Tips for your Nursing Selection Day
First of all, congratulations! You got passed the first hurdle, the UCAS application, and your personal statement must have been pretty good to get you to the selection day. People forget that nursing isn’t just about your stellar grades and achievements, it’s about who you are as a person and the selection day digs a little deeper into what makes you tick and why you chose nursing.
Before the day, I suggest you get a good night’s sleep if you can, though I completely understand if your nerves might decide to kick in. It happened to me, it happened to others I know and you will not be the first or last person to get nervous about a selection day.
Have your paperwork ready
Make sure you have all the paperwork that Admissions asked for too and you can bring some extra proof of address if you’re like me and afraid you missed something.
Do some research I also suggest you look at the Nursing Times or Nursing Standard to find an interesting article about nursing well in advance. Don’t just open it up one day before your selection day. However, you can also look in newspapers! Make sure you like it because you’ll be asked about it. You won’t be grilled about it in detail though, so don’t feel like you need to remember every statistic in the article.
The interview and assessment
Selection days are part interview and part assessment, if you have a suit – wear it and don’t be afraid of looking overdressed. People remember those who dress well just as much as they remember the things you say. The interview is in two parts, a group interview and a solo interview. The group interview is a time to talk about the article you were asked to bring, it’s also where the interviewers will see how you communicate with others. We love team players in nursing, so talking over your fellow prospective students whilst they are talking is no-no.
The assessment side of the day is generally an English and Maths test and I get a lot of questions about how these go on The Access Platform and I’m usually reassuring students that the university are not out to get you, they just want to see where your English and Maths level is at and if it might need an extra hand, they’ll let you know what your options are. One of the options is attending extra English and Maths whilst on your degree.
Ask to tour the building, as a Student Ambassador we really do like showing people around! Ask us anything about being a student nurse too, this is your time outside of the Open Days to get the answers from us. You can talk to us about placement, university work or even how we manage our money.
Remember that you are not alone – you’ll be going through this selection day with others in the same boat as you – you could be meeting your future friends! I met one of my now friends at my selection day and she ended up in my tutor group.
Oh and going last at the solo interview stage isn’t a bad thing – I was the last one called and now I’m in second year. It just means you have more time to think about your answers. Just show your passion for nursing, tell us why you want to be a nurse and your personality will do the rest.
Lisa Connell, BSc (Hons) Adult Nursing