Report of a twitter chat held on 11 September, what I wish I knew before I started my nursing degree.

Thank you to all the people who contributed to this twitter chat. We host twitter chats on the first Wednesday of the month at 8pm UK time.  To join in follow #ebnjc (and remember to include that in your tweets so others can see your contribution).

Some sage advice was offered by students on current nursing courses to those who are about to start.  In no particular order:

  • Don’t waste money on textbooks. Wait til you get to Uni when you might be able to pick up secondhand copies and you will find that many are available as hard copies from the library or as electronic versions.
  • Start essay plans and essays early.
    1. Take on board feedback and seek help face to face if you need it (especially for a resubmission)
    2. Read and respond to feedback even if you passed the essay – its designed to help you improve
    3. Tell the course team if the feedback is not helpful
  • Listen and learn
  • Try to have a go at the things that are offered to you – its an effective way to develop confidence. One the same note – enjoy more and worry less.
  • Trust your judgement – and don’t be afraid to raise your concerns about a patient
  • Take care of yourself – self-care is massively important. Make time for yourself and remember that a University education is about far more than the knowledge and skills directly related to what you are studying.
  • Use the support available from the University which will include personal tutors and welfare services – but also remember that you can talk to any of the academic staff – most are approachable and keen to help.
  • Social media:
    1. Use social media pages and WhatsApp groups to communicate with people in your cohort
    2. Follow and join in with the official social media accounts of your course and university
    3. Use social media to network and get information. Join twitter communities such as @westudentnurses and @StNurseProject
    4. Evidence Based Nursing has produced a blog, hosted a twitter chat and written up that twitter chat about the use of social media as a support mechanism
    5. Be professional in your postings to social media.  See guidance from your University and the NMC about this.
    6. Consider having a personal and professional account (but you have to be professional in both!)
  • Tell your course team what they can do to make your experience better. It is vital to give feedback and the course team will respond.  Course teams were asked via this chat to:
    1. Offer more flexibility for placements
    2. Talk about death and dying more (and ‘Being Mortal’ by @Atul_Gawande was recommended reading)
    3. Empathise with students and recognise how hard it is
    4. Recognise that students must undertake paid employment to fund their cost of living etc
    5. Provide more teaching on difficult topics
  • Learn from each other – all students have something to teach as well as something to learn
  • Helpful resources for biological sciences include @thecrashcourse and the Khan Academy.

And finally, Claire Carmichael from Birmingham City University created this Vlog about what to do to prepare for starting your nursing degree,

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