Thoughts on nursing as a degree

Day 16 of the nurse blogger / NHS Horizons 30 day blogger challenge.

What are my thoughts on nursing as a degree…

I said in my previous blog that when I was younger I saw nursing as a high profession. Back then you had a choice whether to go onto the nursing diploma or the nursing degree.

I knew a couple of people who had completed their diploma, which I think, was only 2 years long (correct me if I’m wrong please) and you didn’t have to do a dissertation at the end (my main reason for wanting this diploma over a degree).

But those who completed the diploma were still good nurses. I don’t think whether you do the diploma or the degree made you a better or worse nurse.

I always saw the nursing degree as the highest of professions, up there along side doctors and something I could never achieve due to lack of confidence and being academically challenged. Because of this, I aimed to get into the diploma course instead. Back then, you only needed an NVQ level 2 – health and social care to get in. However, just as I was applying they cut the diploma and it all changed to degree only nursing.

I almost gave up

Nonetheless, instead of thinking, I CAN’T do this, I thought, let me TRY and do this. I called the university and found out what I needed to do to get on the degree. Access to HE diploma, so I went out and got it.

I finished my access course back in 2012 and I had a few down hills after that which sadly prevented me from continuing through the degree course. But I finally arrived with bells on in January 2017.

Upon starting the degree, I was nervous. I worried that I would fail but I still tried anyway. To avoid failure, I analysed myself inside and out for the first few months; working out what my strengths and weaknesses were.

I found every weakness and went on to build them up to become a strength. Don’t get me wrong, I still have weaknesses, but I don’t let them interfere with my life any more. I face those weaknesses and fears head on because that’s how we overcome them. I also realised, everyone in this world has weaknesses, and that’s why team work makes the dream work.

Each person is unique and has their own abilities, my weakness is someone else’s strength. Working together creates a perfect balance 💙

Anyway, slightly off topic sorry haha. The degree.. I am half way through the degree now, and I absolutely love it! Modules we’ve had so far:

  • Professional values and academic skills
    Anatomy and Physiology
    Nursing practice one
    Health in society
    Nursing practice two
    Nursing in society (current module)
    Nursing practice three (current module)
    Along with the mandatory sessions, manual handling, Aseptique technique, basic life support, catheterisation, information governance, maths and drugs calculations.

In my own opinion; This degree gives you the in-depth knowledge required today. Nursing is changing constantly and the degree is needed to give you the correct skills, knowledge and experience to move forward in nursing. In return, to give your patients the best care possible.

A lecturer at the university asked us “Do you want to be a 40% nurse. Only knowing 40% of the information to care for your patient. Or to give 40% of the information to your patients?”

She’s right. I want more knowledge!

I wanted to have a look at some research about what made the government decide to move from the diploma to the degree and I came across project 2000. Project 2000 was the original launch of putting nurses into class rooms as well as having practical placements. This replaced the ‘learn on the job’ style of nursing taught at nursing school hospitals. The idea behind this was to give nurses the knowledge behind the practice. You can read more here: (Nursing Times 2002)

The removal of the diploma and change to an all degree nursing profession was put in place as it was thought this will better equip nurses to practice safely for their patient ((DOH 2009) following this I remember reading an article about the NMC wanting nursing recognised as a ‘proper profession’ (I can’t find this article now.) I actually agree with both of these statements because patients lives can be at risk in your hands. You have to know exactly what’s what when out there caring for a patient and the slightest mistake can have catastrophic results. Furthermore, nursing is a high profession and it should be recognised.

Now, I have gone from ‘I can’t’ to ‘I will try’ all the way to ‘I CAN do this and I can see the finish line.’

If you’re reading this and looking at doing the nursing degree but, like me, you don’t think you can do this. Think again! Yes it’s tough, but there is support to help you through it. Don’t think you can’t do something, we are our own worst critics. Instead, say ‘let me try and see what happens’ you might surprise yourself.

If I can do this so can you!

6 thoughts on “Thoughts on nursing as a degree

  1. Thank you for writing this! As someone who is looking at starting a nursing degree next year it’s great to read and hear about other people’s experience of nursing and doing a nursing degree to put my mind at rest 😊


    1. That’s so nice to hear!! Where will you be studying? 🙂 don’t let anyone put you off if it’s what you want to do! Get out and do it. Don’t let the loans etc put you off either! It’s not as bad as they make out 😊


      1. Thanks 😊 I’m applying for UCLAN – nursing is something I always wanted to do and I can’t wait to get started! 😊


    1. Thank you!! I liked yours too! 😊 What’s funny is, back then when I was younger, I’d you asked me about the degree I’d probably of said ‘no you don’t need a degree!’ But now, yes, you definitely do! 😊
      You’re going to be a fantastic MH nurse too. 🙂 x


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