The first thing to mention is the biggest difference between first and second term for us nursing students – starting placements. I love how nursing at York integrates placements so early into the course. At first, I was not looking forward to starting placements because I was really enjoying full-time student life. I had finally fallen into some type of routine – I was convinced these placements were going to ruin everything. I was pleasantly surprised to find that was not the case. Don’t get me wrong, I have completely ditched my original routine (it hasn’t been all sunshine and rainbows), but it has allowed me to learn how to be more flexible by trying to create a new one.
I also like the way the course of placements are structured. Instead of having one long placement that lasts a couple months, we have many shorter placements. I think this is great because the way I see it, there is only so much you can learn from a placement (within our capacity as student nurses), so it makes sense to move on to other organisations so you can gain varied experiences. It’s also a very hands-on approach to learning more about the nursing profession as well as getting an idea of what environment you’d thrive most in when you graduate.
Staff and student support
Secondly, it would be wrong for me not to bring light to how great the staff are. The support is here, and it presents itself in many different forms. There is financial support should you need it (to cover transportation costs of placements); you have academic support if you are struggling to digest the material; there is even support for those who think the course could be taking a toll on their mental health. When you study nursing here, you don’t feel alone, ever, and that’s such a great feeling.
One thing you will also notice is the enthusiasm of the staff. They have so much experience and they genuinely seem to love their jobs. When they are teaching it’s obvious that they are eager for that enthusiasm to transfer to students.
As someone who enjoys learning, I also appreciate how the modules are taught. It’s really easy to make learning feel like a chore, but I really value the way the course incorporates different types of learning to keep things interesting. Even in the more traditional lectures, here and there they will include a random interactive quiz which really helps you know how much you understand. I love that I have the chance to ask questions at the end if there is any spare time.
In seminars, we complete different tasks designed to really consolidate the topic. We usually work in smaller groups to answer questions or discuss focus points, then feed back to the rest of the group. This works out well, because it means that people have the opportunity to contribute to a smaller crowd if they find speaking in front of the class to be a little daunting. One seminar I particularly enjoyed was focused on anatomy. One of the activities involved naming the bones in the body; the seminar leader provided a little model skeleton, and this made things a lot easier. I find that little details like providing a visual aid for learning makes all the difference when it comes to remembering what you’ve learned long-term.
Even though I’m only in my first year of this course, I can honestly say that I have changed so much since starting university. My skill set has developed, and I have learnt so much about what nursing actually entails. I can’t wait for you to join our department and discover your own personal highlights of studying here; trust me, it will be hard not to love this place.
Read more student blogs about nursing