Second year Child nursing student Alex gives her top tips for starting university life.
Hi there! I’m about to be a final year student studying Children’s Nursing. Having moved away from my family home to study at City University London, I have compiled a list of pointers I hope will help you to prepare for this next chapter of your life!
Don’t leave packing to the last minute, I did that and consequently my final days at home were scenes of chaos. Also don’t buy the whole of Ikea before you move in. The chances are you won’t use half of the things you think you’ll need so keep it to/pack the essentials.
Do however purchase a printer. This leads into my next tip which is to be organised from day one. Stock up on sticky notes, highlighters and handfuls of black pens - the only coloured ink allowed during nursing placements.
Print off the available lesson material prior to your lectures, read around the subject area and complete self-directed learning. Staying on top of your workload is key for success in Nursing. If you want to improve on your organising and planning skills I’d recommend contacting the Academic Learning Support at university. Their services help students build on an array of skills ranging from critical writing, essay planning, time management and identifying your best revision methods. If you’re a little rusty on those skills, I’d suggest you attend either group sessions or arrange one-to-one academic skills tutorials.
There’s no need to purchase every book on your reading list. City has an extensive library and access to many online databases. However if you’re keen to get started with reading materials, check out the pre-course reading list, you'll get sent a link to this by email.
When the time arises for you to start the practical side of your nursing training, make the most of your placements. Some placements can be as short as 2 weeks so make a good impression by being proactive and show you’re keen to learn. My placements have been wonderful experiences but they haven’t always been plain sailing. My tip would be to talk to your friends, family or your personal tutor to help you deal with the challenges you face. Don’t be afraid to open up - but remember to not breech patient confidentiality!
Before you start your course I’d suggest you join course-specific Facebook groups like The Royal College of Nursing and groups linked to City, your accommodation site or student chatrooms. Put yourself out there!
Above all enjoy studying at a leading university in one of the best cities of the world. However cliché it sounds your degree will wiz by so make the most of your time here. Go and explore the city using Timeout – a website and magazine guiding you through London’s art, entertainment, food and drink, film and things to do.