University of Hertfordshire
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Hi everyone,

With the application deadline fast approaching, we thought it would be helpful to run a Nursing Q&A session with our students, Heather and Shannon and our Admissions Manager, David Maher. We’ll be answering your questions live this Wednesday 20 December.

If you’ve got any questions at all about applying to Adult Nursing or what it’s like being an Adult Nursing student, please ask away!


Heather – I'm 32, a single mum of two (aged 7 and 13). I'm in the final year of the Adult Nursing degree, and have a passion for complex and palliative care. I've represented the University of Hertfordshire students at the contract review meeting with Health Education England. I recently featured in a newspaper ad campaign for Herts, detailing the time a member of the public had a cardiac arrest at my feet on a moving tube train- where myself and another member of the public successfully resuscitated him. I've had a variety of placements across London- from community to theatres. I've found my fellow students and tutors to be amazingly supportive of each other, each with a real drive to help each other through the course.

Shannon – I am a 3rd year Adult student nurse. I was student representative for my first two years at university and now participate in the curriculum review. I have a huge passion for empowering others and love being a nurse.

David – Admissions Tutor, Adult Nursing. I am a registered nurse and responsible for recruiting students to our various adult
nursing degree programmes. My clinical area of expertise is palliative care and I am employed as a Macmillan Senior Lecturer
delivering specialist education to various health students within the school. I hope that in both roles, I bring a commitment to enable people to fulfil their potential and hope you will ask us lots of questions today

Feel free to ask us your questions now (or let us know what you'd like us to discuss) and we’ll be answering them live on Wednesday.
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Good morning everybody!

Do you have questions about what it's like to be a student nurse at The University of Hertfordshire?

From placement experiences- to living in halls, or parenting whilst studying, myself and Shannon are here and happy to answer your questions from the student perspective!

Heather
Final year Adult Nursing BSc
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Dear all,

Did you know that students at The University of Hertfordshire have placements at some of Central London's most prestigious hospitals?

I have had the pleasure of completing a placement at the Moorfields Eye Hospital - in the theatres! I got to participate in many complex and fascinating procedures, and work within a world-class team.

Of course there are also many placements outside of London, too - from general hospitals, to specialist community teams providing front-line acute care for people at home.

I'd love to hear from you guys, ask anything!

Heather
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Charlotte's Web
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(Original post by University of Hertfordshire)
Hi everyone,

With the application deadline fast approaching, we thought it would be helpful to run a Nursing Q&A session with our students, Heather and Shannon and our Admissions Manager, David Maher. We’ll be answering your questions live this Wednesday 20 December.

If you’ve got any questions at all about applying to Adult Nursing or what it’s like being an Adult Nursing student, please ask away!


Heather – I'm 32, a single mum of two (aged 7 and 13). I'm in the final year of the Adult Nursing degree, and have a passion for complex and palliative care. I've represented the University of Hertfordshire students at the contract review meeting with Health Education England. I recently featured in a newspaper ad campaign for Herts, detailing the time a member of the public had a cardiac arrest at my feet on a moving tube train- where myself and another member of the public successfully resuscitated him. I've had a variety of placements across London- from community to theatres. I've found my fellow students and tutors to be amazingly supportive of each other, each with a real drive to help each other through the course.

Shannon – I am a 3rd year Adult student nurse. I was student representative for my first two years at university and now participate in the curriculum review. I have a huge passion for empowering others and love being a nurse.

David – Admissions Tutor, Adult Nursing. I am a registered nurse and responsible for recruiting students to our various adult
nursing degree programmes. My clinical area of expertise is palliative care and I am employed as a Macmillan Senior Lecturer
delivering specialist education to various health students within the school. I hope that in both roles, I bring a commitment to enable people to fulfil their potential and hope you will ask us lots of questions today

Feel free to ask us your questions now (or let us know what you'd like us to discuss) and we’ll be answering them live on Wednesday.
Heather - We have lots of nursing students who want to go the extra mile and now there is increasing pressure for nurses to have other achievements alongside their degree to help with employability. Do you have any advice for them? How do you find out about all these opportunities? How do you balance this extra work alongside having a family and the demands of the course?

Shannon - What experiences have had the most impact on you while you were studying? Lots of students are shy and don't feel able to empower others, do you have any advice for them? How do you think being a student representative has impacted on your work as a nurse?

