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Children's Nursing (BN)

Entry year


Join our nursing programme, ranked in the top 10 in the Complete University Guide 2019 and validated by the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC).

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Child Nursing students observing

Course overview

Do you want to make a difference, not just a choice? 

Children’s nursing is a compassionate, challenging and rewarding career. Our programme provides you with the skills and knowledge to become a registered children’s nurse within 3 years and offers you the opportunity to make a real difference to children’s lives; a value that few other professions can offer.  

Children’s nurses provide support and care to children, adolescents and their families. The role can involve everything from nursing a sick new-born baby to caring for an adolescent road accident victim. A child nurse needs to interpret children’s behaviour and reactions and be able to spot when a child's health deteriorates, which can often happen rapidly.  Children have very specific health needs and children’s nurses are practiced within a family-centred care approach, where children, young people and their carers are actively supported to become involved in care decisions.  

While you will specialise in child nursing from the start of the course, the integrated nature of teaching means you will at times learn with those studying mental health nursing and adult nursing. Sharing ideas between disciplines will broaden your perspective on health care, and help to sharpen your focus on your own field. 

By fully engaging with this degree you will develop skills in family centred-patient care, learn about the effects and management of acute and long-term childhood conditions, assess pain and psychological responses to ill health and learn play and distraction techniques as well as many other techniques. This will enable you to deliver high quality child nursing care in a rapidly changing environment.  

You will be taught by motivated and knowledgeable lecturers in the field of child nursing who are influencing healthcare across Wales and beyond through engagement and research. This is demonstrated by our School receiving 1st place in the UK for research environment in the most recent Research Excellence Framework (REF). 

You will spend approximately 50% of your time on placement. We have close working relationships with varied service providers in Wales and your learning could take place both in hospitals and in the community. You will benefit from placements supported by experienced nursing educators to help support you in becoming the best child nurse you can be. A varied placement experience undertaken at optimal times across the three years of the programme will allow you to integrate academic theory with practice and gain insight as to the wide-ranging employment opportunities available to you upon qualification. In the second and third year of the programme you will also have the option to work in specialist areas which include: 

  • Neonatal unit 

  • Paediatric intensive care unit 

  • High dependency unit 

  • Children’s accident and emergency unit 

  • Children’s oncology unit 

  • Teenage cancer unit 

  • Children’s hospice  

You’ll also have the opportunity to undertake a placement at The Noah’s Ark Children’s Hospital for Wales, based at our Heath park site.  

This degree will lead to eligibility to register with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) as a Children’s Nurse. On qualification, you can work in a range of healthcare settings, both in the United Kingdom and abroad. 

Above all else, we strive to ensure that our graduates are ready for the next step in their career and the many opportunities that await them. That’s why 95% of our child nursing students are in employment or further study after 6 months of graduating (UNISTATS).  

International Students 

We regret that this course is unable to accept applications from international fee-status applicants. 

 

Distinctive features

The Complete University Guide 2019 ranked nursing at Cardiff University in the top 10 in the UK, based on student satisfaction, entry standards, student-staff ratios and graduate prospects. Here are some of the key features of why we think our programme will make you the best mental health nurse you can be: 

  • Nursing is a very ‘hands on’ degree developing both theoretical and practical skills and our blended approach to learning combines face-to-face teaching with online resources and practice placements; 

  • Our programme is validated by the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC); 

  • You’ll have the option to choose a fully funded place on the programme.  A full NHS bursary, including tuition fees and a non-repayable bursary for living costs, is available for this programme providing you agree to work in Wales for two years after qualifying; 

  • During year two, there is an opportunity for you to undertake a placement learning opportunity in a different environment, either within the UK or overseas; 

  • We have highly-equipped skills laboratories in our Clinical Simulation Suite which enable you to learn in in realistic ward, community, home and emergency simulations. Lifelike simulations mean you can safely practice and develop essential skills, developing your confidence and expertise before going out into placement; 

  • You’ll be studying at a Russell Group University which supports a strong research profile and evidence-based learning; 

  • The School provides courses recognised by the UK Health and Care Professions Council in occupational therapy, operating department practice, physiotherapy, diagnostic radiography and imaging and radiotherapy and oncology. It also provides pre-registration courses in nursing and midwifery. This contributes to a vibrant interdisciplinary environment, with opportunities for shared learning and inter-professional education not available at many institutions; 

  • 95% of our child nursing students are in employment or further study after 6 months of graduating (UNISTATS). 

Accreditations

UCAS codeB730
Next intakeSeptember 2019
Duration3 years
ModeFull time
Typical places availableThe course typically has approximately 40 places available.
Typical applications receivedThe course typically receives approximately 670 applications.

Ranked in the top 10 for Nursing in the Complete University League Tables 2019

Entry requirements

BBB. You will not need to achieve these from any specific subjects. Please note General Studies will not be accepted. Applicants undertaking science GCE A-levels, where a separate practical endorsement is reported, will require a pass in this element.

Extended Project Qualification: Applicants with grade A in the EPQ will typically receive an offer one grade lower than the standard A level offer. Please note that any subject specific requirements must still be met.

