The Student Room Group

How can I prepare myself for a mental health nursing degree as mature student?


I am looking to apply to do mental health nursing as a mature student 2024/2025.

I previously did a year of mental health nursing in 2012 and I prior to that had experience working in care in a dementia unit for 3 years, which is how I got in before. I had to leave due to domestic violence and I am now looking to return.

What I am asking is, what is the best way in the next year to prepare myself for reapplying and put myself in the best possible position? I have this prior experience, plus in recent years I have become a qualified foster carer so have done recent courses in infant mental health, child develoment, adverse life experiences and first aid etc, though these have been courses done through the local council, not GCSE's and A-levels. What else can I do to ensure I'm a good candidate? Should I be concentrating on some volunteer work? Anatomy and physiology courses etc?

Any advice is welcome and if anyone has any idea whether I will be eligible for the NHS bursary again, I really would appreciate signposting.
Reply 1
I'm going to study mental health nursing this year in September. When I did my interviews, they really liked the fact I mentioned safeguarding, complaint procedures, balancing compassion with competence. They also appreciated my work experience, which was only 110 hours as a volunteer in hospital and 5 days of experience as a BTEC student nurse. But, I feel because I only just turned 18 two days ago, they weren't too fussy on my experience and more on academic criteria. I heard that anatomy and physiology is often hard in regards to Uni, but you should probably just revise it, not use to make it into the course. I'm sure all your other experience will absolutely help. But expressing knowledge on policies and procedures will help you get in (like safeguarding and wellbeing, complaint procedures, multidisciplinary delegation, etc) Based on what you've stated, I'm sure you have a good shot making it in. And from my knowledge, all student nurses who do placement (mandatory to the course) receive an NHS bursary for each year you do placement. Good luck though x

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