Writing a personal statement for a nursing course application

This is your chance to set yourself apart from the competition – sell yourself.

Matt Bodell
1 November 2018
personal statement

Your UCAS personal statement is your chance to set yourself apart from the competition.

First of all, remember your personal statement should be personal. This is your chance to sell yourself and explain to the university why you are a potential Nurse or Midwife of the future.


You should avoid plagiarising content from another applicant’s personal statement – even if you have their permission. UCAS uses similarity detection software to highlight any duplication to universities and it could lead to your application being rejected.


Treat it like an essay. Before you start writing, take the time to make bullet points of everything you want to include and order them in terms of importance – those 4000 characters are quickly consumed.

Make sure you have done your research – look at the admissions criteria and read through the professional standards that are set out by the Nursing and Midwifery Council.

Your personal statement should flow and have a clear introduction and ending.


Be honest! Exaggerating or including fictional situations in your application could catch you out at a later point.

This is a formal piece of writing. While we encourage you to be open and honest, you should try to avoid writing in a casual style.

Play to your strengths.

Tell them who you are.

Discuss the personal values and qualities you hold that are needed to become a good nurse or midwife and show evidence of these.


There is likely to be some emphasis on a values-based selection process demonstrate how your own values and behaviors align with the seven core values of the NHS Constitution.

Only mention interests or hobbies that reveal something relevant about you.

Avoid being too generic – “I am a caring person” or “I like caring for people” doesn’t offer the admissions tutor any insight.

Why do you want to be a Nurse or Midwife?

Speak with passion but try to avoid clichés.

There is so much more to nursing and midwifery than giving our medications or delivering a baby – show you understand the reality of being a registered healthcare professional in the twenty-first century.


Demonstrate you understand the demands the course will have – placements with a mixture of shifts alongside academic writing and practical learning.

Speak about any existing care experience you might have that gives you an insight into the role.

If you have attended an open day or recruitment event – mention it.

Relevant interests, skill and experience.

Don’t simply list things you have done – you need to relate it to the course or profession.

Transferable skills are key. Take any relevant interests, skills and experience you have and demonstrate how they are transferable to your chosen career.

Discuss and evidence your communication, organisational, and time management skills.

Mention key professional issues.

Taking a look at one of the many nursing or midwifery professional magazines or speak to a registered nurse or midwife who can help you identify any current professional issues – but try to stay away from politics.

Ensure you relate any relevant content to the Nursing and Midwifery Code of Conduct alongside professional values such as the ‘SIx C’s’.

Talk about your ambitions.

The competition for nursing and midwifery courses is fierce, and consequently, they want to ensure only candidates who genuinely want to become a nurse are successful.

You don’t have to have a dedicated ‘five-year plan’ but having an idea of what interests you about the profession is a good start.

Make it clear you would strike to provide good quality and evidence-based care.


Avoid getting caught up in the moment and submitting your application without checking it.

Correct spelling and grammar is absolutely vital and demonstrates you have taken care and attention on your application.

Try to include in-line citations if you refer to a study, document, policy or procedure.