The Welsh Baccalaureate Advanced Skills Challenge Certificate will be accepted in lieu of one A-Level (at the grades listed above), excluding any specified subjects.

The National Diploma in Health Studies should be passed with a minimum of DDM as the final award. BTEC in Early Years should be passed with DDD as the final award. Other relevant BTEC National Diplomas may be considered.

28 points. Contact the School for detailed information.

Alternative qualifications may be accepted. For further information on entry requirements, see the School of Healthcare Sciences admissions criteria pages.

If you are an overseas applicant and your first language is not English, please visit our English Language requirements page for more information on our accepted qualifications.

You will require five GCSEs grade A-C or grade 8-4 including English, Maths and Science.  If you are successful in both academic and non-academic assessment you will also be invited to attend a multiple mini interview.

Tuition fees

UK and EU students (2019/20)

Please see our fee amounts page for the latest information.

Students from outside the EU (2019/20)

Please see our fee amounts page for the latest information.

Additional costs

Applicants are required to meet the costs of obtaining a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) Certificate.

Applicants are advised that while you may be entitled to be reimbursed for some of the costs you incur whilst attending practice placements, you will be required to cover the initial costs for later reimbursement. This may include both accommodation and travel costs (if they are in excess of your normal daily travel costs to your University base).

Course specific equipment

You will not need any specific equipment.

Accommodation

We have a range of residences to suit your needs and budget. Find out more on our accommodation pages.

Course structure

Our three year programme is comprised of six semesters. There are 40 weeks of scheduled activity, 50% theory and 50% in clinical practice each year, which makes up 360 credits in total. The nursing programme prepares nurses to practice in the areas of Adult Nursing, Children’s Nursing, or Mental Health Nursing.  It meets the academic and professional regulations required for eligibility to register as a first level nurse on part 1 of the NMC professional register.

The proposed value based programme has been developed as a spiral curriculum based on a constructivist model with six key themes (informed by the NMC domains). The six themes are:

  • Public Health,
  • Fundamental Care,
  • Complex Care,
  • Professional Practice,
  • Leadership and Management and
  • Evidence Based Practice.

The modules shown are an example of the typical curriculum and will be reviewed prior to the 2019/20 academic year. The final modules will be published by September 2019.

Year one

There are four compulsory modules in year one and two clinical practice placements. The modules will either be delivered over one semester or two semesters each year.

Year two

There are five compulsory modules in year two and three clinical practice placements. The modules will either be delivered over one semester or two semesters each year.

Year three

There are four compulsory modules in year three and two clinical practice placements. The modules will either be delivered over one semester or two semesters each year. The last practice learning opportunity in the programme is 14 weeks, and this is where a sign off mentor will make a judgment about the students’ achievements of the required competencies for safe and effective entry to the NMC register.

The University is committed to providing a wide range of module options where possible, but please be aware that whilst every effort is made to offer choice this may be limited in certain circumstances. This is due to the fact that some modules have limited numbers of places available, which are allocated on a first-come, first-served basis, while others have minimum student numbers required before they will run, to ensure that an appropriate quality of education can be delivered; some modules require students to have already taken particular subjects, and others are core or required on the programme you are taking. Modules may also be limited due to timetable clashes, and although the University works to minimise disruption to choice, we advise you to seek advice from the relevant School on the module choices available.

Learning and assessment

How will I be taught?

The School of Healthcare Sciences is committed to developing nursing knowledge which directly improves health outcomes and health care for patients. Top-quality teaching relies on academic and clinical expertise of lecturers and visiting clinicians.

Lectures, tutorials, workshops, simulations, seminar style discussions, online discussions, presentations and specific group work will all feature as part of your degree.

Teaching and learning is based upon three main principles:

  • Blended learning across the curriculum;
  • Vibrant learning experiences to develop a culture of independent learning;
  • Inter-professional learning which fosters team working and understanding between fields of practice.

While this course is field-specific from the start, you will still experience shared learning opportunities with students studying mental health nursing and adult nursing. This helps you place your specific field into the context of wider and more complex care. Shared learning is a particular feature of the course in years one and two, with year three predominantly field specific as you prepare to qualify within your chosen field.

Theory and practice are two key components of the programme, fundamentally aligned throughout to encourage transferable flexible skills. All 13 compulsory taught modules offer a flexible blended approach.

Year 1

Scheduled learning and teaching activities

34%

Guided independent study

16%

Placements

50%

Year 2

Scheduled learning and teaching activities

34%

Guided independent study

16%

Placements

50%

Year 3

Scheduled learning and teaching activities

32%

Guided independent study

18%

Placements

50%

How will I be supported?

You will have regular meetings with your personal tutor who will provide pastoral support and academic guidance throughout the programme. In addition you will be assigned an academic supervisor in year 3 of the programme who will support you in the development of your dissertation.

Our virtual learning environment is accessible via desktop and mobile devices, allowing you to access electronic resources from anywhere. Dedicated computer labs, student study rooms, campus-wide WiFi networks, printing facilities and a dedicated healthcare library are available year-round. Staff are available on site to assist students and provide support and advice.

