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STUDENT EDITOR BLOG

'It's my final year. Now decisions matter more than ever'

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After four placements, numerous exams and assignments, and a dose of second-year blues, I’m here. I’ve made it this far; I’m at the start of my third and final year. I have come out the other side a more confident nurse in training - or so I thought.

I finished my second year on a high. After many months of struggling to see the light at the end of the tunnel, I achieved good grades and found my inner confidence on my last placement. Now I have had a bit of a rest over the Christmas period I want to plan how I am going to cope with third-year fear.

In 10 months’ time I will have finished my course. They’re going to expect more of me in my placements, and, in all honesty, I expect more from myself now. So how can I make the most of my third year? Does anyone have any tips to achieve the grades, grow my knowledge and prevent a breakdown?

“I’ve been developing a plan of action over a brew, leftover chocolates from the tin and regular doses of cough medicine.”

I’ve been developing a plan of action over a brew, leftover chocolates from the tin and regular doses of cough medicine. My inital thoughts were ’why don’t they just make a tin of the good ones?’ and ’is there anyone that avoids the dreaded winter germ fest?’ Beyond that, all I’d managed to come up with is ‘keep calm’

Then it started to flow.

”I did much better in my second year of study than my first and the reason is that I did the majority of pre-reading and extras”

I need to eat healthy and drink more water; I don’t suppose I can function on E numbers and caffeine alone.

I also want to plan the week ahead by simply looking at my timetable, writing in my diary what work I’m doing and when and then actually sticking to it! I did much better in my second year of study than my first and the reason is that I did the majority (not all I’m afraid, I’m no saint!) of pre-reading and extras. This does work. It’s hard and time-consuming but it did pay off in my grades.

“I’m daring to dream about my first role as a qualified nurse.”

The inevitable trip to the stationary shop is required for new notebooks, folders and coloured pens. How do you take notes in lectures? Some people print off the lecture slides and make notes next to them. I tend to pre-read them and then just make my own notes in my notebook. This inevitably results in me missing things, though. Do you have a method you find effective?

I’m daring to dream about my first role as a qualified nurse. My big assignment is looming and I need to pick a topic and research question. I feel I need to choose this carefully because I’ll be spending a lot of time on it and I could use my knowledge from this in job interviews.

”Some say I need ward experience first, and others tell me it’s not necessary.”

I loved my community placement and dream of working in a community role. Some say I need ward experience first, and others tell me it’s not necessary. Do you think a Plastics/MaxFax ward would be a good base for community nursing? If so, I may consider a research assignment within this area.

Whatever I choose I’m now a third-year and each decision I make matters more than it ever has done before. This is, of course, rather worrying so any advice will be welcomed.

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Readers' comments (1)

  • specifically find someone who is successful in this field or someone who has at least one years experience in this field and ask them how they became successful. look after your nervous energy as it is daunting enough.choose your future role models with a positive ethos and believe in yourself as nursing is demanding and exciting .Goodluck

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