The staff on the nursing course are incredibly welcoming and helpful, and the services and opportunities you will get at NTU make it a fantastic choice for studying.
More about Christopher
Why did you choose NTU and your course?
My course was facilitated by my employer who made the choice of NTU for me. However, I had friends who had attended NTU and they spoke of how highly NTU valued and looked after its students, so I was excited to go there. I chose to go into mental health nursing because I had greatly enjoyed my time working on mental health inpatient units. Many of my role models in my workplace were mental health nurses that embodied the values of kindness, compassion and a dedication to person-centred care. It was primarily these role models that influenced me to choose this degree.
Could you describe your experience of being an NTU student?
My experience of being an NTU student has been very positive. Although a significant portion of my degree was delivered during the pandemic, I have always felt valued as a student and the quality of teaching and resources has remained very high. Outside of the curricular experience of NTU, the time I have spent working as part of a society committee within the Student’s Union has made me feel like part of a wider community of students.
How would you describe the support from your tutors, university staff and student services?
Across the NTU staff and services, the support offered has always been highly responsive and useful. Tutors are always there as a point of contact for any concerns you may have and have always been able to point me in the right direction when they couldn’t deal with my concerns directly. Given that this course is relatively new at NTU, it felt like our student cohort were working in partnership with the university staff to adapt the course to provide the best experience for new students. Throughout this, university staff have always been willing to listen to the concerns of students and tackle any issues head on. The student services also offer a wide range of materials and sessions to help anyone struggling with any aspect of their university experience. The sessions offered by the library on academic work have been particularly helpful to me and my friends.
Have you completed any work placements on your course? If so, tell us about your experience – where did you go, what did you do, what skills have you gained and what have you enjoyed the most?
So far, I have completed five work placements on my course. I have attended two community crisis teams, one medium secure hospital, one locked rehabilitation unit for learning disabilities and one high dependency ward for complex mental health needs. All my placements have offered a wide range of experiences that have allowed me to develop skills of communication, planning, documentation, teamwork and many others. The placements I have enjoyed the most have always been those that gave me the tools and opportunities to push myself to develop my skills. The best placements are those that allow you to get involved as much as is possible for a student nurse.
Do you have any memorable moments from your placement?
I think my most memorable moment from a placement was an honest conversation I had with one of my supervisors at a mid-point assessment. She had noticed that while I was willing to learn, I was holding myself back from participating fully in the placement due to anxiety. She encouraged me to push myself a bit further, whilst also understanding the difficulties of going through anxiety on placement, offering to help me with this through further supervisions. This was memorable to me because it reinforced how much supervisors and assessors often understand what it is like to be a student, and that by being honest with them I was enabling them to help me to get the most out of my placement experience.
Do you have any advice for future students going on placement?
The best advice I can give anyone going on placement is always just to be honest with your assessor and supervisor. If you are struggling in any way, being honest is the best way to move past that. In almost all circumstances your supervisor/assessor will be respectful and helpful in response to your concerns, as they will likely remember what it was like to be a nursing student themselves. On the rare occasion that your supervisor/assessor does not respond helpfully, you always have the university to fall back on for help who will be more than willing to help you out. Beyond this, getting the most out of placement involves making good plans early in the placement of everything you want to achieve there. If you have a solid plan in place, you will be best prepared to make the most out of placement and stay ahead of all your portfolio work and proficiency achievement.
Outside of the Lecture Theatre…
What three words would you use to describe Nottingham?
Where is a good place to eat, drink or visit in the city?
There are so many places to visit in the city that it would be almost impossible to pick out one. There is a great variety of options to eat and drink, and you’re almost certain to find one you like as long as you remain open to trying out new places. My personal favourites are Bill’s for a good brunch, then Bierkeller for going out in the evening. Beyond eating and drinking, there is so much to do in Nottingham. My personal favourites are Wollaton Hall and the Arboretum – great for going on some peaceful walks.
Did you find it easy to make friends and settle in at NTU?
I had the benefit of going to NTU with a group of people that I knew already. During the pandemic, we were isolated into small tutor groups as part of social distancing and thus didn’t get the option to socialise much with the rest of my cohort. However, early on in the degree I helped start up the Nursing Society and was able to use this to organise virtual events with other students that made it easier to make new friends in difficult circumstances. Outside of pandemic times, NTU has a comprehensive and varied social offering, primarily through the societies and the Student’s Union. You are bound to find some society you are interested in at the Fresher’s Fair, and this is easily one of the best ways to make friends and settle into NTU life.
The Next Steps…
Has the employability team helped you plan for life beyond NTU?
While the option is there, I currently have a job after my degree so I have not needed to use this service.
What would you say to someone who is thinking of applying to NTU?
I have completed multiple degrees now and this experience at NTU has been by far the best I have ever had. The staff on the nursing course are incredibly welcoming and helpful, and the services and opportunities you will get at NTU make it a fantastic choice for studying. I would encourage anyone thinking of studying at NTU to go for it.
What is one thing you wish you knew before starting at NTU?
I wish I was aware of all the student services offered at NTU. When you are struggling with something at university it is easy to just internalise it and try and push past it yourself. In reality, there are many services offered by NTU that just might help you with your concern, and it’s a great idea to familiarise yourself with them before coming to study here.