Writing a personal statement to apply for a nursing degree

A personal statement is your chance to shine as a Nursing applicant and set yourself apart from the hundreds of other college students with similar grades.

Your personal statement is the part of your application that allows you to show what a great nurse you’ll be once you’re qualified and that you’ll be a brilliant student whilst studying.

This means that you need to avoid writing a personal statement that sounds just like every other personal statement in the admission tutor’s inbox. The clue is in the name really, a “personal” statement should be just that.

You’ll need to clearly and concisely demonstrate how your own experiences and motivations have led you to decide that you want to become a nurse. Then, using details of your work experience you can demonstrate why you’d be a great nurse.

No one can tell you exactly what to say in your personal statement. You need to find a way to use the practical experience you’ve gained before applying to demonstrate the passion you have for the subject.

In fact, sometimes it’s easier to tell you what not to say in your personal statement…

Five things to avoid in your Nursing personal statement

  • Don’t write an ordinary Nursing personal statement

Think about what makes you stand out as a Nursing candidate and show it in your personal statement. Avoid phrases such as “I’ve always wanted to be a nurse…”

  • Don’t waste words explaining what a nurse does

These people are the experts, they don’t need to you to explain to them what the role of a nurse entails. You have a limited word count for a personal statement so it’s important to make the most of it.

  • Don’t forget to explain why you want to be a nurse

Make sure you remember to explain to the admissions tutor what interests you about Nursing and why you love it. You could do this by including a story or anecdote that explains what initially attracted you to the Nursing field.

  • Don’t make silly mistakes

Be accurate – spelling and grammar mistakes aren’t going to cut it. Also, be sure to research modern nursing and be sure that your information is up to date and demonstrate that you’ve done this research to the admissions tutor.

  • Don’t leave out information that shows what you’ve been doing to prepare for your career in Nursing

This means you should detail any work experience, volunteering, or part time work you’ve done in order to prepare for your career. This will show the admissions tutor that you’re committed to Nursing and have made an effort to gain some practical skills before you start your degree.

This work experience could be in a hospital, pharmacy, doctor’s surgery, care home, hospice, or other clinical environment.

When you’re talking about your relevant experience try to explain and reflect on what you’ve learnt about the realities of Nursing and how this has prepared you for the challenges you’ll face during your career.

Top tips for an amazing Nursing personal statement

  • Write clearly and concisely, in a well-structured way
  • Tell the admissions tutor how you came to the decision to study Nursing
  • Detail why, specifically, you want to study the branch of Nursing you’ve applied for (Adult, Children’s Mental Health, or Learning Disabilities)
  • What it is about your skills, personality, attitude, values, and character that makes you an ideal Nursing candidate?
  • Be generic about the university – remember all the universities you apply to will read the same personal statement, so don’t name specific universities
  • Talk about anything in your academic studies (school projects etc.) that is particularly relevant to your future degree course
  • Read sample Nursing personal statements – but don’t copy them!
  • Avoid embellishing or bending the truth – you’ll be asked about your personal statement in your interview so unless it’s the truth, don’t say it
  • Proofread, proofread, proofread – if we’ve said it once, we’ll say it again!

For more personal statement tips and example personal statements, for subjects including Nursing, you can check out our personal statements section.