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Table of Contents

Introduction 1

About This Book 1

Conventions Used in This Book 2

What You're Not to Read 2

Foolish Assumptions 2

How This Book is Organised 3

Part I: Getting Started with a Career in Nursing 4

Part II: Focusing on Your Personal Development 4

Part III: Preparing to Apply 4

Part IV: Perfecting Your Application 4

Part V: Attending Selection Days And Beyond 5

Part VI: The Part of Tens 5

Icons Used in This Book 5

Where to Go from Here 6

Part I: Getting Started with a Career in Nursing 7 Chapter 1: Getting to Know Nursing 9

Defining the Nursing Profession 9

Understanding the Role of the Nursing and Midwifery Council 12

Outlining the Role of the Nurse 14

Examining Who Goes into Nursing 16

Seeing Where Nurses Work 17

The National Health Service 18

The independent sector 19

The armed forces 20

Voluntary services 20

Nursing overseas 21

Training to Become a Nurse 21

Chapter 2: Exploring Your Options: Nursing Fields 25

Looking at the Nursing Field Ratios 25

Adult Nursing 26

Recognising the scope of adult nursing 26

Understanding the role of the adult nurse 27

Seeing where adult nurses work 28

Looking at key tasks 29

Children's Nursing 29

Understanding the role of the children's nurse 30

Seeing where children's nurses work 31

Looking at key tasks 32

Mental Health Nursing 32

Defining mental health 32

Understanding the role of the mental health nurse 34

Seeing where mental health nurses work 34

Looking at key tasks 35

Learning Disabilities Nursing 36

Defining learning disabilities 36

Understanding the role of the learning disabilities nurse 37

Seeing where learning disabilities nurses work 38

Looking at key tasks 38

Separating Nursing Fields from Other Professions 39

Midwifery versus children's nursing 39

Social work versus learning disabilities nursing 40

Care work versus nursing 41

Part II: Focusing on Your Personal Development 43 Chapter 3: Weighing Academic Qualifications 45

Charting Your Academic Path 46

Still at school 46

Applicants with life experience 47

Why Currency Counts: Assessing Your Study Skills 48

Back to Basics: GCSEs 50

Getting the Points 51

Aiming for A-levels (Advanced General Certificate of Education) 52

Choosing your subjects 53

Getting the grades 54

Getting Down to Business with BTECs 55

Choosing your subjects 55

Getting the grades 56

Scottish Qualifications 56

Talking About Access 57

Choosing your subjects 58

Getting the grades 58

Is Access suitable for me? 59

Certificates, Foundation and University Degrees 60

Tasting the Fruit of Experience: APEL 62

Using Foreign Qualifications 63

Chapter 4: Professional Requirements: How Do You Rate? 65

Reviewing Your Fitness to Practise 66

Monitoring Your Professional Behaviour 67

'Ello, 'Ello: Examining Your Criminal Record 67

Infractions you can live with 69

Convictions incompatible with nursing 69

Taking Health and Wellbeing into Consideration 70

Health issues and adjustments 71

Situations that present a challenge 72

Dealing with Disability 72

Making every effort 73

When adjustments just can't be made 74

Chapter 5: Proving Your People Skills 77

Understanding Nursing Behaviours and Values 77

Health boards 78

NMC 79

Considering Caring Characteristics 79

Assessing your attitude 79

Exploring your behaviour 80

Showing Compassion 81

Proving Your Commitment 82

Communicating Effectively 84

Email etiquette 85

Telephone manner 86

Body language 87

Chapter 6: Gaining Care Experience 89

Understanding the Role of Care Experience 89

Putting a Plan Together 90

Working within the NHS 92

Weighing up the pros and cons 92

Getting your foot in the door 93

Turning to the Private Sector 96

Weighing up the pros and cons 96

Getting your foot in the door 97

Volunteering for a Charity 99

Weighing up the pros and cons 99

Getting your foot in the door 100

Building Personal Experiences 101

Part III: Preparing to Apply 103 Chapter 7: Understanding the Nursing Programme 105

