Maturestudentpg
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Hi all,

I am new to the forum and I am hoping to return to university in September 2015 to study Nursing, preferably the PGDip in Adult Nursing.

I am in the process of completing my UCAS application, currently just waiting for my reference to be completed. I was wondering if anybody else is hoping to follow the same path? I am applying to Kings College and City University London and I decided to apply for both the PgDip and BSc, the rationale being I cannot guarantee that I will have completed the requisite 575 hours of healthcare experience that KCL specifically looks for.

A bit about my background:
I am 29 and currently a Project Manager working in a soulless corporate environment. For a long time now I have been itching to take a change of direction and do something more rewarding with my life. I volunteer for a HIV/AIDS charity as a Home Carer for 2 hours every fortnight, this is what inspired me to pursue nursing. I'm also hoping to start volunteer work with St John Ambulance having completed First Aid training. However, this will undoubtedly come nowhere close to satisfying the 575 hour requirement for KCL. Working full time, as well as undertaking voluntary experience makes it difficult to figure out ways to realistically achieve the sufficient level of experience in a healthcare setting! I have experience of working with people with mental and physical health conditions, however this was just over 5 years ago.

I know City offer a kind of half way solution, 2years and 14 weeks for those with less healthcare experience. I was wondering if anyone else is having difficulty achieving the right level of experience? Or, has anyone got any advice on how to pad out my experience? I have been looking into HCA work, however a lot of these roles ask for previous experience.

Thanks!
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jennall
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Hello,

I am going to apply (haven't started the process, yet! ) for the PGDip in Mental Health Nursing. After completing a degree in Criminology, I felt like this was a step in the right direction for employment in a field that I have a genuine interest in. I'm thinking about applying for Kings College, City University and St Georges (the course is in partnership with Kingston University here) and possibly Middlesex University.

In terms of experience, I think you should continue with your volunteering role and do as much as you can- if you're invited for interview, perhaps you can explain that you have had to juggle a full time job and so although your experience may not suffice the 575 hours they have mentioned, it is by no means limited. I hope to start a job as a support worker in medium risk psychiatric unit (community based) but I am lucky as I am a recent graduate and have a bit more time.

I wish you all the best
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CosmicJay
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Hey jennall,

I'm applying to Mental Health Nursing courses too but I'm a bit confused how the PgDip differs from the BSc? I mean from both courses you come out with your NMC PIN - do you think the PgDip course will involve more advanced modules than the BSc?
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jennall
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Hello CosmicJay,

That's cool! Are you applying for universities in London? I'm not sure what the difference between the BSc and the PGDip is, apart from the obvious such as there is no dissertation module in the PGDip and that it takes less time to complete. It believe it is just another route into nursing, without doing an undergraduate degree in it.

I'm not sure if this helps. If you do find out, please let me know!
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ScottMcCall
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(Original post by CosmicJay)
Hey jennall,

I'm applying to Mental Health Nursing courses too but I'm a bit confused how the PgDip differs from the BSc? I mean from both courses you come out with your NMC PIN - do you think the PgDip course will involve more advanced modules than the BSc?
I don't think they would be more advanced. I think you are just expected to cope with more that first time undergrads because you have had previous academic experience, hence why it's a shorter course!

I'm a graduate doing the 3 year course, I preferred the longer course (less stress!) and extra funding options!
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jennall
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More funding options? Tell me!
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ScottMcCall
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(Original post by jennall)
More funding options? Tell me!
Well only the one, you get an extra 2300 from student finance that you won't get on the postgrad course. Which is a lot for people like me whose bursary is minuscule.
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jennall
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Oh ok, yeah I guess that could be an incentive. Will you be studying in London?
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CosmicJay
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Ooo ScottMcCall, can I pick your brains about funding. I'm trying to get my hear around the NHS bursary's means testing! I'm classed as an independent student and am a bit nervous as to whether I'll meet the eligibility requirements for the means testing - obviously because I already have my first degree I'll get basically nothing from SFE, so the full NHS bursary is pretty crucial.

