UCAS has a wealth of information and guidance on preparing your personal statement which you need to look at as well as this specific advice on applying for nursing courses at University of West London.
The UCAS advice covers, key points, what to include, dos and don'ts and size and presentation.
UCAS also alerts you to the use of 'similarity detection' to ensure your personal statement include:
- your personal account in approximately 600 words
- why you want to become a nurse
- why University of West London should invite you to a selection day to be considered for entry to the course.
The statement is your only chance to speak to us directly about the reasons why you have chosen your course, whether this is Adult, Child, Learning Disability or Mental Health Nursing.
You may be tempted to put all of these options down but this could be seen as you not being focussed and committed to one area of nursing.
So choose one branch of nursing and give a clear account of why you have chosen that branch.
All this will help us to decide on whether to offer you a place on a selection day.
It is helpful if in addition to general statements about wanting to help people if you could identify some previous personal experience that has influenced your choice.
For example you would need to say more than 'I was cared for when ill' or that you have 'worked as health care assistant'.
The account of your experience can be helpful to your application only if you can say in what ways it has influenced your choice.
Understanding care and compassion
In healthcare generally and specifically in nursing there is an emphasis on being both technically skilled, being able to do the technical and physical tasks required in providing treatment but also to show that you are able to care and be compassionate in your work with patients.
Caring and compassion are easy words to say but very hard to translate into actions that show an ability to understand and respond to the suffering experienced by people and make a difference.
This is something you may want to think carefully about and how you can convey your ability to be caring and compassionate.
Demands of the course
Your personal experience also offers you the chance to establish that you understand what the demands of the course are for you in terms of theory, practical work and study, and what you will do to ensure you will be able to meet the challenge you have identified.
Writing within limits
The personal statement is an opportunity to show us how well you communicate your thoughts and ideas in writing within limits. This is a skill you will need on the programme.
The list of UCAS dos and don'ts are really helpful for this, we would encourage you to follow it so that we can see that you are able to communicate your ideas and experience.
You will help yourself by careful preparation of the personal statement, making sure it is relevant to the course you have chosen and rehearsing what you will write.
UCAS recommend you to prepare the statement offline in advance and then copy and paste your work into the application system.
This helps you to communicate with us and tell us why we should choose to interview you.
I am applying for a Mental Health Nursing degree because I want to help people who suffer from mental illness. With the skills I have acquired whilst working as a support worker and whilst studying a Health Professions course, I believe I will achieve my goal of going to university.
I gained some insight into a mental health career whilst working part-time as a support worker. The role includes writing care plans, interacting with the patients as well as carrying out ward rounds with a group of healthcare professionals.I would like to expand my knowledge further at a degree level and possibly higher. I’m also aware of the importance of treating people in a non-judgemental manner and to respect equality in a mental health setting such as working with employees and clients with different religious beliefs and different cultures. I feel it is important to use the Mental Health role to promote mental health illness to the public. I am convinced that mental illness is an area in which most people are uncomfortable either talking about or taking part in preventing and supporting those who suffer from mental issues. I have excellent communication skills which I have gained through working in care .For example when I am communicating with clients that have trouble speaking, I will use good body language and good eye contact. I sometimes use objects such as toys when they want to play or a spoon when it is time to eat. I learned to use documentation when working with clients as each individual client has a care plan that we use to write their daily notes such as personal care, activities and appointments with doctors. This helps the other employees during handover because they will know how to help the clients based on the documentation I have written. This has taught me the importance of communication and team work as it contributes to successfully support people who suffer from mental illness.
I have a stammer but I managed to enroll on a speech therapy program called McGuire program. The program gave me confidence and my speech has improved since then. The program made me face my fear of speaking. The program helped me to accept my speech problem and taught me to live with my stammer. One of the techniques used were, they made me speak to 100 strangers and disclosing to the strangers that “I have a stammer and I have been hiding for years but now I am happy as a stammerer and I now have gained control of my speech”. The program helped me to apply the skills I have learnt on the program and implement them directly to my mental health work for example , It taught me to empathise with people that suffer from mental illness and to always give consideration when communicating with them so that they can be comfortable communicating with me .
I was born and raised in South Africa and moved to England for career opportunities. I have had many family members who work in a mental health setting and I saw the satisfaction they receive from helping patients. I have also had family members suffer from mental health problems, but with my family member having experience with the mental health professional experience, they were able to offer advice on how they can be treated. That inspired me to pursue a career in mental health. I know that studying Mental Health Nursing at university will be challenging because health care professionals must have the ability to make decisions, show compassion and support the diverse needs of individuals in their care. The role will test my skills and abilities however I am confident that I can meet these challenges and choosing nursing will help me fulfil my ambition of supporting and treating others in a mental healthcare environment.