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Transferable Skills

Discussion in 'Thinking of Applying' started by Super Nurse, Oct 6, 2016.

  1. Super Nurse

    Super Nurse Admin & PS Consultant
    Staff Member

    May 4, 2015
    Likes Received:
    Staff Nurse

    I am glad to see you here! I am certain that you are in this part of the forum because your thinking of applying or are currently engaging with the dreaded PS.

    Now I am here to provide you some assistance and ideas of which you can use for "transferable skills" on request of some of our members. Please carry on reading and miss out the parts of which you feel are not relevant to you!

    Work Experience

    Work Experience is often misinterpreted as volunteering or something that happens in Year 10 at secondary school. As set out by the RCN (Royal College of Nursing) work experience is between yourself and a local trust, where you attend for a short length of time to gauge an understanding of what working in healthcare is like (RCN, 2016).

    Work Experience is normally available to those whom are over 18, sometimes over 16, and allow you to shadow a health professional for a day gauging an idea of what happens behind the scenes. Whilst being aware that you may not be able to do any hands on activities it does provide a great insight into job roles.

    Some NHS trusts openly advertise there work experience or work shadowing days however for others you will need to contact the trust, often Human resources (HR) or the voluntary officer, stating that you'd like some information on work experience within the trust.


    Voluntary work comes in many shapes and sizes to fit individual interest and specification. Rather than firing straight in with something that may become a chore because you have no interest in the area. Firstly think about where you would like to volunteer such as in a care home, hospital, hospice or community. Once you have narrowed down to one or a couple of areas where you may like to volunteer you can begin to find volunteering opportunities fitting a micro area of interest. These can include befriending, organising activities, painting residents nails, assisting patients with their food or even making beds.

    Hopefully you have now narrowed down something that interests you. The next important thing to remember with volunteering is that more often than not the place you would like to volunteer will ask for commitment. This could be specific days of the week or even so many hours each week for a minimum of so many weeks or months. This is achievable if you are honest and upfront about your other commitments and what will fit in with your routine providing regularity for both you and those "employing" you to volunteer.

    Transferable Opportunities

    You may already have a hobby or may even already volunteer in a field outside of healthcare. Don't stop this or alter it, unless you want to, just for applying to a healthcare course. These "things" that you do already are great for you application as well as for you. They also show off your personality, work life balance and commitment.

    To begin mind up all of the skills that you use for these activities such as if you taking part in Girlguiding UK or Scouting UK - Leadership, work life balance, listening, organisation, prioritisation all begin to come to mind. Once you have done this you will have some skills in which you can begin to build up sentences around in relation to your hobby or activity. Furthermore think about the skills that nurses need when interacting with their colleagues or patients. You will then have another mind map in which you can link to your already built up sentences.

    Equally don't forget that even if you can ask a practitioner a couple of questions this is great experience into their role and enthusiasm. It doesn't need to take hours a couple of minutes is great too

    Now this is all a very brief overview of some ideas for your application and the writing is completely up to yourself as well as the type of thing you wish to undertake. However the biggest tip @Nanny Plum and myself can give when thinking about transferable skills is; Nothing is better than anything else in terms of opportunities, each one shows different things and equally shows your personality and commitments to society. It is all about how you portray yourself and the knowledge you have surrounding your chosen career. This does not mean you have to know how to take blood pressure but that you know the role of your chosen practitioner, where these people practice and that there are others that need support not just the patient. An example of this is A paediatric nurse cares for children normally to the age of 18 although this can differ from trust to trust, they care for children anywhere hospice, community, hospital etc and they need to communicate and support siblings, parents, grandparents and anyone else involved in that child's care. This should all be portrayed throughout your PS NOT in one big lump of text at the beginning and forgotten elsewhere.

    We hope you find this useful!


    - Royal College of Nursing, 2016. Work Experience. Available from: Work experience | Royal College of Nursing [ Accessed 6/10/16]

    - Health Careers, 2016. Gaining Experience. Available from: Gaining experience [Accessed 6/10/16]
    prettyinpink22 likes this.

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