Choosing what you want to study in college is a daunting task. What if you pick the wrong thing? What if you don’t do enough research? These are questions commonly asked by prospective students and college students alike. Many times, those who choose to nurse discover it to be called very early on in life. Medical careers require even more planning and understanding of the college realm than most other majors. If you’re a British or international student interested in studying nursing in the United Kingdom, this will be your guide to the nursing degree you dream of.
Careers in nursing are incredibly varied. You may choose to focus on disability nursing, adult nursing, pediatric nursing, or mental health nursing. You may also choose to look for a degree where you can study two of these fields, known as dual field degrees. Additional post-university positions may include school nursing, prison nursing, district nurse, health visitor, or theatre nurse as well. It is a consistently competitive area of study, so students should be prepared to show that they are academically prepared for this position. This includes having excellent numeracy and literacy skills, being an outstanding communicator, and excelling as a part of a team.
University requirements for Nursing Degree
Every university has different requirements and qualifications they desire for their students. Students are likely to need at least two, but most likely three, A-levels or equivalent level three qualifications. Additionally, they will need supporting GCSEs such as English, and math, as well as science, such as biology or human biology. Many schools will specify what the preferred A-level courses may be or if there are similar subjects. Some universities also provide a foundation year for those students who do not meet these initial requirements. Impressive grades in English and Math
If you are interested in applying for a full-time nursing degree, you will be required to apply through UCAS. This is a way to apply to a university online and track your application. Part-time applicants should contact the school they desire directly for more information. With this, you can see the status of your application through Track. Students can accept two offers: one to accept firmly and one that is accepted as insurance.
Many universities will expect an interview with prospective students. Students will need to demonstrate their understanding of nursing as a career and the work it involves. This may be shown through an experience such as internships in a healthcare setting or working alongside registered nurses. While it may prove difficult to find a work placement opportunity, students can ask to shadow a nurse or speak to a nurse about their experience.
Nursing Program for International Students
International students, are required to complete the Overseas Nursing Program (ONP) during their course of study. This allows international students at the end of their studies to become certified nurses in the United Kingdom. This may be included as part of a Bachelor of Science or Master of Science in International Nursing Studies. The Overseas Nursing Program includes 400 hours of supervised practice placement.
Cost of Study
The total estimated cost of study in the United Kingdom is estimated to be at least £22,000 while studying in London would be much more expensive. However, there is another way to look at these costs. University in the United Kingdom is a year shorter than in other countries, such as the United States, so students would only be paying for three years instead of four for an undergraduate degree. This also applies to master’s degrees as well, which are one year instead of two. This cuts the cost down from degrees in other countries considerably.
Student visa in the UK
With a United Kingdom student visa, students are required to have at least £1,014 in the bank for each month they plan to stay in the country or £12,180 per year. Studying in London is considerably more expensive at £1,265 per month or £15,180 per year. Many students studying health courses may need to apply for a student loan. The government is working to supplement additional funds to help healthcare students with childcare and travel costs. Students are also encouraged to apply for grants, which do not have to be repaid. These grants may help with tuition, childcare costs, or costs towards travel for placements. Any student with a disability may apply for additional grant funding as well.
Students must pay back their loans over a thirty-year period, with repayment of the loans contingent on the student’s earnings. That is to say that they would be repaying their loans if they are making over £21,000 per year but if income drops below that, due to either part-time work, unemployment, or a career break, repayments cease until the income is back over that amount. Salary is also an important component when choosing a degree and a program. Students will want to earn enough money both to repay their loans and live comfortably.
Nurses – Salary / Career
Nurses with complete qualifications may have a starting salary of £22,000 to £30,000. In London where the cost of living is higher, nurses can expect to earn more. The median salary for a registered nurse in the United Kingdom is about £23,000. With bonuses and various other compensations, a registered nurse with less than twenty years’ experience may earn up to £34,000. Nurses with more than twenty years’ experience can expect to earn fifteen percent more than the numbers above.
Nursing is the most employable type of degree in the United Kingdom, with 94% of students obtaining a job within six months of completing their degree. However, affording the schooling, you need to be employed may be difficult. There are two tuition levels for publicly funded United Kingdom universities offering nursing degrees – home student fees, which include EU students, and international student fees. Institutions in England can charge up to £9,250 per year for undergraduate degrees for home students. International student fees vary widely, starting at about £10,000 and going up to £38,000 or more for medical degrees. With the average cost of living in the United Kingdom being about £13,000 – this can seem like a daunting task.
Deciding what to study and where to study is a large and daunting task. It is something that takes months of planning and years to complete. Students interested in a nursing degree may be something they have planned on their entire life. So determining where to study and how much it costs are crucial points in determining the best degree program for them. Nursing is an incredibly rewarding and challenging career, but very much worth it to those who dream of the position.
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