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The University of Southampton
Health Sciences

Nursing Placements

Where are my placements likely to be?

Your placements will almost always be in Hampshire or the Isle of Wight in a mix of both hospital and community settings. Not surprisingly, the acute hospitals tend to be based in the cities and large towns.  Community placements and mental health services are often based in more rural areas. It is normal to gain breadth of experience in more than one geographical area. We work closely with all NHS Trusts in the region, who provide the vast majority of placements; others may be within major independent healthcare organisations. All placements are audited to ensure they meet the highest standards expected by the NMC.

What areas of practice will be included in my placements?

All students on the BSc and MN programme undertake at least two different placements in each year of study.  The length of these placements ranges from 5 weeks in the first year to 10 or 11 weeks in your final years.

All students have a range of placements to ensure that you gain a variety of experience to prepare you for nursing practice in your chosen field(s) of practice.

  • Adult Nursing students will undertake placements in community, medical, and surgical areas.  We also  aim to facilitate a high acuity placement for all Adult students.
  • Child Nursing students will have placements in at least one each of: medicine, community, surgery, and specialty areas.
  • Mental Health Nursing students will undertake at least one each of: adult community, adult inpatient, older adult inpatient, and a placement within a specialist mental health service.

Students on the MN dual field programme will have placements that reflect the range of specialties associated with both your chosen fields as outlined above.   

How am I supervised?

You will be supervised, both directly and indirectly, by Practice Supervisors from the organisation in which you are placed. Practice Supervisors work closely with your Practice Assessor and are registered nurses who have been prepared for the role to help maximise your learning. They will be there to support, teach, demonstrate, challenge, and assess, which is all to progress your professional development to the exemplary standards expected by the profession and the NMC.  If you have a need whilst in placement, you should first go to your Practice Assessor, then their immediate supervisor or the Nominated Person for the area. If necessary you can contact the University placement team or Personal academic Tutor.

How am I assessed?

Throughout your placements you will have to work for the stated number of hours (single field 2,300, dual field 3,067) and demonstrate that you are practicing at the required level against a range of assessment criteria to the satisfaction of your Practice Assessor. As and when you are successful, your Practice Assessor will officially 'sign off' each section. These will be recorded in your electronic Practice Assessment Document (ePAD) which you will use for the duration of your programme.

How are my placements allocated?

Your placements are pre-planned by the university to ensure that you get the range of experience required. Where possible we will try to take into account your circumstances, including where you live, whether you have children under 12 years old or dependent relatives, and whether you have access to a car. You will have the opportunity to notify us of these factors on the universities placement management system when you start. We aim to release details of your placements as early as possible, although these are subject to change if the placement is no longer available. Wherever possible we will try and allocate you to a different placement with the same provider.

Can I change a placement?

You can formally request a change; the allocation panel will determine if this is possible. Please be aware that changes are not always possible as there are only a certain number available.

What hours will I work?

In order to meet the requirements to complete your programme you will need to complete the total number of hours set out below

BSc (Single field) programme: 2,300
MN (Dual field) programme: 3,067

Whilst most of these hours are undertaken in conventional practice placements, up to 300 of these hours may be achieved in simulated practice settings as a part of the programme.

You will be expected to attend the full normal shift pattern of the organisation to which you are sent. For example, if your placement colleagues in a hospital work weekends and nights on 12 hour shifts then you will need to do the same. Similarly, if colleagues work 8 hour days, perhaps in the community, then so will you. However, it is worth noting that you are not required to attend placement on public holidays unless you wish to; if you do, it will not count as ‘double time'! You are likely to find that start times can be quite early, for example 07:30 in acute hospitals, perhaps 08:00 or 08:30 in the community.

How will I get to my placements?

It is your responsibility to get to and from placement. Having a car can be useful for some community placements, although many students make full use of the excellent public transport links that network to towns and cities within Hampshire. If you choose to live in the university halls of residence you will have a free bus pass to help you get around the city of Southampton easily. If your placement is on the Isle of Wight you will need to cross the Solent by sea from one of Hampshire's many ferry ports. For students who are UK residents, the NHS provides reimbursement of excess travel or accommodation costs incurred due to undertaking practical training on a clinical placement.

What if I am ill or have an emergency?

If you cannot get to your placement on any given day you will need to contact the setting as soon as possible to let them know you will be absent, recording the absence on your time sheet, and also email your personal academic tutor to inform him or her about your absence.

How do I make up the hours if I am absent?

This depends on how many hours you have missed. It may be possible to make up the hours by simply working a bit longer in the remainder of your placement. If this is not possible then you will work with your programme lead to find an appropriate way to make up the time lost. If necessary, the university will liaise with our NHS Occupational Health advisors to help ensure you (and we) receive the best advice to support your fitness and well-being to effectively engage with and attend practice placements.

Photo of Aisling Moore
I love studying at Southampton, I have really enjoyed all of my placements so far and have learned a huge amount across the different areas of nursing.
Aisling MooreBSc (Hons) Adult Nursing, 2020

Hours in practice

In order to meet the requirements to complete your programme you will need to complete the total number of hours set out below:

BSc (Single field) programme: 2,300

MN (Dual field) programme: 3,067

Whilst most of these hours are undertaken in conventional practice placements, up to 300 of these hours may be achieved in simulated practice settings as a part of the programme.

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