Open Days at the University of Plymouth are a fantastic way to see the campus, meet the staff and ask those unusual questions. I attended the Open Day on Saturday 29th September with several faculty members to promote mental health nursing and answer questions from hopeful applicants and nervous parents. I really recommend attending an Open Day, but if you can’t, I’ve collected some questions from the day, with answers from the staff and students who were there:
Can I study a combined course in nursing?
Not yet, although the University has submitted a proposal to the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC). They provide accreditation for nursing courses in the UK and, hopefully, the 4-year Master of Nursing combined course will be available from 2020. Keep an eye on the website for updates!
How much overlap is there between the branches of nursing?
Plymouth is proud to offer some of the most branch-specific nursing degrees in the country: each year, most modules are branch-specific. Some universities in the UK offer a degree in MH nursing with only one module on mental health over 3 years! While this means the branches overlap less at Plymouth, nursing students graduate with specialist skills that mark them out to employers worldwide.
What will my employment prospects look like once I graduate?
Of the past three graduating cohorts, 100% of those who wanted jobs had them! With a national nursing shortage and a qualification that can take you in many directions (including North America and Australasia), you are virtually guaranteed work at the end. There aren’t many degrees that can say that!
How are placements organised?
The NMC dictates that each nursing student must complete a minimum of 2300 hours of theory and 2300 hours of practice. Plymouth is proud to offer one of the most practice-focused MH nursing degree courses in the UK. Each year, students study two theory blocks and two practice blocks, for a total of six placements. There is also the option of a seventh placement, an elective anywhere you choose, even overseas!
Can I choose my placements?
Placements are allocated and each MH nursing student must complete placements in four settings – older people, acute, community and inpatient – although most of these overlap, and there are lots of specialist settings too, such as perinatal, eating disorder or forensic.
Which hospitals do you cover?
Most of the work of MH nurses takes place in the community and not in hospitals. The University of Plymouth works with four trusts for MH nursing placements: Cornwall Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, Devon Partnership NHS Trust, Somerset Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, and Livewell Southwest. Each student is allocated a trust, and will conduct all six placements within that trust.
Can I study in Exeter?
Absolutely! As of 2018, the Exeter School of Nursing (run by the University of Plymouth) has accepted 2nd-year MH nursing students and, as of 2019, will accept 1st- and 3rd-year students as well!
What’s the application process like?
Check out my previous blog post: http://www.mylifewithplym.com/felicitys-blog/2018/9/28/mental-health-nursing-the-application-process
If you want to visit an Open Day you can book your place via the University website - https://www.plymouth.ac.uk/study/open-days/ugopendays