Blog post

How you can get a head start in your nursing career

Professor Stephen Wordsworth, Interim 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.

By Professor Stephen Wordsworth - 28 January 2021

New opportunities

Winter has been well and truly upon us in the past few weeks. I prefer the warmer weather so I’m looking forward to spring, a time of year often associated with optimism and new beginnings. Spring marks the point in the year when we see, and feel, the effects of the transition between the previous season and the promise of the future. Similarly, it could well mark new opportunities and beginnings, perhaps to get your career on track, or head in a new direction. In fact it’s a great time to consider re-training, or perhaps start on a new rewarding and satisfying career in nursing.

At the University of Derby, we offer March starts on our BSc (Hons) Adult Nursing and BSc (Hons) Mental Health Nursing courses in both Derby and Chesterfield. And, from March 2021, we will also be offering BSc (Hons) Children’s Nursing at Chesterfield.

Pandemic response

Let’s face it, 2020 was a very strange year. For many of us, the experience of Covid-19 has enabled us to focus on what is important to us. It has been a chance to re-assess long-term personal, career and financial aspirations and perhaps this has led you to think about nursing? You will have seen in the media or personally experienced how nurses have been at the centre of the UK response to the pandemic.

For many, this has brought a new appreciation of the diversity and variety of opportunities that nurses can enjoy. Many of our student nurses have now qualified and joined the nursing workforce. They are at the forefront of efforts to care for patients during the pandemic both locally and further afield. Even as a student, you will undoubtedly feel a sense of pride and satisfaction knowing that you are playing your part, as part of team.

Nursing provides an opportunity to build a rewarding and worthwhile career and, long after the pandemic has gone, nurses will continue to look after our physical and mental wellbeing in a range of roles, working with all members of society and in a variety of health and care settings. No two days are the same.

Location, location

We know that, for many of our students studying for a degree, 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 more intimate so you’ll have the chance 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. This provides the perfect way for you to sharpen 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. Traditionally, our March students bring with them a wider range of prior work and life experience which they can bring to class discussions. Whatever your background, we’ll help you settle in and we take pride in supporting you to quickly learn new skills and knowledge.

We often have smaller class sizes in our March intakes too. This can mean more that we can provide individualised support and you can make the most of a range of opportunities, including small-group working, simulation, some blended learning and more traditional lectures.

There can also be something great about getting established on a course before the traditional September intake. By the time you reach the start of the new academic year, you’ll already have been studying for six months and have had exciting clinical practice experiences. Spring 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 would 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.

About the author

Professor Stephen Wordsworth
Interim Deputy Dean for the College of Health, Psychology and Social Care

Stephen Wordsworth is the Interim Deputy Dean for the College of Health, Psychology and Social Care at the University of Derby. Stephen is a qualified Operating Department Practitioner and, to date, is the only ODP in the UK to be awarded the title of Professor. Interests relate to concepts of professionalism, regulation and patient safety.

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