For this blog to work, I’ve got to be honest. You’ve seen the media – NHS nurses are overworked, underpaid and stressed. Student funding has been cut across the country and the entire NHS was neglected in the autumn statement. Why on earth would I encourage you to study nursing?
It’s incredible, that’s why! Nursing is fulfilling, rewarding and is an absolutely life-changing experience. No matter who you are now, becoming a student nurse will change you. That’s what I was told when I began last year and I didn’t believe it. I do now.
I began working in learning disabilities/mental health after graduating with a psychology degree in 2012. I wasn’t sure how to progress with my career as a support worker after a few years in similar roles. I was torn between beginning a Masters in psychology or nursing in order to progress. I chose nursing because of its fantastic benefits, such as freedom to travel, knowing no two days will ever be the same and guaranteed employment in a field where I can make a real positive difference to people’s lives. It’s one of the best decisions I’ve made so far. I only wish I’d started sooner.
Theory and placement at York is split 50/50 and you’ll be supported by qualified staff with every step you take. You’ll learn how to show compassion after a 14 hour day, candour when you make your first mistake, selfless commitment on your fourth night shift, and the most amazing self discipline and time management skills running in and out of the library on your rare days off. You’ll grow and learn so much as a person, no matter what your background is. I can also guarantee the first time you make someone’s life a little better with an intervention, you’ll be so proud that you chose nursing.
I know I’m making it sound a tad stressful, and it will be in parts, but you won’t just manage. You’ll thrive. Our lecturers will see to that, with their support, attitude, practical knowledge and the passion they put into every lecture, seminar and meeting with you. All lecturing staff are qualified nursing staff, so they understand how to provide care and support both academically and emotionally. I’m still yet to stump my academic supervisor with any question or issue I’ve had!
You’ll also make a group of friends which will always be there to holistically treat you with wine; having gone through an equally crazy shift. You’ll have the best stories; non-nurses won’t even believe some of them! The non-nursing students will be in awe of how much you aren’t in bed like them. Luckily, if you choose to live on the York campus, you’ll be living with other nursing students so they won’t be able to make you jealous with their 8 hour ‘stressful’ weeks. This also means you won’t feel lonely when they all return home for summer holidays, as nursing students work 45 weeks of the year.
If you’re thinking about a nursing degree, I would encourage you to come and visit University of York. Staff and students run open days so you can ask any questions and visit our stunning campus. The Health Sciences’ department is very welcoming with large lecture theatres, a mini hospital ward for you to practice and develop clinical skills, a 24 hour library and lots of places to eat and drink.
You can also ask me any questions via this blog!