The School of Healthcare Sciences has recently invested in new facilities and equipment, including a Clinical Simulation Suite, aiming to provide some of the best technology and modern facilities at your disposal.

You will have access through the Learning Central website to relevant multimedia material, presentations, lecture handouts, bibliographies, further links, electronic exercises and discussion circles.

The University offers a range of services including the Careers Service, the Counselling Service, the Disability and Dyslexia Service, the Student Support Service, and excellent libraries and resource centres. You will be allocated a personal tutor at the start of the course, to provide support for pastoral issues, as well as the learning and assessment in clinical practice. 

Feedback

We will provide you with feedback on your work in a variety of formats. These will include oral feedback during tutorials, feedback provided during lectures, written feedback provided through online module discussion forums, and electronic written feedback on assessed coursework through GradeMark. You will be provided with summary written feedback in relation to examinations and you can discuss your overall performance with your personal tutor.  During clinical placements you will be supported in your progress by mentors/clinical teachers who will provide verbal and written feedback on your clinical competency.

How will I be assessed?

Modules will be assessed using methods including written assignments, exams, presentations, case studies, objective structured clinical examinations (OSCE), dissertations and a clinical portfolio.

Assessment of clinical practice will be undertaken by mentors through supervision, support and guided by the ‘All Wales’ practice learning outcomes’ within the ongoing record of achievement.
The module assessment strategies conform to the University’s principles of assessment and are valid, reliable and explicit.

 

Assessment methods (2017/18 data)

Year 1

Written exams

0%

Practical exams

25%

Coursework

75%

Year 2

Written exams

17%

Practical exams

17%

Coursework

67%

Year 3

Written exams

0%

Practical exams

33%

Coursework

67%

What skills will I practise and develop?

You will acquire and develop a range of valuable skills, both those which are discipline specific and more generic ‘employability skills’.

You will develop a professional attitude towards communication and interpersonal skills, partnership working and responsibility for professional development. Specific skills should include the ability to collect, analyse and interpret a range of quantitative and qualitative data, and apply the evidence to nursing practice. You should also become skilled in working independently, problem solving and making informed decisions.

Careers and placements

Career prospects

Children’s nursing is a challenging and rewarding career choice and on qualification, it is possible to work in a wide range of healthcare settings both in the United Kingdom and abroad. 

The career options for child nurses are varied and plentiful.  Children's nurses are usually part of multidisciplinary teams. 

As a School of Healthcare Sciences we are proud that 95% of our child nursing graduates are in employment and/or further study six months after graduating (UNISTATS). 

A child’s care can take place in a range of settings: 

  • hospitals 

  • day care centres 

  • child health clinics 

  • child's home 

  • Hospice 

Potential employers can include various health boards and NHS Trusts, international health services and higher education institutions. 

Types of Jobs: 

  • Children’s nurse - providing support and care to children, adolescents and their families. 

  • Advanced nurse practitioner – a role for nurses who have done extra training and academic qualifications to be able to examine, assess, make diagnoses, treat, prescribe and make referrals for patients. 

  • Health visitor – nurses who have chosen to gain additional training and qualifications as specialist community public health nurses. The additional training in public health enables you to assess the health needs of individuals, families and the wider community. 

  • Research nurse - crucial to delivering research. You’ll provide and deliver high quality patient care, deal with data collection, follow-ups, patient groups and industry. 

  • Ward manager – you’ll provide leadership and visibility at ward level important to the delivery of safe, high-quality care to patients. 

  • Consultant nurse – you’ll ensure that nurse departments are following legal constraints and protocol. 

  • Lecturer - becoming a nurse lecturer could offer you the opportunity to make sure the next generation of nurses are competent and confident in the practice setting. 

Jobs

  • Ward Manager
  • Senior Nurse Practitioner
  • Health Visitor

Placements

Clinical practice opportunities provide you with the opportunity to learn in settings including the home, hospitals and the community, in public and private sectors. These allow you to build expertise and develop vital skills, supported by clinicians who ensure you can meet NMC requirements. In clinical practice you will be supported by a mentor.

The School of Healthcare Sciences works with a number of healthcare organisations to provide suitable clinical placements.

While in clinical practice you will be supported by a practicing nurse or health visitor, who will be able to advise, support and supervise you throughout your placement. Practice learning opportunities are vital to your learning experience, and our students value the solid grounding in clinical practice.

You will be given a 'Placement Line' at the beginning of each academic year, outlining the prospective clinical region/district to which you will be allocated. Ensuring you experience the full range of clinical experiences means that you can expect to work a variety of hours, from the traditional working week of Monday to Friday 9 to 5, to morning shifts which start between 7am and 8am in the morning, afternoon shifts which can finish as late as 9.30pm, night shifts and weekends.

Placements will be in hospitals, nursing homes and in the community across South East Wales - mainly situated from Barry in the West to Chepstow in the East, and from Cardiff in the South to Abergavenny and Merthyr to the North. This means that you should expect to travel to some placements during the course.

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Wednesday 27 March

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