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    Hi all. I am currently in my second year of uni doing a humanities subject (archaeology and anthropology at Cambridge). I've been researching careers and have become very attracted to a career in mental health nursing (I won't bore you with the details but it seems perfect!). However I'm very confused about the process of training for graduates in nursing. Here's my rather large list of queries.

    1) I've seen a lot about the phasing out of diplomas. Accelerated graduate courses are diplomas, so will they even be around when I've graduated (summer 2012)? I'm not sure that I could face three years more until employment! Also I understand that there are funding differenced between diplomas and degrees?

    2) I don't really even know what the entry requirements are, as I have seen some people writing that you need a highly health-related degree, whereas in other places it isn't specified at all. For example the King's college course requirements state "a good Second Class Honours Degree (or equivalent) and social/healthcare related experience"; Nottingham says "degrees in the following fields are of particular relevance to this course: biological sciences, social sciences, psychology, behavioural sciences, and health studies" but social sciences covers so many courses!? I don't see a reason why I would not be able to do a mental health course with my current education - I know archaeology and anthropology isn't exactly related but I consider myself an intelligent enough person (sorry, that sounds so arrogant...) and I'm used to working very hard. I see no reason that, given the training, I could not apply myself to become a good mental health nurse.

    3) I appreciate that I would need to get healthcare experience to show that I am suited to nursing (and I want to as I think I would really enjoy it). How much experience are you expected to have and of what sort?

    Basically, I really believe that this is what I want to do and could be good at, I just hope that there aren't too many obstacles ahead of me! I am willing to put in the graft to get there. I'd appreciate any thoughts from people who have taken this route.

    Thanks!
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    I don't think there are any plans to phase out the postgraduate diploma in nursing. As far as I am aware they will still be available in 2012. I think it is just the undergraduate diploma that is being stopped. The funding for the post grad diploma is pretty good it’s exactly the same as the undergrad diploma so no more student loans or tuition fees to pay for.

    As for entry requirements these seem to change between universities. My course has people with all kinds of degrees from Pure Maths to Film studies. Most people on the course have worked in healthcare in one role or another although not all have. Others I looked at required a healthcare related degree.

    If you want some experience see if your student union has any volunteer opportunities that you might think are relevant or look into local mental health services you might be able to volinteer for. It always looks good on an application.
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    I'd contact the universities in question as supposedly diplomas are being phased out in favour of having nurses with the full degree under their belts.

    Also, given the 2 year course is a PG diploma, how does that come under funding (out of interest) given that it's actually a postgraduate course, not an undergraduate one?
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    (Original post by apotoftea)
    I'd contact the universities in question as supposedly diplomas are being phased out in favour of having nurses with the full degree under their belts.

    Also, given the 2 year course is a PG diploma, how does that come under funding (out of interest) given that it's actually a postgraduate course, not an undergraduate one?
    PGDips are staying although coming under the nane of graduate entry nursing now, its the dipHE thats being stopped, this year in fact...infact the pgdip is increasing as a more favourable way of going into nursing. Its a non-income asessed award for the time being although i suspect this will change- we'll find out to what spring 2011. Entry requirwments are institution based, if you're unsure contact the universities.

    I should point out however, im sure your bright however being a good nurse has very little to do with intelligence and knowledge but common sense, communication and ability to be flexible in situations your faced. I'd say this to all prospective students- you'd never know you want to be a nurse as its never what you expect. The course although you'll be asessed in some exams they'll be around clinical skills, self-evaluation of practice and application of agencies within nursing and care.

    I'd reccomend 2 work experience stints in a variety of settings. Eg a day hospital for dementia patients and then maybe a carers group? check out community groups, hospitals, respite centres etc.
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    Thanks everyone, that's all really useful. Glad to hear that the graduate course will still be going. I'm going to talk to the careers service people for more advice when I get back to uni and take it from there.

    (Original post by Subcutaneous)
    I should point out however, im sure your bright however being a good nurse has very little to do with intelligence and knowledge but common sense, communication and ability to be flexible in situations your faced. I'd say this to all prospective students- you'd never know you want to be a nurse as its never what you expect. The course although you'll be asessed in some exams they'll be around clinical skills, self-evaluation of practice and application of agencies within nursing and care.

    I'd reccomend 2 work experience stints in a variety of settings. Eg a day hospital for dementia patients and then maybe a carers group? check out community groups, hospitals, respite centres etc.
    I totally understand. I don't think that just because I've gone down a very bookish and academic route that I'm well qualified, quite the opposite really; in a way I've come to see the course and uni I'm at as a sort of deficiency because it's stopped me developing the sorts of skills that are vital in so many professions. I've done a lot of volunteering with people with learning difficulties so I feel ok that I have a decent level of communication skills in this context, but of course I'm going to attempt to get a lot more experience. I want to experience as much as possible, because it would be awful to enter the process of training only to find out that I hate it!
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    Hi!

    I've been offered places on PgDip Nursing courses and the tutors have told me that while nursing is moving to an all graduate profession, that doesn't have to be a degree in nursing. As a PgDip student you automatically meet this requirement so these courses will still run.

    The funding is the same for PgDip as for the undergraduate diploma. It's non-means tested and (last time I checked) £6701 pa.

    My degree is in teaching and I still got offers. The courses ask for evidence of prior learning that is relevant to the course. The universities have each done this differently so you'd need to ask them more about that.

    Luckily I have three years experience as a Healthcare Assistant. You don't need nearly that much but you could try getting a part time job or volunteering working with people with mental health problems. The tutors want to know that you fully understand the role of the nurse in the branch that you are applying for and that you have shown commitment and enthusiasm to that particular branch (in your case mental health).

    I hope that is helpful.
 
 
 
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