Nursing and Midwifery
‘The School of Nursing and Midwifery provides a vibrant and dynamic education, where the learning experience is at the heart of what we do’. We're proud to be ranked 6th in the UK for Nursing and Midwifery (Guardian League Table, 2020).
Please note, we are still accepting applications for BSc Adult Nursing, Learning Disability Nursing and Mental Health Nursing. 2020/21 applicants can find further information regarding admissions here: https://www.keele.ac.uk/coronavirus/applicants/
Our School of Nursing and Midwifery has had over 120 final year students step up to help the NHS through the current outbreak by undertaking extended placements in line with Health Education England guidance. We are thankful and proud of all our students who have been deployed into practice and we'd like to share with you some of their comments and thoughts about being on the frontline and helping the NHS fight against Covid-19.
Definitely the right decision...
"For me, deciding to opt in was a really big decision. I'll be honest...Covid scares me! But after much deliberation I decided to opt in and I'm so glad I did. I'm on placement where I will be working when I'm qualified so it's extra time that I wouldn't have had to gain the skills and knowledge I will need! The area has been so welcoming and appreciative! This first week has been good getting to grips with the area again. There are still some blurred lines whilst everyone gets used to what our role is, including me but we will get there in time."
"I love being back at placement I picked to come to critical care because I already have a job here when I qualify and I think it’s very useful to have these extra months of learning and gaining knowledge. I don’t feel exposed to COVID19 as we have enough PPE and it’s all regulated. I don’t regret my decision to opt into placement as I feel like it’s benefited me in a good way and I’m gaining more out of it. Also I get extra training at placement which is also useful for me."
First week in critical care...
"I've been made to feel really welcome by all the staff and already feel like part of the team! Training has been good and they continue to educate us throughout our shifts. Staff are intrested in what assessments we still have to do and offering us advice on how to complete them! Everyone has pulled together reducing any anxiety I had when starting, I look forward to going on shift and learning something everyday, Thank you so much to the whole Critical Care team :)"
A challenge worth taking..."I am happy that I opted in and took this route! There is a completely different patient group on the ward at the minute which is very challenging and it has been hard to adapt at times but I am gaining a lot of skills I wouldn't do normally on this ward and some of the staff have said how appreciative they are that I have opted in and come to work which has been a real confident booster!"
Nursing is a journey..."Nursing is a journey, I say this to myself every moment! I agreed to opt in to the extended placement as I could not imagine myself doing otherwise. On my first day, I was full of nerves, not knowing what to expect or how to react with the current Covid situation. However, the staffs and the sister in charge welcomed me and they seemed really like a nice bunch, all of them including the HCAs.The accurate use of PPE was drummed into us by the University tutors and on arriving to the ward, it was reiterated by the sister of the ward. There are surplus of PPE as required by the ward, enough foods and drinks supplied to the staffs by the Trust! Life is good I said to myself and what could possible go wrong?On return to my lunch break, I decided to complete patient’s observation as they were due according to the vitalpac. One of my patients scores 4 on the NEWS (high temperature and respiratory rate) and I escalated it and he was swabbed for Covid and moved to a different ward. On my arriving to the ward a day later to be told the patient tested positive for Covid!I began to reassess myself to ensure that did as I was trained to in regards to PPE, when caring for a patient, I’m glad to say YES, I protected myself by making use of the PPE provided, throughout my shift on that day and washed my hands thoroughly!Overall, I’m glad to be back on the ward to do my bit in helping the NHS staffs especially the nurses, the ward indeed is my stage that’s where I thrive and I’m pleased to be part of this life line."
Difficult decisions..."Choosing to opt in was a really difficult decision due to anxiety around underlying health conditions. I have started on children's a&e and I am really happy that I decided to opt in. Everyone has been really supportive and have welcomed me with open arms. I am also really glad that I am back in a clinical area and am really enjoying my time here so far. It is scary but I don't regret this decision at all."
Week 1..."The night before my first shift I was so apprehensive, despite my earlier excitement and enthusiasm to get back into practice. It feels like a lot of responsibility, and now we are being paid, expectation. I went to my department induction, but was still nervous about actually starting on shift. After induction I was introduced to my new assessor and within 15 minutes I knew I was home! I feel confident in my decision to opt in to extended placement, and I am excited about my future in the department. I am literally pinching myself now, I can't believe I made it this far, got through my training and have landed my dream job in an area I never thought I'd want to work! The staff are all wonderfully supportive, and I know that my training continues to be a priority for them as well as myself. It feels good to be helping in this situation. What better time to be starting our careers! I genuinely believe this will be the making of us as nurses."
First week on a Covid-19 ward..."Before starting placement I had so much anxiety about starting placement again, I even considered opting out last minute. After my first few shifts I’m so glad I didn’t. I’ve been welcomed by everyone on the ward and made to feel a part of the team. They’ve given me amazing support whilst also allowing me to work independently and manage my own team of patients. All of the staff know the PPE guidelines really well which has alleviated my anxiety around it, I feel safe to ask questions without seeming silly or daft. I’m so glad I chose this option and I really hope it’s something that could be looked at for future 3rd year cohorts as I feel it’s really supporting my development and transition to a qualified nurse."
Tough decisions..."This was a tough decision that I battled with over and over in my head. Opt in or opt out. So as a single parent I've battled through, but always overcome each hurdle or obstacle put in my way with the help of two great parents to fill in the gaps for childcare. I battled with the decision to train as a Mental health nurse being alot older than most in my cohort. I am so thankful I was brave enough to forget the financial pressures of life to do it and to be a role model for my daughter growing up. For myself training in mental health is something that I hold really close to my heart. It gives me a sense of reward and through meeting some fantastic individuals throughout my training it has motivated myself to get to where I now stand. I am relying on childcare through the normal school hours to be out in practice Monday to Friday for a short time each day. The thought of putting yourself at risk is constantly in my mind and also putting my little family at risk but to see the smile on the patients faces throughout my short shift makes me thankful to be able to help at this time. In a time when as 09/17 cohort we have felt hard done to through tuition fees and student loans and the debt we shall have once we get given that lovely sparkly blue and white tunic, this all falls away to be able to help at a time when as a profession we are needed most to help out and be that friendly face to reassure those around us, whether that is a patient or a staff member. For those that where unable to opt in, you will soon be with us working side by side as a qualified nurse who feels just as passionate as I do about what is ahead of you. Remember storms dont last forever and rainbows are ahead of us. Stay safe."
The School of Nursing and Midwifery at Keele University supports the professional and personal development of all our student Nurses and Midwives, with NMC-approved undergraduate, postgraduate and post-registration level programmes.
You will be supported throughout your time with us by our friendly community of dedicated personal tutors, course leaders, practice supervisors and assessors in clinical practice and professional staff. You will also have access to our extensive clinical skills and simulation facilities which will help prepare you for your time on placement.
The School is based at the Clinical Education Centre within the University Hospitals of North Midlands NHS Trust. We have formed close relationships with our clinical partners across the North West and Midlands, and work hard together to provide the experience that our students need to become fully confident and professional Nurses or Midwives.
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Facts and Figures
Top 10 in Nursing and Midwifery The Guardian University League Table 2020
Top 10 in Nursing The Complete University Guide 2020
GOLD in the teaching excellence framework Also Top 5 in the UK (THE ranking, broad-based universities)
Joint 1st in England for overall Student Satisfaction NSS 2018 (broad-based universities)
96% graduate employability HESA - Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education 2017