Core placements

Three female students outside walking away from the Queen Elizabeth hospital

Placements are an integral part of our nursing degrees at Birmingham. You will have the opportunity to practice nursing in some of the country's leading healthcare trusts, ranging from community care, to acute care and regional and national centres of excellence.  You may also have the opportunity to practice nursing in other provisions, for example education and social care settings.

By choosing to study nursing at Birmingham you'll be based in one of the largest healthcare regions in the UK and throughout your studies you'll gain experiences with a wide range of patients under the guidance of skilled clinicians. 

Clinical placements vary in length and you will be continually assessed by a Registered Nurse Practice Assessor. You will also be supported by Practice Supervisors during each placement.

Your placement questions answered

Where are my placements likely to be?

We have high quality hospitals and community placements within a short distance of the University. Currently, the majority of hospital placements are within a short distance of the University, often less than five miles. Community placements and some hospital placements are further afield but these are mostly within 10 miles of the University. There are also a small number of placements between 11-20 miles. 

Throughout the course, you will gain invaluable exposure to a number of fields of practice settings, such as Adult, Mental Health and Child & Public Health nursing. Some of these exposures will take place through simulated practice. 

In the final year you will undertake field specific clinical placements and at the end of the course you complete a leadership placement. On this placement you will work with your Practice Assessor and Practice Supervisors who will assess that you have met the required standard called proficiency to be ‘signed off’ as completed the practice part of your programme. This  confirms that you have achieved the standards of competence required for entry to the NMC register.

Adult field of practice

Your experience will include medical and surgical nursing, rehabilitation of adults and working with older adults. You will develop understanding of adult mental health and care for adults with a learning disability. You'll learn about care provided during pregnancy and for babies, children and young people. Practice experience will include some simulated learning, but will also take place in a variety of placements which include but are not limited to, the following placement partners. More information can be found on the following websites:

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. 

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:

How am I supervised and assessed?

You will be continually assessed on clinical placements and be supported by a Practice Assessor and Practice Supervisor, as well as an Academic Assessor. 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 and the West Midlands region. 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 Practice Assessors/Supervisors and nursing students. Academic Assessors from the University of Birmingham also provide support and guidance for students and Practice Assessors/Supervisors.

How are my placements allocated?

Placements are allocated to match your stage in the course, past course experience and chosen field of practice. All placements enable you to develop your knowledge, skills and professional values. Although placements are allocated by the placement administrator, in the final year of the course you can indicate your preferences for the final long placement at the end of the course. You may have the opportunity to undertake an international elective at the end of your second year of the course, this is identified and arranged by you, with support and guidance from the elective academic lead and the Study Abroad and Exchanges Team. Places are competitive and are funded through the Turing Scheme, where there is an emphasis on widening participation.

What hours will I work?

You will attend a variety of placement areas with different hours of working. Start and finish times of shifts vary, with some early shifts starting at 7am and some late shifts end at 10pm. All students are expected to work some nights, weekends, and a mix of early, late and long day shifts. Your average working week will be 37.5 hours and your shifts will be arranged so that you work alongside the nurse who has been allocated to be your supervisor.

How will I get to my placements?

You are responsible for making your own way to placements. If you have the right type of insurance you can use your own car. However, Birmingham and the West Midlands region has a good transport network, with placements being accessible by public transport.