Nursing placements

All of our clinical placements welcome student nurses and student nursing associates as part of the healthcare team.

You’ll be given many learning opportunities to work with and gain insight and understanding into how professionals work as part of a wider team, for example working with medical staff, multi-disciplinary community teams, physiotherapists, clinical nurse specialists, operating department practitioners, admission and discharge teams.

The placements that you experience during the course will equip you to work as a registered nurse or nursing associate (depending on your NMC registration) in an area of your choice, such as a hospital, community, primary care setting, private or voluntary sector, within a specialist team or GP surgery. When you qualify, you may wish to undertake further training. For nursing associates this may include becoming a Registered Nurse in any of the fields of nursing (adult, child, mental health, or learning disability). For Registered Nurses this may include areas such as Health Visiting or School Nursing, or advanced practitioner and specialist roles.

The development and assessment of nursing proficiencies in clinical practice is a key requirement of all our nursing and nursing associate courses, as well as being the most rewarding element of your course. You’ll spend 50% of your learning time in clinical practice, developing clinical knowledge, skills and behaviours. Through this you will develop confidence as a key member of the professional healthcare team in a range of practice placements within community, primary and hospital settings, including the NHS and private, voluntary and independent sectors.

Over the three years Registered Nurse students have two blocks of core placements each year (each lasting 7-9 weeks, 12 weeks in Year 3). In Year 2 you may opt to take part in a 4 week, self-funded, overseas placement with Work the World.

For Dual Registration students, you'll complete two Year 2s, in each of your specialisms, either Child and Mental Health or Adult and Mental Health.

For nursing associate students, you'll have two blocks of core placement each year (lasting six weeks and ten weeks respectively). These will provide opportunities to work with a range of different service users across all fields of nursing.

This a full-time course, covering 52 weeks each year (40 weeks each year for nursing associates) and full attendance is expected for all elements of the course. You may like to have a look at our placement maps to get an idea of the different locations available.

Nursing associate

Adult nursing

Mental health nursing

Child nursing

Year 1

Year 2

Year 3

Support on clinical placements

During clinical placements, you’ll always be supervised by registered health professionals, who will support and guide you through the use of supervision, teaching and coaching skills. You’ll be assessed on your knowledge and skills against required competencies by practice assessors who are registered nurses and who have undertaken training for this role.

We're committed to supporting you during your practice experience. We've worked in partnership with our placement providers to invest in a number of strategies to ensure the quality of the learning experience.

Travel to clinical placements

While we make every effort to minimise the travelling distance involved, it is important that you have considered the implications of this as many students may find that they have to travel a distance to their placement. 50% of course involves working shifts and travelling to placements which are in hospitals or the community. This includes working Saturdays, Sundays and bank holidays as well as night shifts and very early shifts. If you accept a place on the course, it is your responsibility to plan your journey and make sure you are on time for your shifts.

Annual Leave

You’ll get seven weeks of fixed annual leave each year, in line with the academic calendar. These weeks may not coincide with school holidays. It is not recommended that you book holiday outside of this time.


The NMC require you to do a minimum 2,300 theory hours and 2,300 practice learning hours to complete the course. Therefore, your attendance will be monitored very closely. You are expected to demonstrate punctuality as part of your development as a professional and therefore arrive at University on time for your lectures and at placement on time for your practice experience.

Uniform policy and personal patient care

Presenting yourself as a professional is important. You’ll be asked to follow the uniform policy at University and on placement. In many clinical areas, in order to minimise the risk of infection, clothing is not permitted below the elbows. Please talk to one of our tutors about this if you have questions or would like more information. As a student nurse or student nursing associate we’ll expect you to provide personal care to male, female and transgender patients.

Change of field and deferrals

You should choose the field of nursing that you wish to study carefully as this will be the field that you’ll work in for the three years of the course. If you are unsure of what field you want to study, please make sure that you ask us for advice before you apply.

The nursing associate course is not field specific and you will work with service users across all fields during your two years.