Writing your personal statement will take time, effort and several revisions before you can submit it, so don’t leave it right up until the deadline to start work on it.
A personal statement should be just that - personal.
Any employer, or university in particular, could check your statement using specialist plagiarism software that detects whether or not you’ve directly lifted text from someone else. If they discover you have copied someone else’s work, you could be rejected by that university or employer for this or any future place.
So, the message is, make it personal to you. Writing a high quality nursing personal statement can be difficult, but we’ve broken it down into manageable sections below.
Start With Who You Are
Your personal statement is your chance to talk directly to the course admissions officer about who you are, what motivates you, and why you should be chosen for a place in the branch of nursing you’ve applied for.
You should demonstrate your knowledge of nursing and the healthcare industry in accordance with your level of education and experience. For example, if you’ve never worked in healthcare before, you should show that you’ve researched the role of a nurse and some of the tasks involved with it. You should show that you know what the day to day routine can be like and how you're suited to it.
If you've worked in healthcare, you can definitely give details of your experiences to back up your reasons for applying. Be specific about how your work has affected your decision to apply and why you feel suited to progressing your career in nursing. Give practical examples of your interactions with nurses, and how they may have influenced your decision to apply.
Relevant Experience And Skills
Everyone has skills and experience that can be applied in a nursing environment, even if they weren’t acquired in a healthcare setting.
Here are some examples of skills and qualities that can be applied in nursing:
Relevant nursing experience can also come from family situations. If you’ve cared for someone in any way at all, then you can definitely use this to back up your statement.
Try to avoid rambling if you’re going to do this, be concise about the tasks you undertook and how it has helped you develop as a person and as a potential student nurse.
Your Ambitions And Career Goals In Nursing
The competition for nursing course places in every branch at every university is fierce, and consequently they want to ensure the places go to candidates who genuinely want to become a nurse, and are motivated to pursue their career in nursing.
Even if you don’t have a specific nursing role you would like to attain in your career, you should go into some detail about what sort of environment you could see yourself working in.
For example if you’re applying for children’s nursing then your ambition should be focussed around children and the age group you could see yourself working with. It may be that you want to focus on neonates in SCBU or childhood diabetes, but either way you should detail some of the professional development you might need in order to achieve your goals.
Things To Watch Out For
Check any documentation from the university to see if there is a word limit set for a personal statement. You don’t want to risk your application not being considered because your personal statement is too long.
Make sure your application is sent before the deadline; the earlier the better. This means you need to start work on your personal statement as soon as you decide to apply. It’s by far the most time consuming part of the application process, and it will undoubtedly require revisions prior to submission.
Don’t feel you have to write in a ‘forced’ way. It’s easy to feel insecure if you don’t feel you can write well, but it’s worse if you feel you have to write in an unfamiliar way just to sound more academic.
It’s important it comes from you and your experiences, and if you can get the reader interested in you as a person from the very beginning, you’ll be in with a better chance of getting an interview.
Browse our list of Nursing Jobs here.
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.