Applying for Student Nurse

Hi everyone, I know there are a couple of threads about this already, but they don't really address my queries and I don't wish to threadjack.

I've just finished my first year of university, studying a history degree, and have been considering various army roles for a while. The one in which I am most interested now is that of the student nurse. I am essentially wondering what my chances are of making it onto the course, passing the various selection stages etc (the possibility of commissioning has caught my eye too).

Going on what is on the army website, I should be alright when it comes to fitness standards and the like, and the academic qualifications for entry aren't a problem. I'm more interested in the QARANC-specific parts of the process. What do they entail? What kind of people would I be applying alongside (as in, level of 'work experience')?


Gallery Guru
Google 'nurses eat their young'.

I'd stick to history if I were you.

Just my opinion like.
A cynic is someone who's given up but not shut up.
If someone wants to be a Nurse qualify here, go to the middle east earn money tax free, free housing, free flights home. Consider New Zealand, Australia, Canada or America.
If you want to join the Army talk to a recruiter.
If they're giving them away, I'd like one. Where do i apply for one?
How about joining the TA and going in for the CMT role for an insight? It will give you a good grounding, especially since their is something of a long wait on applications into the regulars (something of 6-8 months) I'd think it will give you an edge as well, because as the recruiter I spoke to commented the Army can also afford to take on just the "cream" so it would be best to give yourself every advantage
A cynic is someone who's given up but not shut up.
If someone wants to be a Nurse qualify here, go to the middle east earn money tax free, free housing, free flights home. Consider New Zealand, Australia, Canada or America.
If you want to join the Army talk to a recruiter.
It's not me that's given up.

I'm just managing expectations. I didn't write all those articles.
I bloody well have.
I was talking about patient centred care at work and a foreign nurse laughed. She thought I was joking. I asked her about the NMC code and she knew nothing about it.

A band 7 threatened to report me to the HPC for refusing to work past my alloted finish time! I had childcare issues. She said my registration was on the line.

I love the NHS (and healthcare) but it's being eroded from the top and from the bottom.

I think young people watch Holby city and don't get a decent idea of how difficult it can be as a student nurse. I can't comment on military nursing, it seems much much better, but the published evidence suggests that entering nursing can be fraught with difficulty.
I can assure you that I have never watched Holby City.
That's a plus then.

Be under no illusions, nursing in the current climate is hard work. I graduated in history and then I did a BSc in healthcare. The BSc is 100 times more demanding.

Others do have a different view to mine. I felt that care was compromised by a very target driven management.

I've been out of the NHS since April.

Don't get me wrong, we need good, caring staff but the realities can be different to expectations.

Good luck.


Book Reviewer
But, "24 hours in A&E" is highly regarded by health professionals; not to be confused with "Casualty", which I watched only for a few episodes when it first started when I was a student nurse. Currently working in a volunteer medic role at Olympic Park, where even my few years of TA nursing officer experience is valued by senior colleagues, including a few retired regular Army and RAF nurses, doctors and CMTs - their experience shines through and eventually they say something that confirms military experience.

Remember there is an alternative route of nurse training in civvy street, then later joining TA or regulars. Or, as others have said, CMT in TA is another possibility. And, yes, be realistic in your expectations of what training is like and where nursing can take you. However, I might not have got to Chile, Falklands and South Georgia (as a leader on a youth expedition) if I were not a nurse first and biologist second, with Spanish language skills.
I'm currently in the middle of the application process (and wouldn't eat my young if I had any, promise!) so might be able to help.

According to my recruiter student nurse roles are quite competitive but I'm not sure how many applicants per place etc.

You need to pass with a good grade at selection to ensure you get picked up quickly (I've just finished this bit) and will then be put forward for a nursing specific selection board which happens twice a year, once in September and once in March. To qualify for the September board you have to have completed your application and passed basic selection at Pirbright by the start of August. I assume you'd have to get all this done by the Feb to qualify for the March board but not entirely sure on that.

The nursing selection is a two day event at Sandhurst. You stay overnight and are assessed on interviews, group discussions around several topics you are given to research in advance and other teamwork/ group exercises. At the end of this they decide if you're suitable and if so you'll complete 14 week basic training at Pirbright, then start a 3 year nursing degree at Birmingham City University. The degree course starts in April or September depending which board you attend.

If you're interested in becoming an officer, you can be recommended in the second year and will then complete a 10 week officer training course at Sandhurst in addition to your degree. The course is tri service so you'll live with army, navy and raf health professionals in subsidised accomodation. You'll also get sub'd travel plus pay and the army cover your fees. Once signed up you serve a minimum of seven years (3 at uni plus 4 afterwards).

I hope that's all helpful, with regards to other applicants I think it's pretty varied. I'm 26, graduated with a Ba in English literature and am having a complete career change so you definitely don't need to be fresh out of college. Good luck :)
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