Nursing Times blogger Stuart Young looks at university guides and wonders what sets some apart from others.
The Guardian newspaper’s University Guide 2011: nursing and paramedical studies looks at many things, including student satisfaction in their course, student satisfaction on their academic feedback, the UCAS points needed to get on a course and the student to staff ratio, to name but a few. However, perhaps the most interesting thing for me was the percentage of graduates leaving the institutions who gained a job within six months.
The lowest was 46% at London Met with the highest being 100% at Bedfordshire. The two of most interest to me, of course, were the University of Birmingham and my own institution Birmingham City University.
The job percentages were 77% and 94% respectively, which made me feel quietly confident that at the end of this year I would have been able to find a job, had the economic situation not taken a turn for the worse. So fingers crossed I should find a job starting in September 2011.
Whilst I want to go and work on the front line caring for patients on orthopaedic surgical wards I am more and more aware of the current job situation. Many trusts are not recruiting at the moment and many of the jobs that I have seen on the NHS Jobs website are asking for six to 12 months’ experience. A hard task for any newly qualified nurse to magic out of thin air - or so I thought.
On Tuesday the RCN bus was in the West Midlands and I spent the afternoon speaking to students about their experiences on clinical placement., Many of the people I spoke to were third years about to go out on their management placements - and the topic of applying for jobs came up in all most all conversations.
As I was talking to the students, I found myself giving out some advice that I must put into practice when I start applying for jobs. Those roles that are asking for six to 12 months’ nursing experience - there is nothing stopping a third year student from applying for them, after all in the last three years of their training they have a wealth of experience in patient contact, using evidence based practice and being a patient’s advocate.
Only time will tell if there are going to be enough jobs for the nurses that qualify in 2011.
About the author
Stuart Young is a third year student nurse and RCN student member of council