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Children's Nursing PgDip

Overview

Children's nurses care for children and young people from birth to 18 years old in hospital and in the community. Children and young people can present with a range of conditions, from birth defects, accidents and injuries, to life-limiting or critical illnesses or which can result in the death of a child. Children's nurses work in partnership with the child/young person, their parents and carers, involving them in the planning and delivery of their child's care and treatment. Children's nurses, in collaboration with other professionals, strive to promote health in children and young people to ensure they enter into adulthood in good health.

This innovative and intensive two-year course aimed at students with an existing degree (2:2 or above) will equip you with the knowledge and skills to assess and manage the nursing care needs of children and families, including those with acute and long-term conditions. The course will also develop  your abilities to consider the wider aspects influencing children's health needs, preparing you for future leadership in a changing and challenging health care system.

You'll experience a variety of clinical settings such as NHS acute Trusts, community placements, independent sector and voluntary sector organisations. Practice experience is gained in several world-renowned central and outer London hospitals including:

You will be allocated one of these hospitals as your host Trust during the course.

Success on this course makes you eligible to register as a children's nurse with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC).

Find out about nursing from our very own students:

Read this tumblr blog post of a women's experiences of being a paediatric nurse.

Top-up to MSc

By completing a dissertation (an extended and independent piece of written research) following graduation as a registered nurse you'll be able to gain a masters. Students who successfully complete the PgDip RN course have up to four years to complete the dissertation module via part time study.

Accreditations

Key course information - ordered by mode
Mode Duration Start date Location
Mode
Full-time
Duration
2 years
Start Date
September
Location
Southwark Campus

Stories

Modules

Some compulsory skills sessions may take place in the evening.

You will be taught separately from the three-year undergraduate students and will study the following:

Year 1

  • Improving quality, change management and leadership
    This module focuses on inter-professional learning and will explore leadership, quality improvement and change within organisations from an inter-professional perspective. The module will look at strategic, evidence-based approaches to change management in a range of environments. It will integrate the perspectives of service users and take an inter-professional approach. 
  • Applied anatomy and physiology for children and young people
    This module further develops the anatomy physiology themes from prior knowledge, with a specific emphasis on application to child health and children’s nursing. Pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics will be explored in relation to children and young people. 
  • Fundamental concepts of caring for children, young people and families
    The purpose of this module is to provide the foundational knowledge that informs children’s nursing. It will provide a theoretical basis for developing core care skills whilst encouraging the examination of the role of the children’s nurse in contemporary society. Throughout the module you’ll explore how nurses facilitate active participation from children, young people and their families in decision making. You’ll examine concepts of professional and legal responsibilities related to care delivery. 
  • Building practice skills for children’s nursing
    The purpose of this module is to build upon learning and develop practice skills and knowledge. You’ll continue to use safe, simulated environments, supervised placement experiences, and independent learning opportunities. The module will focus on the development and use of appropriate professional values with a stronger emphasis on becoming more analytical and reflective in your problem solving skills. Additionally, you’ll be challenged to work towards developing effective clinical and communication skills to support practical care giving. 

Year 2

  • Enhancing practice skills for children’s nursing
    The purpose of this module is to prepare you to enhance your assessment and decision making skills whilst effectively managing care that promotes quality, health, safety, service user and staff wellbeing. You’ll be able to appraise your own learning and development needs as you approach the transition from student to registered practitioner. 
  • Care of the critically ill child and young person
    This module has been designed to integrate the application of theoretical and clinical knowledge, skills, attitudes and values required to underpin managing the caring of the critically ill child and young person and their families. The module will build upon your knowledge and help develop a clinical reasoning approach to the care of a critically ill child or young person.
  • Applied pharmacology and medicine optimisation in children’s nursing
    This module aims to develop knowledge and understanding of the principles of pharmacology and medicines optimisation. Medicines optimisation focuses on encouraging all healthcare professionals to work collaboratively with each other and patients to optimise the effectiveness of pharmacological interventions (NICE 2015). This module will relate this to the care of children, young people and their families, with an emphasis on clinical application. It will explore and discuss the general principles of pharmacodynamics and the complexities of pharmacokinetics in relation to the child. Commonly used medications will be identified and explored in the context of a variety of care settings. This module will consider and evaluate the role and responsibilities of the nurse in relation to the safe administration of medication in clinical practice, including competency with drug calculations. 
  • Research in health and social care
    The purpose of this module is to consolidate and extend your knowledge of research approaches and methods and enhance your ability to be a critical user of research evidence. The module examines philosophical and theoretical perspectives underpinning health and social care research approaches including exploration of research design and key aspects of data gathering and interpretation of both qualitative and quantitative analyses. The module will develop practical skills for identifying, critical reviewing and synthesising research evidence relevant to professional practice.

