Now that we’re familiar with basic stuff, let’s get real with USYD’s Nursing degree!
Introducing Sabrina, a recent USYD Bachelor of Nursing (Advanced Studies) graduate who is keen to share her honest insight, including the good and not so good bits.
So, let’s see what she has to say!
Why should you study a Nursing degree at USYD?
USYD’s Bachelor of Nursing (Advanced Studies) degree pretty much guarantees you a job by the end of it, with a whooping 98% employment rate after your graduation! It’s because USYD provides world-class teaching and work experience opportunities from the first year, with 179 placements you can choose from across 6 different countries.
USYD’s nursing degrees are also some of the most prestigious in Australia, coming in 2nd in Australia and 13th in the world on the 2020 QS ranking scale. No wonder they’re called the “Global leaders in nursing”!
Top 3 Pros of a Nursing degree
#1: Make a difference in other’s life
Embracing both theoretical and practical skills, USYD’s nursing students learn about everything relevant to nursing to instil a holistic portrait of healthcare. “Everything that I learn is relevant and applicable to the nursing profession. I really liked learning about diseases, anatomy, medication, drugs because it is actually very practical knowledge to have,” says Sabrina.
With this all-encompassing understanding, USYD’s nursing graduates can truly help their patients in all areas of health. “I like how with my knowledge and skills, I am able to physically, mentally and emotionally help someone,” adds Sabrina.
#2: Early placements
USYD’s early placements gives you the opportunity to test the waters before deciding to commit to nursing entirely! As Sabrina explains, “Unlike other degrees, they start your placements within the first year of nursing so that gives you an early indication of whether you like it or not. It’s better than doing the whole degree and then deciding it’s not for you in your final year.”
Sabrina says that it’s ultimately a good thing, because you get to experience which areas of nursing are best suited for you and find what you’re actually passionate about from early on! “For example, if you find that clinical work is not your thing, you can choose to opt out earlier than later.”
You can learn more about what’s required for placements here!
#3: Open up many career prospects
USYD’s nursing students graduate with a diverse set of both technical and non-technical skills in leadership, communication, empathy, time management and more! This opens up many work opportunities for them as these skills are applicable to many fields beyond just medicine.
“You can specialise in a lot of things so you’re not stuck with something forever! It’s actually quite diverse as you can go into administration, academia, research, clinical practice, the legal field or work overseas because nursing skills are quite transferable to anything you do,” Sabrina says.
Top 3 Cons of a Nursing degree
#1: Emotional and physical burnout
Nursing actually demands a lot of your time — for placements, on campus classes and even after-class studying. “You have to juggle a balance between work, social life and study because becoming a nurse requires a lot of your time,” Sabrina says.
The accumulation of workload can take a toll on your physical and mental health, especially when you have assessments piled on top of another.
“It can be quite tiring and stressful as well when you have placements before your finals,” Sabrina points out. “You do an 8 hour shift and then have to study. So, time management, discipline and good sleeping habits really come into play.”
#2: Unpaid placements
Another downside is that all your clinical placements, though mandatory, are unpaid — so you will still need to find a part-time job to rake in some cash. “Within three years of your degree, you do a minimum requirement of 880 hours of unpaid placements and that does take up most of your time,” Sabrina says.
Sabrina admits that these placements can also occupy the holidays, “During July and the Christmas period where everyone gets a holiday and you don’t. You don’t really get a break like other degrees do.” So, it was pretty difficult for her to find time to spend with her friends and family.
#3: Stressful assessments
USYD’s nursing assessments can also be quite strenuous to maintain their high standard of academia. Sabrina recalls, “In the first year, we had a weightage of 50% for an essay and 50% for finals so that was very stressful for a first year who didn’t know what they were doing.”
Even so, Sabrina also notes that while the independent learning and research behind these assessments can be quite taxing, it does ultimately build that evidence-based understanding that fortifies their practice in their later careers.