Also what do you think to your course? Everyone keeps batting on about how hard it is and how much work it is - but I'm a graduate with postgrad experience. At the same time as doing my postgrad I've worked as a support worker on a mental health unit and was quite used to doing 5/6 night shifts in a week along side studying - I'm not too worried about coping with the work load. But I will need to work whilst I'm training otherwise I won't be able to study - did you work and study? How did you find it?
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moonkatt
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(Original post by CosmicJay)
Hey jennall,

I'm applying to Mental Health Nursing courses too but I'm a bit confused how the PgDip differs from the BSc? I mean from both courses you come out with your NMC PIN - do you think the PgDip course will involve more advanced modules than the BSc?

(Original post by jennall)
Hello CosmicJay,

That's cool! Are you applying for universities in London? I'm not sure what the difference between the BSc and the PGDip is, apart from the obvious such as there is no dissertation module in the PGDip and that it takes less time to complete. It believe it is just another route into nursing, without doing an undergraduate degree in it.

I'm not sure if this helps. If you do find out, please let me know!
At the end of the course you'll be a newly qualified nurse. No different to someone with a bachelors degree. Whilst at uni I believe some of the modules are marked at a higher level though and can count towards a masters in the longer term.
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CosmicJay
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(Original post by moonkatt)
At the end of the course you'll be a newly qualified nurse. No different to someone with a bachelors degree. Whilst at uni I believe some of the modules are marked at a higher level though and can count towards a masters in the longer term.
Then wouldn't this help with career progression and getting a band 6 job. I mean if your PgDip modules count towards your MSc modules then that means your closer to getting a masters which is a big requirement for Clinical Lead roles.

What I mean is isn't a PgDip a more efficient use of your time and a better way to spend the money?
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moonkatt
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(Original post by CosmicJay)
Then wouldn't this help with career progression and getting a band 6 job. I mean if your PgDip modules count towards your MSc modules then that means your closer to getting a masters which is a big requirement for Clinical Lead roles.

What I mean is isn't a PgDip a more efficient use of your time and a better way to spend the money?
Depends on where you work. It wouldn't get you a band 6 any quicker in some environments because the qualifications they expect you to have have to relate to that clinical environment.
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ScottMcCall
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(Original post by CosmicJay)
Ooo ScottMcCall, can I pick your brains about funding. I'm trying to get my hear around the NHS bursary's means testing! I'm classed as an independent student and am a bit nervous as to whether I'll meet the eligibility requirements for the means testing - obviously because I already have my first degree I'll get basically nothing from SFE, so the full NHS bursary is pretty crucial.

Also what do you think to your course? Everyone keeps batting on about how hard it is and how much work it is - but I'm a graduate with postgrad experience. At the same time as doing my postgrad I've worked as a support worker on a mental health unit and was quite used to doing 5/6 night shifts in a week along side studying - I'm not too worried about coping with the work load. But I will need to work whilst I'm training otherwise I won't be able to study - did you work and study? How did you find it?
I'm not a 100% sure about being classed as independent as I was still dependent on my parents when I applied. But the criteria is here: http://www.nhsbsa.nhs.uk/Students/Do...29_07.2014.pdf
As long as you meet this criteria you will be judged on your own income.

I'm only about a month and a half into 1st year so I'm not an expert. I don't currently work but I know people who do. You need flexible hours and an understanding employer really, during course time it's quite easy to be able to say what days/hours you can do. While on placement it's harder to guarentee hours as it is basically a full time job, although I'm told it's doable. Bare in mind your uni and placement won't be sympathetic about PT work.

It's doable, a lot of people work and do a nursing degree. As long as you can time manage and you have a flexible job it would be okay.
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JennieS90
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(Original post by CosmicJay)
Ooo ScottMcCall, can I pick your brains about funding. I'm trying to get my hear around the NHS bursary's means testing! I'm classed as an independent student and am a bit nervous as to whether I'll meet the eligibility requirements for the means testing - obviously because I already have my first degree I'll get basically nothing from SFE, so the full NHS bursary is pretty crucial.

