Searching for a job as a student nurse


Faculty: Health, Education, Medicine and Social Care
School: School of Nursing and Midwifery
Course: BSc (Hons) Child Nursing
Category: Nursing and midwifery

21 March 2019

Applying for your first nursing job may sound very scary, however ARU have lots of support to help you gain the job you really want and will enjoy. Where should you start? There is no real order of how you should do it, however there are some requirements you need in order to apply for jobs:

  • First you need a write a personal statement. A personal statement is a brief summary that is given to potential employers to tell them all about you, your interests, your skills and helps you stand apart from the competition.
  • Next you need a portfolio, which you should be building up throughout your time at university. A portfolio is a collection of work that represents a person's skills and abilities. In my portfolio I have a range of items including: feedback from patient and my mentor (ensuring that they are anonymous), drawing and thank you cards from patients, reflections I have done following my work, my E-learning certificates, my placement documents to show what I have learnt throughout my placements and my academic marks from university. Potential employees within the NHS tend to ask for your portfolio at interviews, so they can see you achievements, what kind of person you are and what skills you have, therefore it is very important that a lot of effort is put into it.
  • You may also need a curriculum vitae (CV for short). It allows you to state your education, skills and experience for employees. This is a good place to talk about your placements, any part time work you have been doing (Including working for the employment bureau) and anything else you do that you feel might be relevant.

Then you need to find some jobs that you are interested in applying for. is a good place to start. It has lots of NHS job all over the country. However it is also worth talking to your placement areas as you may be able to apply directly through them instead of online. Something I was also advised to do is to go to hospital open days. This means you can explore the clinical environments, speak to nurses currently working there and gain an understanding about what the hospital can offer you; for example do they offer a preceptorship programme, do they offer a rotation programme and how do they support their staff members.

Before going to interviews it is very important to prepare; there are usually lots of different parts to nursing interviews similar to the university interviews completed before becoming a student nurse. Lots of hospitals put some practice maths exams and English exams on their websites for students to practice. They also tend to put what kind of skills they are looking for in something called a ‘person specification’ which can help you to write your personal statement and prepare for you interview.

ARU run some workshops for student to have mock interviews and for looking at personal statement/CV’s. I have also found my lecturers have been very helpful throughout the whole process when it came to looking at my portfolio, reading my personal statement and sending out reminders about open days for different hospitals.

The best piece of advice I have been given whilst preparing for my job interviews is TO PREPARE! You can never been too prepared, however you may not be prepared enough which could have an effect on whether you get the role or not. Don’t panic about it as the nurses want you to work for them and want you to be part of their team.


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