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Practice Learning Placements

Your academic learning is only half the story. We want to help you develop the sort of confidence that can only come from practice. That’s why you’ll spend half your time applying your skills to real challenges and caring for real patients.

During your practice learning - or placement - you’ll experience what life will be like after you qualify and learn to follow the NMC’s Standards of Proficiency for registered nurses and midwives.

You’ll learn to communicate and manage relationships effectively with patients, families and co-workers. At the same time, you’ll perfect the skills that are key to your role.

Where will my placements be?

We want our nurses and midwives to experience what it’s like to care for patients with different needs, be part of a diverse team and work across large organisations.

As well as allocating every student a host practice learning organisation, where you spend most of your time, you may also complete some placements in other private, voluntary and independent providers to experience working with different types of patient.

To make sure you receive the rounded experience the NMC requires you to have during your learning, each year we work with our practice learning partners to arrange around 12,000 placements for our students. Our partners assess the needs of the local populations they serve and the range of healthcare settings they provide. So, our placement allocations will often change each year. 

Our placement locations

As a King's Nurse or Midwife, you'll receive a rounded practice learning experience on placements located across a wide geographical area.

The placement location will very likely vary across each host practice learning organisation a student is linked to and may include a small number of placements with a different provider. This means students will have variable journey times to and from placements over the course of the programme for practice learning. Students are also required to complete some placements at night and at weekends as part of the 24 hour seven day a week of NHS provision.  

Travelling to and from placements

Travel to placement can take up to one hour and 40 minutes depending on where you live and where your placement is located. If you choose to not live in London, this travel time could be longer. 

In the 2021-22 academic year, on average the travel time for one of our first-year nursing students attending their first placement was 49 minutes. For midwifery it was 40 minutes. We’ve broken the travel journey times down below to give you a better idea of the varying times it takes students to get to placements.


Average overall travel time

Time travelled by percentage of students

0-20 mins

21-40 mins

41-60 mins

61-80 mins

81-100 mins

Nursing combined














The below maps are designed to give you a good indication of where you might be placed in London. The pins are of our clinical placement locations, but we haven't added all our community placement locations as there are too many to list!

Nursing clinical practice placements

Midwifery clinical practice placements

(NB: this map is not interactive)

Map pinpointing locations in Greater London

How long will I spend on placement?

We’ve designed our pre-registration courses so students spend half their time on placement. You’ll spend the other half of your time developing knowledge and preparing for the demands of practice. 

Placements vary from 6 to 13 weeks. You’ll work hours reflect typical shift patterns of nurses and midwives. So expect early starts, night shifts and days ranging from 7.5 to 11.5 hours long.

How will I be assessed?

During placement, your learning will be guided using a practice assessment document. This explains the practice outcomes and professional values and shows us the hours you’ve worked and what you’ve achieved.

When you are on placement your learning will be supported by practice supervisors and practice assessors as well as an academic assessor. This helps us check you’re on the right track and fit to join the NMC register. 

What support will King's give me?

Nursing and midwifery are challenging. We’ll assign you a Personal Tutor to provide help, advice and encouragement through the highs and lows.

Before placement, you’ll benefit from a range of resources to help you prepare. For example, our peer-to-peer buddy scheme for first years.

Our teaching staff also work with practice supervisors, practice assessors and practice learning partners and students. We want our students to make the most out of the experience and feel like they always have the support they need.

Find out more from our students

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Elective experiences

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