David - What sort of route did you take to get to your current position? We have lots of students who have an interest in palliative care or lecturing but aren't sure how to get there. Also, what are the top stand out aspects of a brilliant nursing application in your opinion? Do you have any other advice for applicants to help them stand out and prove their potential?
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(Original post by Charlotte's Web)
Heather - We have lots of nursing students who want to go the extra mile and now there is increasing pressure for nurses to have other achievements alongside their degree to help with employability. Do you have any advice for them? How do you find out about all these opportunities? How do you balance this extra work alongside having a family and the demands of the course?

Shannon - What experiences have had the most impact on you while you were studying? Lots of students are shy and don't feel able to empower others, do you have any advice for them? How do you think being a student representative has impacted on your work as a nurse?

David - What sort of route did you take to get to your current position? We have lots of students who have an interest in palliative care or lecturing but aren't sure how to get there. Also, what are the top stand out aspects of a brilliant nursing application in your opinion? Do you have any other advice for applicants to help them stand out and prove their potential?
Charlotte's Web- While studying I think the thing that has impacted me most would have to be practice placements. One key moment for me in placement was the appreciation and connection that I received from a palliative patient and their family, that moment really reminded me of why I'm doing my training and even if it gets tough that it's all worth it for the patients you help.

In respect to empowering others I think it is a skill that I have developed throughout the course and will be something that comes in time to students who are shy. But within the nursing profession you always feel supported and safe, so once you feel confident enough you will want to support and guide others.

Being a student representative gave me a greater understanding of how the university and placements work, it also gave me the ability to give feedback between staff and students. Being student rep also meant I got to know lots of the teaching staff, fellow students and practice coordinators which enabled me to feel more confident in seeking support when needed. It also is a great thing to have on your CV.

Shannon
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(Original post by Charlotte's Web)
Heather - We have lots of nursing students who want to go the extra mile and now there is increasing pressure for nurses to have other achievements alongside their degree to help with employability. Do you have any advice for them? How do you find out about all these opportunities? How do you balance this extra work alongside having a family and the demands of the course?

Shannon - What experiences have had the most impact on you while you were studying? Lots of students are shy and don't feel able to empower others, do you have any advice for them? How do you think being a student representative has impacted on your work as a nurse?

David - What sort of route did you take to get to your current position? We have lots of students who have an interest in palliative care or lecturing but aren't sure how to get there. Also, what are the top stand out aspects of a brilliant nursing application in your opinion? Do you have any other advice for applicants to help them stand out and prove their potential?
Hello!

I have found that the University of Herts offer many opportunities to participate in things which boost employability. They are offered via email to the entire cohort, or in lectures - where a sign-up sheet is made available. They generally only take a few hours or a day, yet give you so much in return, and often are counted towards your placement hours.

My biggest tip is to just say YES! Every opportunity that comes your way during your time at University will enrich your resume and open yourself up to further offers. I also gained skills through these experiences which will undoubtedly help me during interviews and in nursing practice.

For example - by representing the cohort at the Heath Education England contract review meeting I learned about how the recruitment process works. I met and spoke with the VIPs in healthcare education, and was able to give them insight into the student experience of studying, which had the potential to influence policy changes.

I've been a part of focus group studies for external groups - such as Capital Nurse. They are seeking to recruit and retain NHS nurses within London, so it was a great opportunity to get my name out there with future employers.

I have also found that the placement providers often offer extra training and certificates during placement hours, which is fantastic! I have certification in tonnes of additional competences, such as advanced infection control, syringe drivers, and even training in psychological and spiritual skills in palliative care.

I also helped facilitate training for first year pharmacy students in inter-disciplinary communication.

All of these experiences will be included in my resume!

The best part for me, though is that I have discovered that I am capable of so much more than I ever thought possible - and my children are so proud of me! It IS possible to do this course AND be a parent. The key is time-keeping and enjoying your kids at any and every opportunity. I work on assignments whilst they're at school (or when they're doing their homework), and then spend time with them.

