Top application and interview tips to study a Nursing degree at university

Children's nursing student

As a student nurse, I remember what it’s like applying for the course, and how nerve-wracking it can be. It feels like yesterday when I was nervously awaiting my interviews, but I can honestly say that they were nothing to worry about!

Now that I’ve been through it, and was successful, I’ve put together some of my top tips for applying to study nursing here at Wrexham University.

1. Have your reason why

This sounds so simple but think about why you want to be a nurse, and what is it about nursing that makes you want to enter the profession. Consider why you are applying for your chosen field – Adult Nursing, Children’s Nursing, or Mental Health Nursing. Make sure you demonstrate your commitment to that chosen field.

2. Consider the skills and qualities that make a good nurse

This could be resilience, compassion, empathy, teamworking, communication, courage, organisation, problem-solving, sense of humour and so on. Why are these skills and qualities important, and how have you demonstrated them?

3. Gain experience

This strengthens your application and shows that you have transferrable skills that will help aid your nursing training and future career. This does not have to be in a healthcare setting as long as it involves communicating with others, showing empathy, working in a team, time management, or organisation.

In your application or interview, you can say that working in a supermarket involves team working and effective communication skills or spending time in a care home will involve you developing your empathy and compassion. These skills are all very important when working as a nurse. You may have a personal experience where a loved one was cared for by a nurse, so this again is something to consider mentioning in your application. It’s not all about what experience you have, but what you have gained from it.

4. Have an understanding of the demands involved in nursing

Consider the ways in which you manage stress. A nursing degree can be overwhelming at times with trying to balance tiring placement shifts and university assignments, along with having a social life, and looking after your own well–being. It can easily become emotionally and physically draining. It’s therefore important to demonstrate that you have an awareness of the challenging nature of the course and have considered how you manage stress - going for a walk, spending time with family and friends, reading or exercising.

5. Look at the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) Standards

You will most likely be asked about what you know about the NMC in your interview. Throughout your degree, you will need to meet a set of standards for proficiency, which are all highlighted in the

NMC Code – you will then be working under the NMC as a registered nurse, so it is important to have an understanding of what they do, and why their guidelines/standards are in place. By researching the NMC Code, you will also get an idea of the expectations of nurses working in modern-day healthcare.

6. Practice answering interview questions

This could be with a friend or family member, or even just in front of a mirror – practice will help you get used to speaking out loud. It will surprise you how much of a difference this can make, and it will make you more confident in answering some basic questions and help you understand why you want to be a nurse.

7. Prepare to ask questions

Try to think of some questions to ask at the end of the interview, as this shows you are genuinely interested in studying nursing at this university.

8. Last but not least: be yourself, smile, and dress professionally

This will highlight your enthusiasm for the course and show that you are taking your application seriously. Remember, the admissions’ team are not looking for perfection, they want to see your passion and potential, so just do your best and you will be just fine.

Ruth Jones, Children's Nursing Student