After 3 long years, the September 2015 cohort is finally done! Portfolios have been verified, dissertations are completed and PARE is locked. It’s unbelievable that just 3 years ago, we were starting our student nursing journey. Time has flown! Many of us began this journey with little to no care experience, either coming from school or college, or previous degrees or access courses. It just shows that Nursing is not a career where you need experience, or very strict qualifications. It can be for anyone!
As a goodbye present to the younger years, I asked the ‘15 cohort to impart some wisdom about surviving 3rd year…
You’ll be given a little suggested timeline for your dissertation. Try to keep to it as it really helps with structuring everything.
Plan ahead, and try not to leave things till the last minute (unless that is what works for you!)
Remember that your dissertation is YOURS, it should be enjoyable too!
I found keeping a dissertation diary (noting down time/date of session and what you did) is hugely helpful, as it can be easy to forget what you did when there’s so much to do!
Make sure you act on the constructive feedback from your supervisor. If you aren’t getting it- ask for it!
You will have to complete your medicines management mini exam at some point in 3rd year. The earlier you do it, the better! It’s a weight off your shoulders, and task ticked off!
Be honest about your academic workload and life commitments to mentors. They should be sympathetic and ensure your off duty works with life.
You will feel like a lot is expected of you as a 3rd year, and that might make you a it terrified. It’s okay! Keep going. Make your own goals, talk to your mentor about it and set your own pace!
Trust me, you will feel SO ready to qualify in your last few weeks!!
Plan how you will meet your exposure to other fields as early as possible, otherwise you’ll have a mad rush at the end of the year!
Don’t leave it till the end of the year. Make you life easy, even if it means spending a weekend or doing it in bits over the year. It will allow you to enjoy your last moments of being a student nurse.
Advice for student parents
Keep to your deadlines, and try and submit early if possible. Including your portfolio! Leaves less room for unfortunate occurrences like a sick child.
Make sure your mentor knows that you are a parent,hopefully they will be sympathetic and flexible.
The most important pieces of advice
Talk to your family, family, anyone you trust if you feel you are struggling. You will feel better. Share the burden!!!
Peer support is what will get you through the madness that is 3rd year. Ensuring that you attend seminars and lectures is a great way of doing this. Don’t lose motivation!
Having a twitter account (personal, just nursing or both!) is an excellent way of getting advice, learning and networking. You can start by following us
Practice self-care in your own way everyday. Whether its a relaxing bath, a run, playing computer games or walking the dog, you are the most important person to look after. No matter how busy you feel, it can’t come before you!!
So there you have it! The baton has been handed to September 16, and will be yours before you know it September 17!!