Life as a First Year Student Nurse

It was a pleasure to welcome back Hollie Boswell to DSFC yesterday. Hollie left us last year and is now coming to the end of her first year studying for a BSc in Adult Nursing at UEA. Whilst at Dereham Sixth Form Hollie gained an A Level in Psychology and in Philosophy and Ethics along with an Extended Certificate in Health and Social Care. She returned yesterday to speak to our current Year 12 Health and Social Care students about her experience so far of studying and being a student nurse.

Hollie began her presentation by explaining the entry requirements for the different nursing courses on offer at UEA. She also spoke about the key information and skills she was able to transfer from her health and social care course, namely her knowledge in anatomy and physiology; the writing skills she had developed here as well as taking on board feedback; and how having a routine to her study is helping her use her directed study time at university.

She continued with a description of how the UEA Adult Nursing course is structured, and the assessments involved, as well as how the lectures, seminars and placements are delivered. Hollie finished with her tips for studying at university which included how to deal with lectures and make notes; the importance of learning how to reference sources in assignments; and embracing the level of independent learning that is required. With regards to Adult Nursing specifically, Hollie advised that financial support is available; to engage in the practical sessions; prior practical experience is not required; not to worry about the maths skills required; and to wear in shoes now so that they are ready and comfortable for 12 ½ hour shifts on placement!

Some insightful questions were asked at the end of the session. One student asked about whether she was paired with a registered nurse and Hollie explained how she got to work with lots of different people, especially whilst on placement, including registered nurses and health care assistants. She was then asked to describe a typical placement day and Hollie described a busy 12 ½ hour shift at The Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King’s Lynn where she is working in day surgery, starting the day at 7am and finishing at 7.30pm. The final question was about assignments and the types of essays set and Hollie explained that not all assignments were essay-based but could also involve discussing a case study, creating an artefact or completing online assessments.

We work hard at the College to create opportunities for our students to meet a variety of people who have followed different pathways in higher education and the workplace and we especially enjoy welcoming past students.

We would like to thank Hollie for taking the time to speak to our current students and her teachers were thrilled to see how well she is now doing.