Blog post

How you can get a head start in your nursing career

Professor Stephen Wordsworth, Deputy Dean for the College of Health, Psychology and Social Care, explains why a March start could make all the difference to your nursing career.

7 February 2023

New opportunities and New Beginnings 

As I look out of the window this morning, there is a hard frost on the ground but the sun is shining. I can see the unmistakable tips of crocuses emerging from the hard ground. A sure sign that Spring is just around the corner. For me Spring is the point in the year where we mark the transition of the seasons, and we begin to look forward to warm months ahead. Similarly, it could well mark the start of new opportunities as well as we turn our thoughts to new adventures. This time of year can be a perfect time to stop putting of those plans of things that you have always wanted to do. Lots of you decide that this time of year is when you begin your journey towards a new rewarding and satisfying career in Nursing.

At the University of Derby, we offer March starts on our BSc (Hons) Adult Nursing course at Derby and Chesterfield, our BSc (Hons) Mental Health Nursing course at Derby only and our BSc (Hons) Children’s Nursing at Chesterfield only.

Nursing Matters

I talk to a lot of people who like you may have thought about becoming a nurse before. Many of our students have wanted to study nursing for a long time but were unable to do so for many reasons. Some of our students might not have been sure but came to one of our open days or talked to a member of staff about the fantastic opportunities that a career in nursing offers. Let’s face it there isn’t a day goes by without us hearing or watching a story in the media that some how is linked to nursing. Why is this, well because nursing is one of those careers that matters to us all. We all have a view and an opinion, and we all want to benefit from the best care we can possibly receive if, and when the time comes. Why not get in touch to see if you can play your part in the future of nursing?

For those that do get in touch, many of them gain a new appreciation of the diversity and variety of opportunities that a career in nurses can provide. There is so much that nurses can get involved in and the type of work is constantly developing and changing, no two days are the same and if you like a challenge and don’t want to limit your career opportunities the nursing might be for you. At the University of Derby, we have a long and successful track-record of being involved in nurse education. 

Over the years many of our student nurses have qualified with us and joined the nursing workforce, and many of them stay in touch and come back to develop and learn new skills throughout their careers. As a nurse you never stop learning, and this ensures that our graduates are at the forefront of providing care for patients both locally and further afield. Even as a student, you will undoubtedly share in this sense of pride and satisfaction knowing that you are playing your part as part of team and the nursing family. Nursing provides an opportunity to build a rewarding and worthwhile career, and nurses will always be needed to support our physical and mental wellbeing in a range of roles and in a variety of changing health and care settings. 

Location, location

We know that for many of our students, studying for a degree in nursing, it’s important to have choice, particularly when it comes to where to study. Combining full-time study with home and personal life can be challenging, so we appreciate that providing some flexibility can help. Depending upon your personal preferences, you can choose to study either in Derby or Chesterfield, whichever works best for you.

Our Derby Campus has all the bustle associated with student life so, if you are looking to join a society or sports club, this may be a good choice for you. At Chesterfield, our beautiful Grade II-listed building is smaller and has a more intimate feel, many of our students have said that this provided a familiar space to get to know each other.

Whichever you choose, you can be sure to experience first-class teaching from academic experts and clinical practitioners who are both highly qualified and experienced. Both locations have fantastic facilities to help you learn and study, including state-of-the-art Clinical Skills Suites equipped with the latest 360-degree video projection to replicate real working environments. Whether you choose at the Derby Campus or at Chesterfield both provide a friendly and supportive space to learn and study, as well as provide excellent facilities to help you to hone and perfect your skills in a safe and supported environment.

The advantages of March

There are a number of advantages to starting your nursing career journey in our March intake. Many of our March students bring with them a wider range of prior work and life experience which they can share in class discussions and whilst on placement. Whatever your background we recognise that everyone brings with them skills, knowledge and experiences that can be useful to help and share with other, and we will actively encourage you to reflect upon your experiences as you progress through the course. We will help you to get to know each other and we will support you to settle in quickly, we take pride in supporting you to learn new skills and knowledge, as well as provide advice and services to help you should life be a little unpredictable. 

We often have smaller class sizes in our March intakes too. This can mean that we can provide individualised support and you can make the most of a range of learning opportunities to suit your style and preferences as learners, including small-group working, simulation, some blended learning, personal tutorial support as well as traditional lectures.

There can also be something really positive about getting established on a course before the usual September intake. By the time you reach the start of the new academic year, you’ll already have been studying for six months and you will be surprised how much you have learned by getting ahead, and by the exciting clinical practice experiences you will have completed. March is also a great time to qualify as a nurse as there are many exciting job opportunities available. And, by qualifying in the spring, you may have less competition for that dream job.

Loans and grants

If you’re considering a place on our March intake, make a start on your application today. Remember to highlight your prior work and academic experience as well as the values which will make you a great student nurse. You will be eligible for a student loan, even if you have already taken one out for a previous degree, making full-time study more affordable. You could also be eligible for an NHS Training Grant of £5,000 per academic year.

So, if you think that nursing is for you, don’t delay, get in touch and apply for our March intake and make spring the beginning for your new career and turn your dream into a reality.