Also what do you think to your course? Everyone keeps batting on about how hard it is and how much work it is - but I'm a graduate with postgrad experience. At the same time as doing my postgrad I've worked as a support worker on a mental health unit and was quite used to doing 5/6 night shifts in a week along side studying - I'm not too worried about coping with the work load. But I will need to work whilst I'm training otherwise I won't be able to study - did you work and study? How did you find it?
I am in a similar position. Graduate, probably classed as independent. You will get enough bursary to cover rent unless you are making an awful lot of money now (like by my parents income I still get enough for almost 400 a month). We ARE entitled to sfe help, just over 2000 a year in loan, not means tested. Then I plan to work too. Bank shifts as a HCA- choose your own hours and extra pay at weekends. Other students I have met at work have found it easy enough to manage. It will be tough financially but totally achievable.
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Sulihat
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Good luck to everyone, I am more concerned with the selection day as maths is not an issue but essay writing. Please if anyone gets an invitation first, can you be kind enough to let me know what the essay questions are. I have applied to Greenwich uni, KCL, City Uni, Kingston uni and LSBU. Thanks guys!
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Kingston University
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(Original post by Sulihat)
Good luck to everyone, I am more concerned with the selection day as maths is not an issue but essay writing. Please if anyone gets an invitation first, can you be kind enough to let me know what the essay questions are. I have applied to Greenwich uni, KCL, City Uni, Kingston uni and LSBU. Thanks guys!

Hi Sulihat,

It's great that you're applying to Kingston! Please let me know if you have any questions or if I can help in any way.

Chloe
Student Ambassador
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meggers_b
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(Original post by JennieS90)
I am in a similar position. Graduate, probably classed as independent. You will get enough bursary to cover rent unless you are making an awful lot of money now (like by my parents income I still get enough for almost 400 a month). We ARE entitled to sfe help, just over 2000 a year in loan, not means tested. Then I plan to work too. Bank shifts as a HCA- choose your own hours and extra pay at weekends. Other students I have met at work have found it easy enough to manage. It will be tough financially but totally achievable.
Hi, as a current PgDip student at soton, please do not rely on getting anything from student finance! As a cohort, a lot of us had issues trying to get student loans only to find out we didn't actually qualify for them due to having done previous degrees. We spoke to many people at student finance, many giving different advice, and after going back and forth between sfe and uni we were advised we were entitled to nothing. Unfortunately I don't know the ins and outs of why we were refused as it was mainly one person acting as mediator between uni and sfe, just please don't rely on getting one! As a graduate and unfortunately classed as dependent, I'm expected to live on £83 a month :/
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ScottMcCall
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(Original post by meggers_b)
Hi, as a current PgDip student at soton, please do not rely on getting anything from student finance! As a cohort, a lot of us had issues trying to get student loans only to find out we didn't actually qualify for them due to having done previous degrees. We spoke to many people at student finance, many giving different advice, and after going back and forth between sfe and uni we were advised we were entitled to nothing. Unfortunately I don't know the ins and outs of why we were refused as it was mainly one person acting as mediator between uni and sfe, just please don't rely on getting one! As a graduate and unfortunately classed as dependent, I'm expected to live on £83 a month :/
BSc Nursing students who are graduates are entitled. (I am doing the BSc as a grad) PGDip students aren't. It's technically a higher qualification I think and that's why.

Yeah I have the £83 a month from my bursary and my SFE (If they ever process my application that is) and I am going to be broke for the next three years haha, let alone just having the bursary.
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InArduisFouette
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(Original post by CosmicJay)
Hey jennall,

I'm applying to Mental Health Nursing courses too but I'm a bit confused how the PgDip differs from the BSc? I mean from both courses you come out with your NMC PIN - do you think the PgDip course will involve more advanced modules than the BSc?
The practice outcomes are at the same academics levles ug or PG ,in the PG versions of a course you will be expected to pbe producing NQF 7 academic work .

There is little to be gained from a PGDip in the initial period post registration and you may create a rod for your own back when doing SLiP having to do at at level 7 rather than 6

You also have to remember that many ward managers and the majority of Nurse Managers are traditionally trained and feel threatened by graduate never mind post graduate Nurses
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Maturestudentpg
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(Original post by zippyRN)
The practice outcomes are at the same academics levles ug or PG ,in the PG versions of a course you will be expected to pbe producing NQF 7 academic work .

There is little to be gained from a PGDip in the initial period post registration and you may create a rod for your own back when doing SLiP having to do at at level 7 rather than 6

You also have to remember that many ward managers and the majority of Nurse Managers are traditionally trained and feel threatened by graduate never mind post graduate Nurses
Your claims are interesting. How have you come to this conclusion? Have you spoken with many qualified nurses and/or healthcare practitioners?
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