PintoBeans
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I just noticed a thread on my twitter feed about nursing in clearing. Currently there are 136 adult nursing courses available at 62 institutions (there are only 75 institutions that offer adult nursing). I know nursing regularly goes into clearing but as someone who works with nurses and has noticed a huge decline in staffing it's worrying.
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Charlotte's Web
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(Original post by PintoBeans)
I just noticed a thread on my twitter feed about nursing in clearing. Currently there are 136 adult nursing courses available at 62 institutions (there are only 75 institutions that offer adult nursing). I know nursing regularly goes into clearing but as someone who works with nurses and has noticed a huge decline in staffing it's worrying.
It's a bit misleading when you look at the UCAS course search, as the 136 courses includes different campuses, PGDip courses, Feb/March entry, graduate entry etc. Each provider will only have one full-time undergraduate adult nursing course. The UCAS course search doesn't tell us how many places are available at each institution, there may be 1 or 100 at each.

The cap on the number of nurse places has been increased, so essentially universities can take many more students than they did in previous years. In line with this, the number of applications is decreasing, so it isn't surprising that there appear to be more spaces in clearing.

Last year, 25900 nursing applicants were placed by 30th August, this year, it is 25350, which is a significant but not particularly worrying decrease. Interestingly, we've seen a big increase in students applying directly to clearing, with 380 last year, and 540 this year. You can see lots of data here if you're interested:
https://www.ucas.com/data-and-analys...-analysis-2018
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PintoBeans
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(Original post by Charlotte's Web)
It's a bit misleading when you look at the UCAS course search, as the 136 courses includes different campuses, PGDip courses, Feb/March entry, graduate entry etc. Each provider will only have one full-time undergraduate adult nursing course. The UCAS course search doesn't tell us how many places are available at each institution, there may be 1 or 100 at each.

The cap on the number of nurse places has been increased, so essentially universities can take many more students than they did in previous years. In line with this, the number of applications is decreasing, so it isn't surprising that there appear to be more spaces in clearing.

Last year, 25900 nursing applicants were placed by 30th August, this year, it is 25350, which is a significant but not particularly worrying decrease. Interestingly, we've seen a big increase in students applying directly to clearing, with 380 last year, and 540 this year. You can see lots of data here if you're interested:
https://www.ucas.com/data-and-analys...-analysis-2018
Many uni's have chosen not to increase numbers as they can't provide placements and yeah some of them do have January and March intake but I don't know how to filter them out. I would still say it's concerning, you'd think the universities would have been more organised at the initial interview stage and taken on more students and placed a few on reserve if they had filled up and now they will likely be scrambling through trying to fill places. I know most universities take on excess students as attrition rates for nursing are still high. I do think it's something to be concerned about because if you're not concerned about it the government will do nothing to fix the ever decreasing numbers.
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Charlotte's Web
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(Original post by PintoBeans)
Many uni's have chosen not to increase numbers as they can't provide placements and yeah some of them do have January and March intake but I don't know how to filter them out. I would still say it's concerning, you'd think the universities would have been more organised at the initial interview stage and taken on more students and placed a few on reserve if they had filled up and now they will likely be scrambling through trying to fill places. I know most universities take on excess students as attrition rates for nursing are still high. I do think it's something to be concerned about because if you're not concerned about it the government will do nothing to fix the ever decreasing numbers.
Many universities are widening placement areas and are taking on the maximum students they can, or pushing placements to the limit. AFAIK there isn't a way to filter those on the UCAS course search as it isn't really optimised for nursing courses. The problem is, universities still need to maintain a certain quality of students, and if they don't make the grade at the interview stage, they are more likely to struggle with the course or drop out. A reserve list of students who are not likely to be suited to the course or manage placements is useless to the university.

I'm pretty sure whether or not I'm concerned has nothing to do with whether the government will act. The numbers this year are not a huge drop compared to last year, and clearing will remain open for a while yet so there's still time for these to increase. The government removed the bursary knowing fine well that nursing numbers would decrease. I would personally rather a slight decrease than a load of students being taken on who are not going to be of the same quality as previous cohorts.
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PintoBeans
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(Original post by Volibear)
What do you mean take on more students at the interview stage? There is likely a reason why they were rejected. Especially if they made it through based on their qualifications.
If they've been invited to interview then they've already met entry requirements. A lot of universities only give out slightly more offers than their cut offs so when students fail to ultimately meet grades or decide nursing isn't for them they have to go through clearing. It would be better to interview and provide considerably more offers than they have places and put student on reserve lists. Reserve isn't for students who failed to meet the entry requirements, more so students who did well in interviews but not as well as others.
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PintoBeans
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(Original post by Charlotte's Web)
Many universities are widening placement areas and are taking on the maximum students they can, or pushing placements to the limit. AFAIK there isn't a way to filter those on the UCAS course search as it isn't really optimised for nursing courses. The problem is, universities still need to maintain a certain quality of students, and if they don't make the grade at the interview stage, they are more likely to struggle with the course or drop out. A reserve list of students who are not likely to be suited to the course or manage placements is useless to the university.

I'm pretty sure whether or not I'm concerned has nothing to do with whether the government will act. The numbers this year are not a huge drop compared to last year, and clearing will remain open for a while yet so there's still time for these to increase. The government removed the bursary knowing fine well that nursing numbers would decrease. I would personally rather a slight decrease than a load of students being taken on who are not going to be of the same quality as previous cohorts.
Placements shouldn't be pushed to the limit, otherwise you end up with poor learning. I've seen wards pack 10 students onto 6 nurses and this was before the bursary was removed. I'm not saying they should reduce entry requirements, if anything make sure they stay competitive, but I've come across many students who were let on the course even though they didn't meet entry requirements. When you have courses like nursing, which no offense isn't a very hard course to get onto and is guaranteed to have a job at the end of it and is also important to our health system struggle to attract students that's never a good sign. I didn't think the bursary system was great either. Many students struggled financially and ended up having to leave the course, I'm just wondering what can be done to make nursing seem more appealing.
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PintoBeans
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(Original post by Volibear)
Funnily enough being a nurse is more than the grades you achieve. Just because you meet the entry requirements/look good on paper doesn't mean you have the character to be a nurse (which is something that's judged at interviews). And even if you do, having a bad interview is easily the end of the road for that cycle. Allowing a load of people through, who really shouldn't be, out of desperation isn't going to help much.
Again, I'm not saying let poor applicants through, I'm saying they need to anticipate that a lot of people will reject their offer and they should be prepared for that and probably interview more students. To interview more students they need to attract more students, and the government needs to do something to attract more students.

And I personally think the interview stage is as objective as entry requirements. Everyone is on their best behaviour, all interviewers can go on is their grades and their entrance exams
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PintoBeans
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(Original post by Volibear)
No doubt, but it's better than nothing.
But some universities accept students who don't meet the entry grades either. Losing on both sides really
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