Monday, 21 April 2014

The Final Stretch

Well, it’s finally happened. I'm on the final stretch. In just under five months time, I should be qualified. Put another way, I have one semester, one assignment, and one placement before ditching the lacklustre white for those symbolic ‘blues’. Those of you who follow me on Twitter or are regular readers of this blog will know that third year has been a tough year for me, so it will likely come as no surprise to hear that things have been rather touch and go of late. In the two months since I last blogged, I’ve finished and submitted my dissertation, completed my penultimate placement, and had my first job interview. Needless to say that from an academic and professional perspective it’s been a busy and stressful time, factor in a few personal issues for good measure - life doesn't stop just because you're undertaking a nursing degree - and you may be able to appreciate how much of a struggle this year has been without my detailing the specifics.

I’m still here however, and as professional registration draws closer, I find myself experiencing evermore mixed emotions. Part of me cannot wait to finish: mainly the part that is pretty worn out and fed up of assignments and myriad other assessments, yet another (bigger) part of me is scared to death and doesn't feel anywhere near ready. I'm reliably told however that the latter is entirely normal, and that 'being a nurse is like learning to drive: you don't really learn how to do it until you're actually in the job' - which is a topic for another post perhaps. Fortunately, I still have my management placement to go, and despite my reluctance to leave the safety and comfort of studentnurseville behind, I'm pretty eager to get started. The placement itself is epic: spanning fourteen weeks in total, and is in the field of neurology. As you might expect there’s lots of paperwork to complete, and copious competencies to achieve, not to mention the small stack of SMART goals I've set myself the challenge of meeting - suddenly fourteen weeks seems like it might not be long enough! Overall though I'm feeling fairly positive, and irrespective of the nervousness that is slowly building as 'the big one' (I really must stop calling it that) rapidly approaches, I’m also strangely calm about it all.

Beyond said placement and the other remaining final pre-registration hurdles lies the small matter of finding employment. The aforementioned job interview took place last week, and whilst I wasn't successful in being offered a post for the advertised position, I was offered an alternative. After some careful consideration and discussions with my nearest and dearest, I made the decision not to accept, as I felt the role wasn't quite right for me. The entire process was hugely valuable and positive, and even though it didn't lead to landing my first post, I do feel that it's given me the experience and confidence to help ease the pressure with regards to future applications, and ultimately left me feeling a little more secure about my future. In the meantime however, it's back to the books. Taking two weeks off to have some much-needed downtime has also meant that I’m now two weeks closer to my final academic deadlines, beyond which lies the finishing line, which is now beginning to creep ever so slowly into sight.


  1. A huge 'well done' for reaching the final hurdle as a student nurse. You have got this can do it! Sorry you didn't get the job but again well done on holding out for the 'right' position. Something better will hopefully be around the corner. Your management sounds very interesting - good luck x

  2. Thank you, poppet. That's very kind. Hope all is well your end :) xx

  3. Choosing a nursing profession is not that easy…it requires more effort but its challenging. Keep up the good fight & know that what you do is valuable & necessary.

  4. Well done on passing :). How did you find your second year placement wise? I couldn't find a blog post about it. I am panicking about it and have sleepless nights because I worry. I just feel like I don't know anything :( and I'm scared to death because I feel like mentors are going to expect so much of me now :(.

  5. I loved two out of my three placements during second year. In fact they were the best ones I've ever had! My mentors were brilliant and didn't expect anything from me that I wasn't capable of: they knew when and how to push me also.

    In regards to you feeling as though you don't know anything, I'm three weeks from qualifying and feel exactly the same. All the nurses I've spoken to about this inform me everybody feels like it, and you should only worry if you feel the opposite - in that you know everything.

    Having read your blog it seems that you've had really positive feedback from previous placements and have nothing to worry about. That's what you should be focusing on, poppet :)