Employability

Children's nursing as a career

Day-to-day duties of a children's nurse are varied; from administering drugs and injections, recording observations on vital signs such as pulse and temperature, to explaining treatments and procedures to gain consent from parents/guardians.

With experience, there are multiple opportunities for specialisation as your career progresses – such as: counselling, intensive care, cancer care, child protection, ambulatory care, orthopaedics and asthma.

Working hours and salary

Hours can be demanding for paediatric nurses. Long shifts, unsocial hours and possibly being called to work at the last minute are all common. A children's nurse starts on a salary around £21,000. However, with career progression and developed experience this can extend to well over £50,000. (Prospects)

Career progression

All graduates are offered the opportunity to apply for employment with the NHS Trusts and hospitals where they gained experience during training when posts are available. The course has an excellent record in graduate employment, including working overseas, and covering a range of qualified nurse positions.

Successful graduates of the PgDip can top-up to an MSc in one year and will be qualified to study a range of further specialist postgraduate pathways. With additional experience, advanced practice is available at masters level with the potential to progress to doctorate studies. Find out more about professional development opportunities through our online CPPD prospectus.

Employability Service

We are University of the Year for Graduate Employment for the second year in a row - The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2018, 2019.

At LSBU, we want to set you up for a successful career. During your studies – and for two years after you graduate – you’ll have access to our Employability Service, which includes:

  • An online board where you can see a wide range of placements: part-time, full-time or voluntary. You can also drop in to see our Job Shop advisers, who are always available to help you take the next step in your search.
  • Our Careers Gym offering group workshops on CVs, interview techniques and finding work experience, as well as regular presentations from employers across a range of sectors.

Our Student Enterprise team can also help you start your own business and develop valuable entrepreneurial skills.

Placements

Time spent on placement

During the course you will spend 50% of your time involved in academic study and 50% in clinical practice within a broad variety of healthcare settings. A clinical practice placement allows you to put theory into practice by working with a range of health professionals in clinical situations to develop the skills, knowledge and experience required to become a competent nurse.  Although sometimes initially challenging, practice learning is one of the most interesting and exciting aspects of learning to be a nurse.

Clinical Settings

LSBU is affiliated with the top teaching hospitals and Trusts in London, including Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH). At LSBU you will experience a variety of clinical settings such as NHS acute Trusts, community placements, independent sector and voluntary sector organisations. You will also undergo a placement within the community.

We're proud to partner with:

  • Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children NHS Trust
  • University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
  • Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
  • Evelina London Children's Hospital at Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust
  • Variety Children's Hospital at King's College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
  • Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals NHS Trust
  • Barts Health NHS Trust

Structure of placements

Placements are spread over the two years:

Your initial placements are designed to introduce you to working in a professional setting and to develop essential care and basic assessment skills, infection control and learn about safeguarding vulnerable people.

You will then build on the experience gained from Year one and will begin to take on more responsibility, progressing your clinical reasoning skills and begin to look after small groups of patients making confident, proactive decisions for their health and management with less supervision.

You will also have the opportunity to choose a four week elective placement in which you can pick a speciality (e.g. working with Clinical Nurse Specialists, specialist services or independent and 3rd sector providers), or a different context of care (e.g. prison, private health care facility, social care, charity, hospice etc.), or a lived experience of a certain condition (e.g. charity work, carer shadowing, etc.) During your final year, you will require less supervision and will be responsible for a small group of patients.

Support from a mentor

Whilst in the clinical placement we ensure our nursing students receive continuous support and guidance from a dedicated mentor and practice learning teams made up of lecturers and practitioners.

Find out more about nursing placements through our student and graduate testimonials.

Staff

Jane Brett

School/Division: Health and Social Care / Children's Nursing
Job title: Senior Lecturer

Jane Brett is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Children's Nursing, School of Health and Social Care.


Kate Davies

School/Division: Health and Social Care / Children's Nursing
Job title: Senior Lecturer

Kate has been a Senior Lecturer in Children’s Nursing since September 2015. She qualified as a children’s nurse in 1994, and since 2000 specialised as a Clinical Nurse Specialist in Paediatric Endocrinology in several London Trusts.


