What it’s like to study BSc (Hons) Adult Nursing
I am in my first year of studying BSc (Hons) Adult Nursing and it’s going great so far! It’s actually been 13 years since I’ve been in education, so as expected it’s been a bit of a struggle to get back into it but I’ve been really enjoying it so far. I’ve worked in the healthcare industry for a while, starting out as a health care assistant and working my way up to care team manager, and then a coordinator. From there, I was certain getting a degree in Nursing was my next step so I got my Level 3 and applied to Chichester.
I saw the University had just started it’s first degree in Nursing and immediately saw myself going here. The location appealed most to me, it’s pretty much on my doorstep and the Sussex partnerships the University has were an added bonus. I have a 1 year old so being relatively close to home is what I needed and then going into the course and being a small cohort (many with children like me) has been fabulous. So rather than being with 200 odd students, it’s just a smaller group, they know us by name, they know us when they see us.
It’s just a lot more intimate and more tailored to us, it’s been excellent.
I’d be lying if I said it’s been really easy studying during Covid – it’s been a bit up and down. There have been times where the timetabling hasn’t worked for us due to commitments and the Nursing department have been really understanding and made rearrangements. We’re currently on placement and that can be tricky for me at times with childcare. But the Nursing department have been helping a lot, they do support you as much as they possibly can. So, I think it’s fair, you just have to talk to them rather than sitting there and stewing.
In terms of placements, they work with the University hospitals of Sussex, the practice development team and also the community practice development team. And then they put us in placements and we know a minimum of 4 weeks before where we’re going. We sort of work with the department or ward that you’re with for hours. So, for me I went in about 2/3 weeks before I started to sit down and do my rota with them. My ward fully understood I needed to book childcare so they worked with me for childcare. The placements themselves are done but it’s up to you to actually say ‘hello I’m here, what would you like me to do’.
When we’re not on placement, the teaching style is relatively relaxed, you’re not preached at, you’re involved. We’ve done a style where we get a topic, go off, research it, get a presentation together, come back and present it as a group. So, hands on things so when we do oral care, wound care, things like that, that’s all simulated. The Nursing building and its facilities are fantastic, from the stimulation room to the community flat, the equipment we have access to is great.
I definitely think for anybody that wants to do this it’s a fantastic opportunity here because you are listened to, and if you’ve got any problems they’re really approachable.
I think for me, apart from getting back into academic writing, my biggest concern was money before starting. Money is a massive thing for older students, especially with dependents. But it is about making sure you look around what you can get and what’s available to you. You’ve just got to be really dedicated. If you’re really not sure then maybe it’s not for you. If it’s really what you want to achieve then you can definitely do it with the support from the university and what we have from the NHS grants and things like that. It’s just making sure you do your research first.
Don’t ever be scared to try something new. There are people that have come straight from A-levels, we’ve got people that have done a music degree from Chichester, they’ve come from the music degree and doing Nursing which is something they’ve never done before. We’ve got someone who worked in a hospital but only in the library so never experienced hands-on care. So, people with care experience like me and people with absolutely none and we are all enjoying it!
Emma Lockhart, BSc (Hons) Adult Nursing