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Got a University Training Student Nurses Nearby? Your Luck May Be In.
Many care employers are divided on whether students make good workers or not. As with most things, the answer is not a simple yes or no. By far the best successes have been with students on a care-related or relevant course, and the ones that are repeatedly mentioned include nursing, medicine, physiotherapy and other allied healthcare professions, social work and psychology. Student nurses, however, stand out.
Research by Leading Homecare in the US found that student nurses topped their members’ list of quality sources of home care staff. My own research indicates a lot of positive feedback from UK care employers who have student nurses on their books too. The reasons are obvious of course. This group is committed to a caring career and welcomes relevant work experience. They are usually enthusiastic and willing to work unsociable hours around their lectures. What is less obvious for care employers is that, often, they have such a high-quality source of staff hiding in plain sight right on their doorstep.
How to Connect with Student Nurses
Often an informal approach works better than the university’s official channels. The most commonly successful method is word of mouth referral from an existing student nurse staff member, if you have one. Other routes to try include approaching the Student Welfare Officer, advertising on halls of residence noticeboards, offering to talk about social care settings and using targeted social media advertising, such as Facebook.
Downsides and Challenges
This cohort of care staff does come with some disadvantages. In many cases, they will only be available during term time and in almost every case just for the duration of their studies. Contacting them can be tricky. University admin or careers offices may have multiple approaches or be too busy to help and this will only be a viable option at all if you have a university training nurses in your locality.
But with the removal of nurse bursaries earlier this year, the attractiveness of relevant paid work in a related sector becomes even more compelling. And if the Government reacts with the appropriate level of alarm at the huge exodus of EU nurses, there will be a big push to increase the numbers of British student nurses.
So, if you have a nursing course being taught nearby, why not try your luck?
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