We know that applying for pre-registration Nursing and Midwifery courses can be a little daunting - from the personal statement to the interview, it might seem like there's a lot involved! This article aims to demystify the application process for Nursing and Midwifery programmes at King's, and in doing so offer some tips on putting together a great personal statement and exceling at interview.
1. Is it worth applying for pre-registration Nursing and Midwifery programmes at King’s if my predicted or achieved grades are slightly below your published criteria?
King’s aims to prepare students to become future leaders in the fields of nursing and midwifery – clinical, academic, research, managerial – and encourages applications from those who aspire to excellence and who anticipate achieving the required grades. We realise, however, that there may be a variety of reasons why someone does not achieve all they are capable of in the school environment.
At BSc level, King’s operates a contextualised admissions scheme. This means that candidates who have experienced certain barriers that make it harder for them to achieve our standard entry requirements are given offer conditions below this standard if their application is successful. In the case of Nursing and Midwifery applicants, this is normally one A-Level grade below our standard criteria. Note that applicants given contextual offers must still meet the GCSE requirements (five GCSEs at grade 4/C including English Language, Mathematics and Science, or an acceptable alternative) to comply with NMC registration criteria.
At MSc level, King’s is often able to consider candidates with 2.2 degrees at undergraduate level in cases where the applicant provides a strong personal statement.
2. Is it essential for Nursing and Midwifery applicants to King’s to have healthcare related work/internship/volunteering experience? Does this need to be in a clinical setting?
BSc level applicants are not required to have any set number of hours of healthcare related work experience, but it can make for a stronger application (and provide useful talking points for the personal statement and interview) if a candidate has acquired some. We understand that this is not always possible, and applicants should mention in the personal statement any previous attempts made or future intentions to gain such experience before the beginning of the programme. Even work experience unrelated to healthcare can be a useful way of demonstrating how an applicant has developed some of the skills needed for the nursing or midwifery professions, provided that such connections are made clear in the personal statement.
MSc level applicants are required to have 575 hours (900 hours in the case of MNurs applicants) of healthcare-related experience, which can include placements taken as part of a previous undergraduate degree. Note that it is not necessary for applicants to have completed all of these hours prior to submitting an application, and applicants can build up their hours of experience during the assessment process. However, please be mindful that all 575 hours (900 hours for MNurs applicants) will need to be completed and verified by the end of August (timeframe may vary). This experience must have been achieved within five years of the start date of the programme, and can include paid full- or part-time employment, or voluntary work. Applicants can combine experience from more than one position/role. Examples of healthcare experience we have considered include, but are not limited to: Health Care Assistant, Care Assistant, Support Worker, Worker with healthcare charities, personal care e.g., of a relative or child (must be verified by the GP of the cared person), St John’s Ambulance, Teacher of SEN (Special Education Needs) children, Helpline advisor e.g., 111, 999, Samaritans (a maximum of 75 hours are permitted).
In cases where an applicant holds an undergraduate degree but doesn’t have time to acquire the required number of hours by the end of August, a potential option is to apply for the relevant BSc level programme and transfer to the MSc after the first year (in such cases, both years of the MSc will still need to be completed).
3. How important is the personal statement when it comes to securing an interview for Nursing and Midwifery programmes at King’s? What does King’s look for in the personal statement?
Personal statements can be a crucial factor in determining whether an applicant is invited for interview. If the personal statement is not relevant to the course being applied for (e.g. a personal statement focused on Children’s Nursing or Medicine is submitted for Midwifery), the chances of success are very low. In scoring the statements, King’s Admissions are looking primarily for:
- Subject understanding and interest: Does the applicant have a good understanding of the scope of the role of an adult/child/mental health nurse (as opposed to just nursing in general) or midwife? Do they demonstrate understanding of the reality and challenges of working in the NHS? Have they provided evidence of having read any relevant journals or other relevant resources in the field?
- Extracurricular interests relevant to the subject: Has the applicant written about any relevant experience (such as work shadowing in a caring role), or any attempts to gain such experience?
- Clarity of writing and structure: Does the personal statement have a logical structure and flow and is it easy to follow? Has the applicant been careful to avoid spelling mistakes?
Candidates who have studied midwifery or nursing previously should declare this in the personal statement, provide relevant transcripts and explain the reasons why they did not complete their course, giving details of the programme lead who can act as a referee.
4. What is the typical format of Nursing and Midwifery applicant interviews at King’s and what are we looking for in terms of performance?
Interviews now all take place online via Microsoft Teams and last for around 25 to 30 minutes, with an opportunity to ask questions at the end. The interview will be conducted by a member of staff from the Florence Nightingale Faculty of Nursing, Midwifery and Palliative Care.
The online interview consists of a combination of open ended and multiple-choice questions assessing five areas:
- Choice of career
- Emotional Intelligence
5. Does King’s have any tips on how best to prepare for Nursing and Midwifery interviews?
- Re-read your personal statement so that all the points you’ve made about your interest in the subject and relevant experience are fresh in your mind.
- Read up on some of the current hot topics in Nursing and Midwifery practice. Potential sources may include RCN Magazine, Nursing Times, British Journal of Nursing, Midwives magazine by the Royal College of Midwifery and the British Journal of Midwifery.
- Take a look through the online prospectus pages for your course and our information on placements (so you are familiar with the course content and structure), as well as the faculty web pages to get an idea of the latest happenings and research in your area at King’s.
- It is helpful to have a pen and paper to hand during the interview for making notes.
- Ensure you have a functional webcam (which may need to be specially enabled if you are on a school or college computer), an adequate WiFi signal, photo ID ready and are on time for your interview.
For more information on our pre-registration Nursing and Midwifery programmes at King’s, visit our prospectus pages (a list can be found on our faculty page). We look forward to receiving your application via UCAS.