Stuart Hibbins

School/Division: Health and Social Care / Children's Nursing
Job title: Senior Lecturer

Stuart has worked in neurosurgery, neurology, theatres, neonates, intensive care and accident and emergency. While working as ward manager at King's College Hospital (KCH), he completed a retrospective study to evaluate the treatment of children with hydrocephalus.


Rose Mahoney

School/Division: Health and Social Care / Children's Nursing
Job title: Lecturer in Children's Nursing

Rose Mahoney is a Lecturer in Children's Nursing in the School of Health and Social Care.


Dr Stephen McKeever

School/Division: Health and Social Care / Children's Nursing
Job title: Senior Lecturer

Dr Stephen McKeever initially trained as adult nurse then a children's nurse. His clinical and research experience has mainly focused on the care of the critically ill child.


Prof. Alison Twycross

School/Division: Health and Social Care /
Job title: Deputy Dean and Lead Nurse

Prof. Alison Twycross is Deputy Dean and Lead Nurse in the School of Health and Social Care. Alison is an experienced researcher who is recognised internationally in the area of acute pain in children.


Fiona Whitwham

School/Division:
Job title: Senior Lecturer in Children's Nursing

Fiona Whitwham is a Senior Lecturer and the Admissions Tutor in the Department of Children's Nursing, in the School of Health and Social Care.


Facilities

Children's skills laboratories

We have two Children's skills laboratories which are set up like nursing wards. The skills labs are used by all student nurses throughout their on-campus study time at LSBU. They learn manual handling of patients, basic life support skills and skills specific to the field of nursing.

SimMan

The nursing wards have simulator mannequins; SimMan, SimBaby and SimMom. These life-size mannequins are computer controlled and can be programmed with various clinical conditions. These are operated by a computer in real-time and so respond to a students' actions. They also allow students to see the outcome of specific interventions in certain scenarios, which could make the patient better or deteriorate quite quickly.

The mannequins are used to teach students how to recognise clinical signs, and to also associate those clinical signs with the actions they are taking to care for the patient.  SimMan can be male or female with fully accurate anatomy and can breathe, blink, sweat, speak and groan in pain as well as have a pulse. Read more about SimMan.

Teaching and learning

Personal tutoring

As a Health and Social Care student, you will be allocated a named tutor during your first three weeks at LSBU.  The role of your tutor is to be your primary contact for academic and professional development support.

Your tutor will support you to get the most of your time at LSBU, providing advice and signposting to other sources of support in the University. They should be the first person at the university that you speak to if you are having any difficulties that are affecting your work. These could be academic, financial, health-related or another type of problem.

You will have appointments with your personal tutor at least 4 times a year and after every placement throughout your course. You can contact your tutor for additional support by email or phone.

Entry requirements

Applicants will be considered on an individual basis but will normally require:

  • A Bachelor degree with a minimum 2:2 classification. Candidates without a health or science related degree are required to complete a Life Sciences work book package to satisfy the Life Sciences element of the APL portfolio.
  • In accordance with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) requirements, Maths and English GCSEs/equivalent (at C or above) are also required.

Attributes and values

Nursing is a very competitive career and it is important you make a high quality application to us. Here are some tips on what attributes, skills and values we are ideally looking for in an LSBU nursing student:

  • Meet the required entry requirements for LSBU nursing courses
  • Good understanding of basic numeracy and literacy skills
  • Impeccable communication, caring and helping skills
  • Able to work as part of a team as well as independently
  • Reliable, patient and understanding
  • Motivated
  • Dedicated to a career in nursing and fully comprehend the responsibilities of the role
  • Personal qualities and values in line with those expected by the NHS constitution.

Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL)

All applicants are required to make an APL claim. You may apply for APL through both certificated learning and the production of a portfolio to demonstrate achievement of programme outcomes for the programme you have applied for through experience. If you are offered a place on the course you'll be provided with guidance notes to assist you in constructing this.

Interviews and assessments

As part of the selection process you'll be expected to attend an MMI interview. Find out more.

If offered a place, you must successfully complete both a Disclosure Barring Service (DBS) and occupational health check, and provide proof of ordinary residency requirements and satisfactory references. A valid passport is required for enrolment purposes.

English language

For those whom English is not their first language must achieve a minimum score of 7.0 overall or equivalent with not less than 7.0 in the listening and reading sections and not less than 7.0 in the writing and speaking sections for the International English Language Test Score (IELTS) at the time of application.

