For example, if you’re applying specifically for mental health nursing, you might want to reflect on your ability to understand other people’s perspectives or to advocate on their behalf.
Or if you feel it’s appropriate to reflect on your own experience of mental health then, as one admissions tutor told us, the key is to explain how this has motivated you to become a nurse yourself.
The factors influencing your specialism choice will also be important to course directors and you should highlight the particular qualities that make you an ideal candidate for roles of this nature.
You may not have direct nursing expertise, however, it's highly likely that some of your past experiences will be highly relevant to your future nursing roles.
For child nursing, you might wish to demonstrate your awareness of the diverse range of children you will nurse and the kind of challenges you expect to face.
Similarly, for adult or learning disability, you could reflect on what you’ve learned from your interactions with elderly people or how you’ve supported someone with a learning disability yourself. It’s not enough just to say you understand something; you need to show what it was that led to your understanding.
But if you’ve found out for yourself how nurses manage, prescribe, evaluate or critically review evidence when making decisions, do reflect on that.
Find more examples of how to write a personal statement, including how to begin and end it.
Then, when you write about all this in your statement, try to explain and reflect on: The latter could include the responsibility and commitment you’ve shown through voluntary work; the teamwork and interpersonal skills you’ve developed in your part-time job; the empathy you’ve shown as a student mentor; the leadership you’ve displayed as a Guide or Scout or something specific that happened on a Duke of Edinburgh’s Award expedition, and so on.
Tip: Don’t waste space in your statement explaining what a nurse does – they know that!