The process of applying for nursing

Nursing is a very popular degree choice and the application process is more involved than applying for many other degree courses.

The application process for Nursing is very similar to the process of applying to study Medicine and you’ll need to allow yourself plenty of time to complete your application if you’re going to be successful.

As well as a different process you’ll also have an earlier deadline date (October 2016) and you may need to attend an interview, and pass a numeracy and literacy test, before you’re given an offer.

Here’s a closer look at the process of applying for Nursing:

Will I need to take an admissions test?

There are roughly 70 universities in the UK that offer Nursing degree courses and some of these will require you to take a numeracy and literacy test as part of the application process.

This may happen at a selection day event where you may also have your interview. Some of the universities that require you to take a test are:

  • Coventry University
  • Leeds University
  • Anglia Ruskin University
  • King’s College London
  • London South Bank University
  • Greenwich University

If you’re applying for a degree in Nursing it’s best to contact them directly and confirm the application process before you apply.

What kind of questions will I be asked in the test?

The tests aren’t designed to catch you out – the universities just need to ensure that all their students start with the same level of skill.

Some sample numeracy questions from universities include:

  • What is 37 + 75?
  • Round this number to one decimal place: 18.77
  • You earn £370 a week and are given a 6% pay increase. Your colleague earns £400 a week but is given just 3% more a month. Who will get more money added to their weekly pay?

The literacy tests usually involve writing a short essay on a topic such as why you want to be a nurse or reading a short piece of text and answering related questions.

Both the numeracy and literacy tests are quite short and the results may impact on whether you’re invited for interview or not.

Your chosen universities should be able to provide you with guidance and sample questions so you can prepare for the test.

Will I need to attend an open day?

We always advise that you attend open days of any universities that you’re interested in so you can be sure you’re making the right choice.

If you’re applying for a Nursing degree you may be required to attend an open day or selection day as part of the process.

On the day you’ll have the chance to see the facilities, ask current students and staff questions, and get a real feel for the university you’re applying to.

Depending on the university this may also be when your admissions tests and interview takes place.

Will I need to have an interview as part of the application process?

All universities are different but as Nursing is a vocational degree you will usually have to attend an interview as part of the application process.

Your interview could be one on one, a panel interview, a group interview, or some universities have “interview stations” where you move around the stations answering questions about specific aspects of the course.

Talk to each university that you apply to so you can be sure of their application process.

What do universities look for during an interview?

Each university will have its own set of criteria but generally universities are looking for the following things from a candidate during an interview:

  • A basic knowledge and awareness of your chosen area of nursing
  • Awareness of issues within the NHS
  • Evidence of work experience and examples of the skills and knowledge gained during this time
  • Clear communication skills
  • Awareness of challenges you may face during the course and your future career
  • Ability to demonstrate a non-judgmental approach and cultural awareness
  • Evidence of empathy, self-awareness, and a caring approach

What happens after the interview and admissions tests?

If you’re successful then your university will usually let you know fairly quickly and inform UCAS that they’ve made you an offer.

Your offer may have conditions attached to it, such as gaining DBS clearance, passing an occupational health test, or academic conditions that must be met before you can start university.