Das Bier
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Hi,

I graduated from uni with a humanities degree a couple of years back, and I'm not happy with the outcome (yes, insert STEM laughter here), and I'm thinking of a career in nursing or another health profession.

As a plus, I have a family history of nursing - both my mother and father were and are, as well as some other medical professions in the family.

My main concerns are:

How viable is it to start nursing from scratch? Provided the NHS are willing to fund me.

How suitable is it for a male who's quite shy and introverted? (but not cripplingly so, I'd hope)

How is the availability of jobs in mental health nursing, compared to nursing in general?

Thanks
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StudentMHN
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(Original post by Das Bier)
Hi,

I graduated from uni with a humanities degree a couple of years back, and I'm not happy with the outcome (yes, insert STEM laughter here), and I'm thinking of a career in nursing or another health profession.

As a plus, I have a family history of nursing - both my mother and father were and are, as well as some other medical professions in the family.

My main concerns are:

How viable is it to start nursing from scratch? Provided the NHS are willing to fund me.

How suitable is it for a male who's quite shy and introverted? (but not cripplingly so, I'd hope)

How is the availability of jobs in mental health nursing, compared to nursing in general?

Thanks
NHS fund graduates for PGDip Nursing or the undergraduate, so you will get fees paid and at least £1000 bursary from the NHS the rest is means tested. As I'm doing the undergraduate course (as a graduate) I get a further student maintenance loan from SFE which is capped at 1800/2300. I get the minimum bursary so it's not too easy but it's feasible and I'm going to get some bank work at some point.

I'm a female who is quite shy and introverted, it's definitely something you have to work on, you can't be shy in your role but I know introverted nurses whose professional image is different to how they are in real life. You have a few years to work on it though so I wouldn't worry about not being the most chatty person, even after just one placement I have become a lot more chatty.

It's a reasonably safe bet for a career, even when the job market is at it's worst I've been told you will get work you just might not get your ideal job right away. The NHS only funds the amount they will need so it's unlikely you would find it too hard to find work.
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Das Bier
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(Original post by StudentMHN)
NHS fund graduates for PGDip Nursing or the undergraduate, so you will get fees paid and at least £1000 bursary from the NHS the rest is means tested. As I'm doing the undergraduate course (as a graduate) I get a further student maintenance loan from SFE which is capped at 1800/2300. I get the minimum bursary so it's not too easy but it's feasible and I'm going to get some bank work at some point.

I'm a female who is quite shy and introverted, it's definitely something you have to work on, you can't be shy in your role but I know introverted nurses whose professional image is different to how they are in real life. You have a few years to work on it though so I wouldn't worry about not being the most chatty person, even after just one placement I have become a lot more chatty.

It's a reasonably safe bet for a career, even when the job market is at it's worst I've been told you will get work you just might not get your ideal job right away. The NHS only funds the amount they will need so it's unlikely you would find it too hard to find work.
Wow, thanks, that answers quite a bit. Given the Bursary and student finance, I could probably study at any place outside of London.

It is something I can work on. Just a matter of confidence, I think. So we'll see.

Would it be too late to apply for nursing for 2015? And how important is work experience? (I have a fair amount, but not in healthcare) Not to bombard you with too many questions.
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StudentMHN
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It's not necessarily too late. I applied about this time last year to one university and got my interview and then offer in june. Some places will have already shut so you would probably have to contact them individually. I know some people who got in the clearing route last summer too so that's an option.

I didn't have any specific healthcare experience, I had a bit of relevant mental health experience and I tried to link other work experience to transferable skills. It's probably worth reading admissions criteria or asking uni's individually to see how strict they are on that.
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Das Bier
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(Original post by StudentMHN)
It's not necessarily too late. I applied about this time last year to one university and got my interview and then offer in june. Some places will have already shut so you would probably have to contact them individually. I know some people who got in the clearing route last summer too so that's an option.

I didn't have any specific healthcare experience, I had a bit of relevant mental health experience and I tried to link other work experience to transferable skills. It's probably worth reading admissions criteria or asking uni's individually to see how strict they are on that.
Oh, that's good. What sorts of academic qualifications did they ask you for?

I've got [redacted] excluding my degree, so my chances of getting in somewhere good are probably borderline.
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StudentMHN
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(Original post by Das Bier)
Oh, that's good. What sorts of UCAS requirements did they ask you for?

I've got 250 UCAS points excluding my degree, so my chances of getting in somewhere good are probably borderline.
My UCAS requirement were getting a C in my GCSE Maths retake, they took my degree as proof for everything else. I had less UCAS Points than that. Most places I researched took a degree result over A Levels/UCAS Points.
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Das Bier
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(Original post by StudentMHN)
My UCAS requirement were getting a C in my GCSE Maths retake, they took my degree as proof for everything else. I had less UCAS Points than that. Most places I researched took a degree result over A Levels/UCAS Points.
Even a third-class from a mid ranking uni?
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jerromem
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Hiya!

I'm about to start in September at Cov Uni doing Adult Nursing and this is my second degree too! I graduated from BCU with a degree in English in 2013. However, I always wanted to do Nursing, but didn't have any confidence to pursue it. I got a 2:2 in my first degree, but had about 300 UCAS points from ABC in English, Psychology and Geography.

