University open day questions to ask about studying nursing

Nursing is a challenging, sometimes difficult, but highly rewarding career option with excellent career development opportunities.

During your degree you’ll spend around 50% of your time in a clinical setting enabling you to put into practice the skills you’ll have learnt in the classroom.

As Nursing is such a vocational course it’s important to be sure that you’re choosing the right course and the right university. After all, you’ll be spending the next three or four years of your life there, so you need to be sure you’re making the best choice for you.

One of the best ways to make the right choice about a university is to attend an open day. This is a great opportunity to see the full picture and not be dazzled by the shiny brochure or flashy website that all universities have.

Here’s more about studying Nursing and the university open day questions to ask about studying Nursing:

Where can I study Nursing?

To work as a nurse in the UK you’ll need to be registered with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) and in order to do this you’ll need to have studied for your degree at an NMC approved institution.

You can search for NMC approved Nursing degree courses on the NMC website.

Once you’ve found a suitable course and university you should book on to an open day for each university that you’re interested in.

You can check out our calendar for details of university open day dates.

What happens at a university open day?

All universities have their own schedule for open days but all open days usually follow a fairly similar format.

At an open day you’ll have a chance to view the campus and university buildings. This will usually include lecture rooms, library facilities, accommodation halls, and recreational facilities.

Universities put on sample lectures, talks by staff and current students, and other activities to give you a better insight into life as a student at their institution.

During the day you’ll have plenty of time to ask questions and find out everything you need to know about the course, the university, and student life.

As a potential Nursing student you may find that you need an interview as part of the application process.

Some universities choose to combine their interviews with their open day so it’s important to check with each university that you’re applying to so you can prepare for the day.

What questions should I ask at the open day?

As we said above, a university open day is your chance to ask any question you like about the course, the university, or being a student.

Here are some good questions to ask at a Nursing university open day: 

About the admissions process

  • Will I need to take an admissions test as part of the application process?
  • Will I also need to attend an interview as part of the admissions process? If so, what will I be expected to demonstrate during the interview?
  • Can I apply to study more than one branch of Nursing/a dual course?

About the Nursing course

  • Can you talk me through what each year of the course entails?
  • Is this course lecture based or problem based learning?
  • Are the lecturers also clinical practitioners?
  • When do I get to specialise into one of the four branches of Nursing?

About equipment and university facilities

  • Which books am I required to buy for this course?
  • How much time will I spend in lectures/in the classroom?
  • How much of the course will I spend in a clinical environment?
  • How modern are the facilities at this university?
  • Does this university have a particular specialism/area of research?

About placements and work experience

  • Do I need to organise my own work experience/placement or does the university do this for me?
  • Is there an opportunity to do an intercalated degree?
  • Which hospitals and/or medical centres do you work with?
  • Will I be expected to travel far for work experience/placements?

About exams and projects

  • How is this course assessed? (Exams, coursework, clinical assessments etc.)
  • What is the weighting for each module/year of the course?
  • Do I need to complete a dissertation or a research project for this course?

About your graduate prospects

  • What are the employment prospects for graduates from this university?
  • What types of jobs or areas are open to me after graduation?
  • How are students are supported to become desirable employment candidates whilst studying?