Heather
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After qualifying (over 30 years ago!) I worked in a general ward for 18 months which was great to gain confidence. During this time, I developed a real interest in palliative care and secured a job in a
hospice as a staff nurse. Then I became a charge nurse (ward sister). Then I became a specialist in palliative care and worked in this role in a hospital setting and then in the community. After these roles, I decided to take up my current post as Macmillan Senior Lecturer. I am very lucky to have such a fabulous job and have completed various degrees during my career! Lots of my friends became managers ad others have remained very much 'at the coal face' and I think that is the beauty of adult nursing, there is a world of possibilities.

My advice to all nursing applicants is very simple...be prepared! Read about NHS values and about nursing and consider whether you can uphold these values and the public service ethos that is required of us all. As a nurse, you have to give of yourself, it is not enough to simply 'do the job'. A stand out applicant is hard to define but I think it is one who is clear, confident and precise in their personal statement and then at interview, demonstrates good social skills and genuine enthusiasm for the profession and for learning. I think nursing thrives on diversity but kindness is a universal quality that I would highlight.

David Maher - Admissions Tutor
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alleycat393
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What are the biggest challenges nursing students face that are different from what they may have done while at school and how can they prepare for that transition to studying nursing at degree level?

Do you have any advice for students suffering from mental health issues? Should they apply? Will the issues hold them back? Should they declare their issues, when and what kind of support is available? Any tips on coping with some of the triggers that nursing students may have to deal with as part of the course?
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(Original post by alleycat393)
What are the biggest challenges nursing students face that are different from what they may have done while at school and how can they prepare for that transition to studying nursing at degree level?

Do you have any advice for students suffering from mental health issues? Should they apply? Will the issues hold them back? Should they declare their issues, when and what kind of support is available? Any tips on coping with some of the triggers that nursing students may have to deal with as part of the course?
Thank you for the questions,
It's been a long time since I was in school or college so I will leave that question for Shannon!

As for the mental health issues - I have chronic depression and anxiety. I told the University and they have been amazingly supportive! There is a student wellbeing service, a personal tutor to talk to and occupational health. There are times when triggers such as tiredness or dealing with very ill patients, but again the personal tutors are always on hand to help you through this, and counselling services are available. Also, the culture of acceptance and support amongst fellow students is fab, we have formed close bonds by sharing experiences and often meet up for socials!

The University have helped me shake the self-imposed feeling that my condition meant I couldn't achieve my dreams, and empowered me to far exceed them

Heather
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(Original post by alleycat393)
What are the biggest challenges nursing students face that are different from what they may have done while at school and how can they prepare for that transition to studying nursing at degree level?

Do you have any advice for students suffering from mental health issues? Should they apply? Will the issues hold them back? Should they declare their issues, when and what kind of support is available? Any tips on coping with some of the triggers that nursing students may have to deal with as part of the course?
For me personally I have dyslexia and dyspraxia so found the transition from school to university difficult in the context of writing academic essays. However, the university and student wellbeing are always supportive and give several tools such as counselling, tips for studying and academic writing. There is also a wide variety of support when it comes to research, planning and writing, some of these are staff at the Library, lecturers and there are specialised staff who can help with academic writing and literature searching.

I also suffer from anxiety and have been supported by university so well and Heather has highlighted a lot on the subject already, but it is not something that will hold you back on this course, in some respects it gives you a wider understanding of how others feel and this is a great quality to have as a nurse.

Shannon
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[Moving away from home is going to be hard but also exciting in equal measure. As a nursing student, you have to manage placements as well as a heavy academic workload and also deal with the emotional impact caring for people may have on you. Additionally, whilst being independent and away from home is great, all of a sudden you will have to cook your own dinner, do your own washing and will be responsible for making your own decisions! I think the best thing you can do now is to think and be realistic. How do you know when you are stressed and how good you are at asking for help and support? Keeping in touch with friends and family can help in the early days (a familiar voice) . Make it your mission to make new friends on the course and to embrace the world you have entered into. Join clubs and societies etc to help this. Probably most important of all is to remember that all new starters are in the same position and would welcome a friendly hello from you as much as you would welcome a hello from them. Talk to tutors as soon as you can so they can offer help, reassurance and advice as needed (all students have a personal tutor). Take time to read the course website and understand what is expected of you, and what you can expect of others and plan ahead...that way you will make the most of your time.