I would say experience in essential! I applied in October, with none and although two offered me interviews (BCU and UoB), I was declined from Coventry University, which is the only one I wanted to go to (due to living in Coventry).

I started applying for jobs as a Healthcare Assistant in the hope I would get the experience and then apply for 2016, until I came across this new programme the Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Partnership Trust have just started rolling out. Basically, you work for six months as a Healthcare Assistant in the field of Nursing you want to study. For me, I chose Adult Nursing, and have been working for two months now with the Tissue Viability team (dealing with a lot of leg ulcers and wounds). I will also be working for a month with the District Nursing team. During this six months, I am on full time wages, working and learning a lot. This scheme works hand in hand with Coventry University, so I was interviewed by the University also, and offered an unconditional place on condition of my six months work placement being successful. They had 20 places on this scheme, but only 4 of us have been accepted this year.

As someone with no confidence at all before hand, I now feel 100% confident that this is what I want to pursue and I have the ability.

From a funding standpoint, the course itself is entirely funded by the NHS. The only other funding I will receive though, due to having already studied and having finance from student loans, is the NHS bursary.... which would no way be enough for me to have moved city and lived in Halls. As I do already live with my partner and rent privately, I'm luckily in a position where financially, I won't be too much of a burden. I do plan to work as a bank Healthcare Assistant around University while studying though, as I have met a lot of student nurses who do this and wouldn't be able to survive without this. I think the bursary will work out at perhaps 200 a month? Not enough to live off independently though. If you live alone and/or are the main provider, you may have to consider the financial costs of studying..
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Das Bier
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(Original post by MeganRosee)
Hiya!

I'm about to start in September at Cov Uni doing Adult Nursing and this is my second degree too! I graduated from BCU with a degree in English in 2013. However, I always wanted to do Nursing, but didn't have any confidence to pursue it. I got a 2:2 in my first degree, but had about 300 UCAS points from ABC in English, Psychology and Geography.

I would say experience in essential! I applied in October, with none and although two offered me interviews (BCU and UoB), I was declined from Coventry University, which is the only one I wanted to go to (due to living in Coventry).

I started applying for jobs as a Healthcare Assistant in the hope I would get the experience and then apply for 2016, until I came across this new programme the Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Partnership Trust have just started rolling out. Basically, you work for six months as a Healthcare Assistant in the field of Nursing you want to study. For me, I chose Adult Nursing, and have been working for two months now with the Tissue Viability team (dealing with a lot of leg ulcers and wounds). I will also be working for a month with the District Nursing team. During this six months, I am on full time wages, working and learning a lot. This scheme works hand in hand with Coventry University, so I was interviewed by the University also, and offered an unconditional place on condition of my six months work placement being successful. They had 20 places on this scheme, but only 4 of us have been accepted this year.

As someone with no confidence at all before hand, I now feel 100% confident that this is what I want to pursue and I have the ability.

From a funding standpoint, the course itself is entirely funded by the NHS. The only other funding I will receive though, due to having already studied and having finance from student loans, is the NHS bursary.... which would no way be enough for me to have moved city and lived in Halls. As I do already live with my partner and rent privately, I'm luckily in a position where financially, I won't be too much of a burden. I do plan to work as a bank Healthcare Assistant around University while studying though, as I have met a lot of student nurses who do this and wouldn't be able to survive without this. I think the bursary will work out at perhaps 200 a month? Not enough to live off independently though. If you live alone and/or are the main provider, you may have to consider the financial costs of studying..
Now this is something new, thanks for the heads up! I'll have to research the sorts of schemes my local trust (North Staffs) has going on.

What were the requirements to become a healthcare assistant?
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jerromem
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It really does depend on the company as to what qualifications they look for. There are some that won't employ you if you don't have six months experience, or a qualification in health and social care... but if you look, there are ones that will train you on the job! There are quite a lot in care homes that train. I have friends that recently have been hired by the NHS as Mental Health Healthcare Assistants, and they didn't have any caring experience. They love their work; very varied and interesting. I think you need C's in GCSE Maths, things like that... Also, if you can drive, that's a huge bonus. I don't drive so found it much harder applying for jobs.

Also, I should say, don't worry about being a shy, introverted person.

We are all awkward and shy at first. With experience you will be absolutely fine. This was one of the main reasons I wanted experience, as I didn't want to be awkward and shy around patients, but as long as you are empathetic with patients, are a good listener and kind, you will be fine. Oh, and try and have a hard skin. Some patients think it's fine and dandy to make remarks on personal appearance... I've also heard quite a few stories from student nurses and other HCA's of higher staff members treating them poorly... Just smile and carry on! We all have to start somewhere... it's hard starting at the bottom of something again though.
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Das Bier
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Thanks for all the advice.

I asked the uni, and they said that my qualifications are alright. Here's hoping I can start my application ASAP!
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StudentMHN
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(Original post by Das Bier)
Thanks for all the advice.

I asked the uni, and they said that my qualifications are alright. Here's hoping I can start my application ASAP!
Woo that's great! Best of luck. If you have any questions I can have a go. (I'm no expert though, lol)
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