How to apply

Instructions for Home/EU applicants
Mode Duration Start date Application code Application method
Mode
Full-time
Duration
2 years
Start date
September
Application code
B731
Application method

Although this is a postgraduate course, all students apply to the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS). Full details on how to do this is supplied on the How to apply webpage for undergraduate students.

When making your UCAS application you will need to apply for your chosen field of nursing practice.

Seven stages to your application

  1. Attend an Open Day
  2. Apply to us through UCAS
  3. Write your personal statement and use this as a tool to illustrate why you are right for the course
  4. Write your APL claim
  5. Take the MENDAS psychometric test
  6. Take the numeracy test
  7. Prepare for your interview

Personal statements

Remember the personal statement is extremely important. This is essentially a selling tool on why you are right for the course. The personal statement is taken into consideration when shortlisting applicants for interview. Download our Personal Statement Guide (PDF File 160 KB).

Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL)

All applicants are required to make an APL claim. You may apply for APL through both certificated learning and the production of a portfolio to demonstrate achievement of programme outcomes for the programme you have applied for through experience. You are permitted to claim up to 50% APL when applying to study with us using prior work and academic experience, for example: previous health or science based Degree studies, Foundation degree etc. You will be provided with guidance notes to assist you in constructing this.

Situational test

Once you have made your application to us, you will be invited to complete a 30 minute multiple choice situational test online which is part of your assessment for the course. The test is taken at home and you will be sent instructions on completing this. Within this assessment we are measuring your knowledge, abilities, attitudes and personality traits to see if you possess the right characteristics for nursing. When completing the test, think carefully about your answers, answer truthfully, take your time and do not panic.

Numeracy assessment

If your application has been successfully shortlisted you will be invited to take a numeracy test.

Read our numeracy test page for important information about the test and to help you prepare.

Interviews

If you have successfully completed the numeracy test you will be invited, through UCAS Track, to attend an interview at a given time and date.

Read our interview page for important information about this stage and to help you prepare.

You will also need to complete a Declaration of character and conduct form (PDF File 166 KB) and the Interview declaration form (PDF File 44 KB) and bring these with you to your interview.

Preliminary fee assessment

At your interview we start the process of checking your eligibility for NHS funding.

In order for us to ascertain your eligibility for NHS funding, download the Preliminary Fee Assessment Form (PDF File 155 KB), complete and bring it with you to the interview. Also, ensure you bring along your evidence as noted in the letter which will enable us to assess your residency status.

Information regarding results

When the interview has finished you will be given information and advice as to what happens next, should you be either successful or unsuccessful.

Results

These will be made available through UCAS Track usually within two weeks.

If you are unsuccessful the application process for this year is over. Your application will not be accepted for either 'Extra' or 'Clearing'. LSBU will however accept another application for the following year. It is important that you read the comments in the results statement, so that you are prepared for any other interviews you may have.

If you are successful you will be invited to an Offer Holder day, which aims to help you make a final decision on whether to accept our offer or not. You will meet some of the team in the Department and take part in some 'taster' sessions.

Headstart day

Future students will be invited to meet with other students starting at the same time. There will be tours of the university library, lectures and teaching sessions and plenty of opportunity to make new friends, meet staff and to feel better prepared for starting your studies with us.

Postgraduate Application Service

Book your time with one of our specialist Postgraduate Advisors. Over a one on one Advice Session they'll advise you on postgraduate degrees at LSBU that match your interests and experience. And when you're ready to apply join one of our Postgraduate Application Sessions. There, we take small groups of up to four people through the application process. Look online for the next of our Advice Sessions or Postgraduate Application Sessions.

Fees and funding

Fees are shown for new entrants to courses, for each individual year of a course, together with the total fee for all the years of a course. Continuing LSBU students should refer to the Finance section of our student portal, MyLSBU. Queries regarding fees should be directed to the Fees and Bursaries Team on: +44 (0)20 7815 6181.

Full-time
The fee shown is for entry 2018/19.
UK/EU fee: £9250International fee: £23125
AOS/LSBU code: 3980Session code: 1FS00
Total course fee:
UK/EU £18500
International £46250

Please note that this course is not currently open to international students.

Funding for pre-registration postgraduate programmes 2018/19

From August 2018 new postgraduate pre-registration nursing, midwifery and allied health professional students will access loans from the Student Loans Company.

Accessing loans will provide students with at least 25% more up-front living cost support whilst you study. You will also have access to the Learning Support Fund, which is administered by the NHS Business Services Authority, for support while attending clinical placements.

