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Give up, give in or give everything

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Keeping focused as a third year student is essential for success

There is no question about it, the final year of a nursing degree programme can be very tough indeed.

You have clinical portfolios to work on, exams, assignment deadlines and a dissertation to complete, not to mention your impending management placement at the end of the course and worries about getting a job when you do qualify.

It is easy for third year students to become disillusioned.

But it is so important to remain focused in your third year. While qualifying might seem ages away, time goes quickly and it is essential to keep up with the here and now, as well as planning for the future.

Being organised and having a good attitude are essential to get through both academic work and clinical practice.

Easier said than done. But the best way to stop yourself losing direction is by not losing sight of the end goal of qualifying.

When you make mistakes, learn and develop from them. When things don’t go well, reflect on them and get some relevant advice. Use every possible experience as a learning tool in both academic work and clinical practice.

Don’t see academic work as a chore, if you wish to advance your career when qualified then studying doesn’t stop when you finish your degree. So find a way to make it enjoyable that works for you – this will be a huge advantage when you qualify.

There is always a great deal of time and energy wasted among third year students worrying about the transition from student to staff nurse and what will happen when they qualify. My advice is to not start worrying about it until nearer the time, it’s good to plan ahead but as a third year student deal with the here and now - you’ve got enough to worry about in the next few months.

When things are tough and you feel overwhelmed or disillusioned, keep the end goal of qualifying in sight and get there through hard work. Don’t give up and don’t give in but give everything, put your heart and soul into what you do. Nursing is a rewarding  career after all and if you work hard enough as a student your efforts will be worthwhile.

Aim to be the best and don’t just meet the requirements expected of you, don’t just do the bear minimum in assignments or when working in practice but strive to push the boundaries and aim high!


Three keys to success:

Never underestimate the importance of a good appearance, good manners and reading widely to inform practice.


Donato Tallo is a newly qualified nurse

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