Writing a personal statement for nursing or midwifery is no easy task, so here are some tips that will help.
- Be organised. Before you start writing, make bullet points of everything you want to include and order them in terms of importance
- Show passion
- Show you understand the reality of the role. For example, 24-hour care / on call / shifts
- Start writing early. Give yourself plenty of time to read, edit and check - and then, check again!
- Write it in a Word document and then copy and paste it into UCAS when ready
- Focus on your field of choice, whether it's adult, child, mental health, learning disability nursing or midwifery
- Explain your choice. What is your inspiration to be a nurse in that field or a midwife?
- Tell us what qualities you bring to the course
- Think about what values and qualities you need to be a good nurse or midwife. How you can show evidence of these?
- Tell us what experiences you have and how they will help you in your field of choice. These do not necessarily have to be care experiences
- Demonstrate your overall awareness of the course – 50% theory and 50% practice for example
- Do use all the lines as you will need these to show your insight and experiences
- Only mention hobbies that reveal something relevant about you. Perhaps they have taught you good timekeeping skills, teamwork or given you extra insight or experience in your area of interest
- Proof read. Correct spelling and grammar is absolutely vital. A misplaced apostrophe or absence of capital letters can be seriously off-putting. Use the spell-check on your computer and get parents and teachers to proofread your statement
- Don't simply list what you have done. Saying you were captain of the hockey team or spent a week at a local newspaper is not very helpful unless you use it to show what you learned from the experience
- Don't use clichés. One of the most overused opening sentences is: My mother or grandmother was a nurse/midwife therefore...
- Don’t say you want to be a nurse/midwife just because you have watched a TV programme (several possibilities here!)
- Don't use famous quotes from people you admire. We are interested in what you have to say - not Florence Nightingale
- Don't list your interests, demonstrate them. Actually doing something, such as joining a national society, volunteering or being involved in a charity, shows you have passion and drive
- Don't use slang or text language (lol) but on the other hand, don't be overly wordy or pretentious either. Keep it simple and clear
- Don't ask too many people for advice. Input from parents and teachers can be helpful, but this is a personal statement - we want to hear your voice and personality.
As well as this guidance, you can also see the UCAS website for information and guidance on preparing your personal statement.
The personal statement is your only chance to speak to us directly about the reasons why you have chosen to study midwifery.
It is helpful if in addition to general statements about why you would like to be a midwife, you:
- identify some relevant personal and / or work experience that has influenced your choice
- explain how this work experience has influenced your choice, and how you have used this as a basis for furthering your knowledge about midwifery.
- establish that you understand what the demands of the course are for you in terms of theory, practical work and study
- explain what you are doing to ensure you will be able to meet the challenges you have identified in the above point.
This is an opportunity for you to show us how well you communicate your thoughts and ideas in writing within limits.
It is a skill you will need on the course.
There is a list of dos and don'ts in the UCAS guidance which is really helpful, and we encourage you to follow it so that we can see you can communicate clearly.
The UCAS advice covers key points;
- what to include
- dos and don'ts
- size and presentation.
UCAS also alerts you to the use of 'similarity detection' to ensure your personal statement is your own personal account in approximately 600 words about:
- why you want to become a midwife
- why you think University of West London should invite you to a selection day to be considered for entry to the course.
UCAS recommends you prepare your personal statement offline in advance, and then copy and paste your work into the 'Apply' system.
You will help yourself by careful preparation, making sure it is relevant to midwifery and clearly and articulately written.