Skip to content

I am a student Children’s Nurse and I started at the University of Chester straight from college in September 2018. I’m now coming to the end of my second year and this is a small insight into my experiences so far.

Life in the First Year

I decided to come to Chester to study because of the positive experience I had on my interview day. On the day it felt like the staff and students really wanted to get the best out of me and wanted me to do well. This definitely wasn’t just a show for interview day as this experience has been mirrored throughout my time so far as a student.

In my first year I lived in University-owned accommodation and had an amazing experience living with 25 other students, the majority of whom were nursing students in the same cohort as me. This worked really well as we were all on the same timetable and had the same placement blocks. This meant everyone was empathetic towards each other when we are on shift or had assignments due and we were also able to support each other, knowing when we needed a good laugh or a night out. Living in University-owned accommodation meant we were also supported by the porters 24-hours a day which meant that we could call them day or night, giving us extra peace of mind. We all said that we wouldn’t change our first year experience for anything!

Feeling Supported

At the beginning of the course we were all allocated a Personal Academic Tutor (PAT). This is a lecturer on the course who keeps in regular contact and gives holistic support dependent on individual needs. For me, this has been a huge support as I have someone who knows me, and know I can contact them whenever I have questions or worries. Having a PAT means that there is always one person who is there to help with issues in my personal life, my studies and / or my placements. This support has been especially important throughout this pandemic and I have really appreciated the extra support my PAT has given me during this difficult time.

Throughout my time at Chester, I have been supported by the Disability Inclusion team. As soon as I arrived, they made me aware of the support I was entitled to and this has really helped me with my studies. The Inclusion team, along with my PAT, helped to create a ‘reasonable adjustment plan for placement’. This piece of paper helped me explain to my mentor how they could support me whilst on placement, and it gave me the confidence to have those conversations with other professionals I worked with. Throughout the course, I have also accessed the support available from Study Skills and the library, both of which offer group and individual support and have helped me develop my academic writing.

On Placement

I have had only positive experiences on placement and have always felt supported in the knowledge that all staff really do care about my learning experience. The variety of placements have allowed me to learn and be inspired in different ways and my academic link lecturer has made contact on each placement in case I had any concerns.

The idea of going on placement during the pandemic was scary but we were so well supported by the staff at the University. We were given the chance to go back on campus (even though it was closed) so that we could practise putting on full PPE, and to talk to staff about our concerns, all of which helped massively.

A Great Decision!

Children’s Nursing is a small field within the Department and has really enabled the students in my cohort to become close-knit. We have all been able form a really positive relationship with the staff team, and we have benefited from the great communication within the team. At the beginning of my second year I was offered the opportunity to be a student representative on the Pre-registration Nursing Programme Committee. Through this, I have been able to see how decisions are made and how staff are constantly trying to improve the course for the students’ benefit. It has also been great to see first-hand how much the student voice is valued by the University.

I knew that when I chose a nursing degree, my university experience would be very different to that of friends on other courses, but I am so glad that I made this decision as it has been such a positive experience. I have been supported by University staff, healthcare professionals and my peers at every stage, especially during these difficult times. I am so inspired by the healthcare professionals I have worked with and I am so proud to say that I am a student children’s nurse.

Click here to find out more about the BN (Hons) Children's Nursing course at the University of Chester. 

Share this content
Nursing Placements undergraduate