“No, I actually do not have any regrets. As much as I have so many mental breakdowns, late nights and all nighters, I really believe everything I learnt was important. Despite all the struggles, I really enjoy everything that I learnt and experienced,” says Sabrina.
What do you wish you had known before starting USYD Nursing?
Research, research, research!
“I wish I had known it was a lot harder than I thought it was going to be,” Sabrina admits. “It’d be good if I had mentally prepared myself for the amount of effort I would have to put in.”
Sabrina advises to research all the logistics of the degree before diving head first into it. “It’s good to know all the facts like all the placements you have to do, the pass or fail practicals, double pass units, contact hours, exam structures… because all this information came as I progressed into this degree, so it would’ve been good to know it beforehand to feel prepared.”
For more information about how the Bachelor of Nursing (Advanced Studies) at USYD works, click here!
What makes this degree different from the ones offered at other universities?
#1: High employment rate
USYD graduates are highly regarded by future employees “because they know at USYD, they drill you in all your assessments and final exams.”
To maintain their high academic calibre, USYD is known for ensuring their students understand the content, rather than memorising it. “Final exams are all short and long answer responses unlike UTS and WSU — where exams mainly consist of multiple choice,” Sabrina says. “They really try to ingrain the important stuff into your brain.”
Though it may sound gruelling, it really shapes you to become an efficient professional in the field that many employees sought after!
#2: Relevant practicals
USYD strives to provide their students with experience-based learning, paralleling theory with practicals and placements.
“Every other uni gives you a placement in something else whereas USYD tries to align what you learn with a practical,” Sabrina explains.“For example, if you’re learning about mental health in class, they try to make you go into a placement in that term or semester for mental health.”
Sabrina says this is a great way to translate and apply what you learn in class to real practice, preparing you for professional life!
#3: World Class Teaching
USYD’s nursing staff are highly inspirational and passionate with their teaching as Sabrina explains, “Most of them are doing further research or completing their PhD in what they are lecturing so they really believe in what they are teaching.”
If you like interactive learning, USYD incorporates a lot of group-based activities in their tutorial classes that makes it more engaging and interesting!
“They actually try to use your critical thinking skills in these tutorials,” Sabrina says. “So you work with other people to investigate case scenarios and apply your nursing knowledge to that. You get to listen to other people’s perspectives and ideas. It’s pretty fun actually!”
#4: Tight-knit community
Unlike other unis, USYD’s nursing cohort tends to be quite small, so it’s very easy for you to find friends especially since you’re all doing the same subjects throughout the degree. “With nursing at USYD, it’s a very small cohort so everyone is close to each other so you can develop close friendships with everyone,” Sabrina says.
USYD’s nursing cohort is also very wholesome as everyone is ready to help each other out. “Everyone also has a mentality of helping each other out so it’s a positive environment. At UTS it might be a little different because they have over 100 people in their cohort so it’s hard to have that tight community,” Sabrina points out.
What inspired you to choose USYD Nursing?
“I chose nursing because I want to feel like I’m actually making a difference in someone’s life,” Sabrina says. “It’s something that will always be needed in the world so you won’t feel like you’re going towards a redundant, dead-end future.”
Sabrina also says that USYD really helped set her dream job in motion, “USYD really allowed me to put that dream into practice because they have good staff, facilities, prestige and a high employment rate that helped me get the job I wanted.”
What are the possible career paths?
The career prospects following USYD’s nursing degree are more diverse than you think! This is because USYD’s nursing degree imparts various theoretical and practical skills that can be applied to multiple settings beyond the hospital.
Here are some interesting fields that you can work in:
- Health insurance
- Heath law
- University work
Kate Lynn Law graduated in 2017 with an all rounders HSC award and an ATAR of 97.65. Passionate about mentoring, she enjoys working with high school students to improve their academic, work and life skills in preparation for the HSC and what comes next. An avid blogger, Kate had administered a creative writing page for over 2000 people since 2013, writing to an international audience since her early teenage years.