Background to these changes can be found on Gov.uk.

Council of Deans have prepared a briefing paper and Student Finance have outlined who qualifies. The Funding Clinic provides further information on what support is available.

NHS Bursary will produce guidelines and information once the information has received parliamentary approval.

Stories

Select a story and read about practical project work, students' placement experiences, research projects, alumni career achievements and what it’s really like to study here from the student perspective.

  • Emma Williams, PgDip Children’s Nursing, career change

    13 years after graduating from her first degree and pursuing a career in television, Emma Williams decided to change course and study a fast-track PG/Dip Children's Nursing at LSBU.

  • Jessica Maycock, PgDip Children's Nursing

    Jessica Maycock, PgDip Children's Nursing

    Jessica kept thinking of a career in nursing, inspired by living with three nurses and their realistic descriptions of their daily working lives. This brought her to studying a PgDip at LSBU.

  • SimMan

    SimMan

    The School of Health and Social Care uses a variety of mannequins to help students learn clinical skills in a simulated care environment in laboratories.

  • Emma Ballinger, alumna, Children's Nursing BSc (Hons)

    Emma Ballinger, alumna, Children's Nursing BSc (Hons)

    Emma's time at LSBU was a hands-on practical experience which led her to volunteer in Nairobi, as well as have many placement opportunities. Emma now works at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital.

Prepare to start

DBS

You need to declare any previous convictions, cautions, warning or reprimands through the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS). Find out more on the DBS process for applicants.

To see when and if convictions and cautions are removed from the DBS certificate check the filtering rules for the criminal record check certificates.

For more information please read our DBS FAQs.

To complete the DBS application and get your ID documents checked, please follow the steps below:

Step 1:

Complete the online DBS application and ensure you refer to the corresponding DBS course title when completing your application, to ensure we can track your application.

Organisation: LSBUHSC
Password: london2013

If you already have a DBS certificate and are part of the DBS update service, we need to see the hard copy of your DBS certificate. You’ll also need to e-mail hscdbsoh@lsbu.ac.uk the details below so that we can perform a status check on the update service website:

  • Your DBS certificate number
  • Your name as it is on the DBS certificate
  • Your date of birth

Step 2:

You will need to bring in and show us three accepted ID documents so we can verify your application. You can bring them to the Southwark Student Help Desk in the K2 building during working hours, Monday-Friday (9am-11am, 1pm-4pm). No appointment is needed.

Please note:

If you are unable to physically come to campus and show your three forms of required ID, you can use the Post Office which offers an identity document checking service for a fee of £10.50.

Take photocopies of your three items of ID documents and your three original documents with you to the Post Office.

The Post Office will stamp the form and the photocopies and give them back to you

The documents should be scanned (including the Post Office receipt) and sent to hscdbsoh@lsbu.ac.uk.

If you have further questions you can email hscdbsoh@lsbu.ac.uk.

Enrolment

Before you start your course we’ll send you information on what you’ll need to do before you arrive and during your first few days on campus. You can read about the process on our new students pages.

Occupational health

Please read our guide to immunisation, screening and health clearance.

If you have met the conditions of your offer download and complete an online medical questionnaire. This will go to our current occupational health provider. You can only enrol on your course when this is complete. For further information please read our Occupational Health FAQs.

Vaccination screening

Read our Vaccination Screening Advisory Letter (PDF File 126 KB).

Before you enrol on your course take the GP Vaccination and Screening History Form (PDF File 117 KB) to your GP for them to complete, sign and stamp.

Once you’ve enrolled take the form to the meeting with the occupational health nurse so the nurse can check your immunisation status and confirm this for your placement. If you do not complete the occupational health process you cannot go on placement and this may jeopardise your continuation on your course.

If you have any questions you can email hscdbsoh@lsbu.ac.uk.

Holidays

Your holiday periods will not follow the normal University timetable because of placements. You’ll receive more details once you start your course.

Practice placements

Most health and social care courses’ practice placements will operate outside normal working hours e.g. evenings, nights, weekends and bank holidays.

Uniform

Most placements will require you to wear a uniform on placement or during some practical sessions in our skills laboratories. This will be provided along with a formal name badge.

You'll have to pay for any additional or replacement uniforms. For more information, see our uniform FAQs.

 
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Contact information

Course Enquiries - UK

Tel: 0800 923 8888

Get in touch

Course Enquiries - EU/International

Tel: +44 (0) 20 7815 6189

Get in touch
 
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