The University of Birmingham is a research focused institution and this shapes the curriculum of the Bachelor of Nursing (BNurs) degree. The Department of Nursing has formed a partnership with local NHS trusts and we are working closely to ensure that the Bachelor of Nursing is up to date and clinically focused. Both academic and clinical staff at all levels work together, to ensure the programme is patient focused and meets your learning needs.
The theory and practice of nursing are studied in the context of cutting edge research in the University and on clinical placements in a variety of NHS and non-NHS health care organisations, in the vibrant multicultural city of Birmingham. This rigorous programme will appeal to you if you are looking for a degree which demands a high level of commitment and intellectual attainment, leading to a rewarding career as a nurse.
Our degree programme is distinctive in that it provides you with experience of nursing in Adult, Mental Health and Child and Public Health clinical settings in Year 1, before making a decision about the field of nursing practice you wish to study in Years 2 and 3. This ensures you are able to make an informed choice about becoming an Adult, Mental Health or Children’s Nurse.
The Bachelor of Nursing at the University of Birmingham incorporates an international focus including a 4 week elective experience which you can arrange overseas. This experience will provide you with knowledge and skills which will be beneficial in your future career working as a Registered Nurse in the UK or in any other country in the world.
In 2015, the results of the National Student Survey (NSS) showed that 92% of our students were satisfied with the teaching on this programme and 93% were satisfied with their personal development on the programme.
You will be continually assessed on clinical placements and be supported by a Registered Nurse mentor who has undertaken a NMC approved mentor preparation course. At the University of Birmingham, you will have the opportunity to practice nursing in some of the country's leading healthcare trusts ranging from primary care, to acute care and also tertiary centres of excellence in the Birmingham and Solihull area. You will undertake a range of diverse and exciting clinical placements, gaining a variety of experiences with a wide range of client groups, under the guidance of skilled clinicians.
In order to maximise your learning experience on clinical placements, practice placement teams organise teaching sessions, student forums and provide on-going clinical support for mentors and nursing students. Clinical link tutors from the University of Birmingham also provide support and guidance for students and mentors, facilitating student forums on clinical link tutor visit days and visiting placement areas regularly.
Adult field of practice
You will have placements in hospital settings, with the opportunity to work in medicine, surgery, accident and emergency, critical care, rehabilitation and older adults. In the community you will work in hospices, intermediate care and with district nurses and other specialist healthcare professionals. More information on placement areas can be found on the following websites:
Student comments from adult clinical placements in 2013:
‘It offers a wide range of clinical skills at an appropriate level for a first year. Students are encouraged to visit other wards including the surgical theatres. The Practice Placement Manager is very involved with the student experience and was swift to try to resolve problems that arose. Every Monday the students are provided with a training session – I think this is an excellent help for students.’
‘The knowledge and clinical skills I gained will be invaluable in the future, as I got the chance to observe things that unqualified nurses rarely have the opportunity to experience e.g. following a patient from admission, watching their pre-operative assessments, watching the operation and discharging them. The staff on the ward were kind and supportive, as were most of the clinical staff in the adjoining theatres.’
‘I really enjoyed this placement, it was the most challenging but I enjoyed every shift, my mentor was great and all the nurses I worked with were friendly and helpful.’
Mental Health field of practice
You will have the opportunity to work with children and adolescents through to older adults with mental health problems. You will work in community, residential and hospital settings, gaining a wide range of clinical skills. More information can be found on the Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health Foundation Trust website:
Some student comments from mental health clinical placements in 2013:
‘Excellent team employing a variety of treatment methods from varying schools including holistic medicine (massage, acupuncture, herbal medicine, and aromatherapy) cognitive behavioral therapy, (CBT) solution focused therapy (SFT) and medical approaches. Each Friday afternoon was set aside for a teaching session delivered by an outside speaker or by a member of the multidisciplinary team with a particular specialty.’
‘My mentor was fantastic. I felt integrated within the team and felt I had an important role. The placement was enlightening and has helped me make my decision to branch into mental health.’
Child field of practice
Your placements will focus on the child and their family; you will work in local nurseries, communities and hospitals, as well as the internationally renowned Diana, Princess of Wales, Children's Hospital. More information can be found on the following websites:
Some student comments from child clinical placements in 2013:
‘There were many varied opportunities for learning. The conditions and surgeries required were so varied there was always something new to learn. Staff were friendly, approachable and had a great team spirit, welcoming students easily into the team and supporting my learning at all times.’
‘The opportunity to care for the most seriously ill children using advanced technological equipment. The staffs knowledge and skills were the most advanced I have worked with; therefore I have learnt the most on this placement throughout my student career. Even though the environment can be emotionally draining, my mentors really took the time out to support me.’