Overviewing the Programme 105

Understanding the NMC requirements 106

Surveying the academic teaching methods 108

Considering patterns of work 109

Focusing on Academic Study 112

Seeing the breadth of subjects covered 112

Taking academic assessments 113

Getting to Grips with Clinical Study 114

Covering the Essential Skills Clusters 114

Assessing you in practice 115

Understanding the Roles of Staff Members 116

The academic tutor 116

The personal tutor 116

The nurse mentor 117

Chapter 8: Exploring Universities 119

Probing Programme Particulars 120

Checking that the university offers the right course 120

Looking at length of study 120

Noting start and finish dates 122

Tallying study hours 123

Working in clinical practice 124

Checking out the day-to-day structure 125

Looking at Location 125

Being close to home, or far away? 125

Finding the type of campus to suit you 126

Getting there and back again 126

Considering Bed and Board 127

Exploring Extra-Curricular Activities 128

Scoping social activities 128

Overseas opportunities 129

Perusing Student Information Websites 129

The National Student Survey (NSS) 130

Key information sets on Unistats 130

Discussion boards and forums 131

Considering the Competition 131

Knowing what you're up against 132

Choosing a geographical area 133

Chapter 9: Making the Most of Open Days and Visits 135

Planning Prior to Your Visit 136

On the Day: Meeting Staff and Students 137

Knowing who's who 137

Making a good impression 139

Evaluating the University 140

Taking Advantage of Other Visits and Tours 141

Summer schools and taster courses 141

Campus tours 141

Applicant visit days 142

Chapter 10: Money Matters 143

Tallying the Costs of Your Education 143

Academic fees 144

The cost of applying to university 145

Clinical expenses 146

Housing considerations 148

Living expenses 150

Getting Financial Support 151

Help with entry qualification costs 151

Grants, loans and bursaries 152

Scholarships 155

Tax allowances 156

Hardship funds 156

Part IV: Perfecting Your Application 159 Chapter 11: Following the UCAS Process 161

Understanding UCAS 161

Mapping Out the Application Process 162

When to apply: The dates you need to know 163

How to apply: Organising your application 164

Managing Rejections 165

Using UCAS Extra: Having the extra choice 165

Going into clearing: Seeking those unfilled places 166

Receiving Offers 167

Chapter 12: Writing Your Personal Statement 169

Understanding the Rules 170

Looking at What You Include 171

Selecting information 171

Sharing your own ideas only 172

Being truthful 172

Using experiences to show key skills and qualities 173

Thinking about How You Write 175

Keeping the audience in mind 176

Structuring carefully 176

Making the most of every word 177

Proofreading to weed out mistakes 178

Avoiding Pitfalls 179

Chapter 13: Finding Solid References 181

Deciding Who to Ask For a Reference 181

Your academic tutor 182

Your employer 183

Your care colleague 184

Your family, friends and acquaintances 185

Looking at the Content of a Reference 185

Taking Responsibility for the References 186

Keeping an eye on deadlines 187

Discussing references with referees 187

Part V: Attending Selection Days . . .And Beyond 189 Chapter 14: Attending the Selection Day 191

Understanding the Basics of Selection Days 192

Running through a typical day 192

Identifying the selection team 193

Scoring candidates 194

Getting Ready for Selection Days 195

Confirming your attendance 195

Collecting documents and paperwork 196

Planning your outfit 197

Making travel arrangements 198

Keeping contact details current 199

Coping on the Day 199

Weighing up the competition 199

Controlling the signals you send out 200

Heading home at the end of the day 202

Chapter 15: Preparing for Assessments 203

Finding Out About Tests 204

Exploring Numeracy Tests 205

What to expect 205

How to prepare 206

Getting to Grips with Literacy Tests 207

What to expect 207

How to prepare 209

Doing Practical Assessments 209

What to expect 209

How to prepare 210

Chapter 16: Excelling in the Interview 213

Following the Three Stages of the Interview 214

Warming up 214

Questions and answers 215

Winding down 215

Getting Smart about Interview Etiquette 216

Getting Experience of Interviews 217

Rehearsing Your Answers 218

Understanding the types of question 219

Looking at typical questions 221

Questioning the Selectors 224

Chapter 17: Getting Your Results and Making Decisions 227

Handling Successful Offers 228

Looking at the offers 228

Making your decision 228

Considering adjustment 230

Asking for a deferral 231

Changing your mind 233

Waiting for the course to start 233

Dealing with Disappointment 234

Rooting out the reason for the rejection 235

Looking at your options 236

Re-applying 237

Part VI: The Part of Tens 239 Chapter 18: Ten Tips for a Successful Application 241

Plan Your Time Early 241

Develop a Research Strategy 241

Talk to Other Candidates 242

Gain Expert Advice 242

Create a Good Impression 243

Remain Motivated 243

Gain Interview Experience 243

Keep in Touch 243

Get Some Life Experience 244

Put Your Documents in Order 244

Chapter 19: Ten Common Pitfalls to Navigate 245

Ignoring Entry Criteria 245

Leaving Errors in Your Application Form 246

Applying to Multiple Nursing Fields 247

Failing to Keep Contact Details Up-to-date 247

Being Complacent about the Competition 248

Confusing Your Experiences 248

Ignoring Instructions and Requests 249

Being Too Creative 249

Demonstrating Poor Communication and Social Skills 249

Lacking Integrity 250

Index 251

About the Author

Andrew Evered , RN, MSc (Econ), PGCE is a Lead Admissions Tutor and Senior Lecturer for Adult Nursing at the College of Human and Health Sciences, Swansea University, and he has extensive experience working with both undergraduate and postgraduate levels.

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