As for mental health, nurses reflect the rest of society and there is no reason why you should not apply. I would recommend that you talk to your psychiatrist/therapist if you have specific doubts or concerns about the impact of your illness on your desire to become a nurse. You are also welcome to talk to the tutors at open days who will be able to talk to individually about your worries/concerns etc. We have an excellent wellbeing service which offers a wide range of services such as counselling. You can find details of this on the university website.
David
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To anyone:

Are you concerned about funding pressures on the NHS and how this might impact on the number of students wishing to study nursing?
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Good question but sadly one that is very hard to answer!

The NHS has been a tremendous success and has always struggled with balancing costs of delivering high quality care with limited funds. These concerns have been a feature of the service since its birth in the late 1940s. As a nurse, you learn how to manage resources really well and also learn how to make the system work for the particular patient you are caring for - decision making is a real skill that nurses posses. As such, I am pretty confident that the nurses we are currently educating will be able to face future challenges very well indeed.

Whilst the abolition of the NHS bursary has impacted on nurse recruitment in the short term, this is only part of the story. The development of new roles such as Associate Nurses and the potential of apprenticeship routes into nursing will give lots of people an opportunity to fulfil their ambition to become a nurse in new and exciting ways. All I can say is that if you want to care, and have the right values, don't be out off by such worries and focus instead on which course is for you. Visit open days and talk to the nurses there, they will help you!


David
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  1. Hi Heather

    I just received an invite for interview yesterday however I’m confused and would like to asked you or anyone who can help why the university of Hertfordshire have interviews on few dates in January and Feb however some of the middle ones are filled which leaves late jan and early feb.

    If it is the 15th January start don’t you think it would of have only Jan for interviews. Interviews are still open for the beginning of Jan which I think it’s a little soon for me as I need to prepare. The Middle of Jan are filled and so I chose the ending of Jan. Do you think choosing the last of Jan means I’m still on the January intake or a different intake?

    Looking forward to hear from you.

    Best Wishes
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(Original post by nixon58)
  1. Hi Heather

    I just received an invite for interview yesterday however I’m confused and would like to asked you or anyone who can help why the university of Hertfordshire have interviews on few dates in January and Feb however some of the middle ones are filled which leaves late jan and early feb.

    If it is the 15th January start don’t you think it would of have only Jan for interviews. Interviews are still open for the beginning of Jan which I think it’s a little soon for me as I need to prepare. The Middle of Jan are filled and so I chose the ending of Jan. Do you think choosing the last of Jan means I’m still on the January intake or a different intake?

    Looking forward to hear from you.

    Best Wishes
When are you looking to start university? January 2019?
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When are you looking to start university? January 2019?

Hi Heather,

I applied for the January 2018 intake which commences on the 15th i think however, due to these dates that was given to choose from for an interview, i am beginning to question is the start date really on the 15th of Jan. I choose the ending of Jan for my interview as i was given an invitation on the 22/12/17 which i'm away and won't be back until after the 10/01/18.

Could you please look into the start dates for me for 2018 as this would bring me some consolation.

I would like to thank you very much in advance.

Best Wishes
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Hello you beautiful people

I am a second year adult nursing student.
I seem to be doing okay whilst out on placement.
However, I am not academic in any way and seem to struggle to learn from my modules.
I have managed to gain a 71.6% average from my first year, but am finding this year really tough.
One module in particular seems to be my nemesis at the moment.
I feel if I could find some examples of the multiple choice questions which may be similar to my upcoming exam, the penny might finally drop.
I am looking for exam preparation MCQs for an Applied Life Sciences exam.

Any help would be gratefully accepted.
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(Original post by nixon58)
Hi Heather,

I applied for the January 2018 intake which commences on the 15th i think however, due to these dates that was given to choose from for an interview, i am beginning to question is the start date really on the 15th of Jan. I choose the ending of Jan for my interview as i was given an invitation on the 22/12/17 which i'm away and won't be back until after the 10/01/18.

Could you please look into the start dates for me for 2018 as this would bring me some consolation.

I would like to thank you very much in advance.

Best Wishes
Hi nixon58


Sorry for the delay in getting back to you. I think it would be best for you to email [email protected] who can contact our Nursing team and check on the dates for you. Make sure to include your UCAS application number in your email.

Hope that helps, if you have any other questions please let me know.

Thanks,
Heather
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