a newly qualified staff nurse.
As a second year adult nursing student I undertook a two week placement based at a Spanish charity’s hospital and school of nursing in India.
I began my third year of training in March with an air of confidence and optimism.
Student nurse, Oluwafemi Faniku, is in his second year of adult nursing and discovering what it’s like to take responsibilty for what you know
Nicola is in the third year of her nursing degree and feeling the pressure
This week, Christine Haycock worked her first night shift. Find out how she got on …
How many of us have referred to ourselves (or been referred to) as ’just’ or ‘only’ a student nurse during a conversation?
Student nurse, Christine, thinks it’s the little things that make a difference …
You’re on placement and your mentor asks if you want to manage your own group of patients, what do you say?
I have just finished a six week placement in the nursing division in the public health directorate of the department of health. Sounds impressive doesn’t it, but all I had to do to get there was ask.
Nurse training is set to face some major changes.
Why is it so shocking that someone who watches football, loves cars, sports some facial hair, and is MALE can be a nurse?
Ciar Ooi started off studying English but her expansive nursing work experience has persuaded her to try her hand at nursing
It was no secret that I was dreading my community placement. I can’t even explain why.
Many students feel that as “First year does not count”, the whole year can be spent coasting or partying away.
Following the publication of the Francis report, it has become clear that the quality of patient care needs to be put at the heart of the NHS through an overhaul of health and social care services.
Nursing is like no other profession. Similarly, a student nurse is like no other student.
I still remember the first day that I started university, when my life as a student nurse had just begun. I felt the butterflies in my stomach as I stepped into my first lecture. I was shy, quiet and very nervous.
With the competition for places on nursing courses getting more and more fierce, Ruth asks: is nursing becoming too competitive?
No matter what stage you are at in your nursing degree you still get incredibly nervous about a new placement.
Starting your nursing course doesn’t always live up to expectations, whatever country you’re in.
I’m a second year mental health nursing student, but in a previous career, I was an actor.
Being a Fresher is huge. It’s the first time that many students have ever lived away from home, you’re thrown in with a bunch of strangers, and you enter a learning environment that is light-years different from anything you could have experienced in school.
When I did my English degree before I started nursing, I didn’t get to know any of my cohort.
As a student nurse you have a lot on your plate. Assignments, exams, placements, trying to maintain some semblance of a social life and for some people there is also the responsibility of looking after children. The last thing you need is to take on something else, right?
On my first day as a fresher, I felt like I had walked into an eery, ominous environment.
Group work is a really important part of working effectively as a nurse.
Emily Kraus, third year studying adult nursing student, expalins why she’s found group work so helpful …
Being a ‘life experienced’ (any attempt to avoid the word mature) student my biggest fear of starting university was writing an assignment.
Student nurse Kirstie MacCormack offers her top tips for successful study
As a student mental health nurse, it’s inevitable that a lot of your placements will be based in a community mental health team (CMHT) as this is where the majority of mental health care takes place.
Are you wondering what it’s like to do a community placement? We can help with that …
Placement is around the corner.
Placements are where theory is put into practice on real patients, not your colleague in the skills laboratory.
Second year student nurse, Natasha Bale, tells us about her first placement on a theatre ward …
Claire Shirley is about to start her first placement of her final year, but she’s as nervous as ever …
The expectations of many students heading to an emergency department are not always that high.
Don’t forget your ps and qs! This may seem obvious, but it really is the small things that count in making a good impression on placement.
“Does this uniform make my bum look big? Where can I find the smoking area?”
As soon as you begin your nursing training, your tutors will immediately start mentioning reflective practice.
Third year student nurse, Lynzi Ratcliffe, has some advice for students looking to experience a successful placement
I can already clearly see that this is the first of many gruelling weeks of academic work, as well as practical experience and assessments.
My first year has opened my eyes up to a lot of things.