Here are my tips for third year!
- If you have a dissertation/literature review to complete, try to choose a topic early on and find your papers. It gives you a head start and enables you to be organised with your work.
- Be aware that this year will fly! If you think your course has flown by up to now, third year really does zoom by.
- Start looking for jobs but don’t worry about having to gain one immediately. You have plenty of time to apply throughout the year and your university may provide you with practice interviews to gain experience.
- Don’t worry about what you don’t know. You do know what you need to know and anything else will be learnt in the specific area you go into. They say nursing begins once you qualify as that is when you learn the most of your knowledge.
- Start saving a little every month. When you finish your third year, you will have your first years NMC fee to pay – which is currently £120. Add this to the cost of graduation and any graduation ball that your cohort may have and it can be a costly few months before you start earning a full wage.
- Keep your portfolio up to date throughout the year. Potential employers may wish to see this and keeping it organised minimises the stress of having to finish it all before the end of third year.
- When on placement, take first and second years ‘under your wing’ if you can. This provides a support network for you all and gives you experience of being a mentor to a student ready for when you qualify. It also helps the first and second years to know they have someone who has been in their position to turn to for advice and support.
- If you have any worries or concerns, speak to your lecturers. They have seen plenty of students in your position and have even been there themselves so they know exactly how you’re feeling coming up to qualifying.
- Think about keepsakes from your course. There are companies who can turn one of your student uniforms into a teddy or a cushion. Frame your student nurse badge once you have completed the course as a reminder of your journey.
- Plan a holiday or social event with your friends to celebrate qualifying, this gives you something to look forward to and focus on throughout the year.
- Know what needs signing/completing in your OARs and when it needs completing by. If you can go into your placements with this information ready for your mentor, it takes away a little bit of worry.
- Do your research before starting each placement. Know a little bit about the speciality of your placement and the common medications used there.
- Reach out if you begin to feel overwhelmed at any point.
Let me know if you have any other good tips for third year!