Studying nursing and practice placements in Hertfordshire and west Essex

Few other professions offer you as much choice or opportunity for personal and professional growth as nursing. It’s exciting, rewarding and, yes, it’s challenging. But it’s a career that lets you make a real difference to people’s lives.

We hope that when you finish your training you will want to work with us within Hertfordshire and west Essex. You may not be sure what you want to do, so you could rotate between medicine, emergency care and assessment. Whatever type of nurse you become, the opportunities for development, job satisfaction and flexible working are great, and all the time you’ll have the chance to make a real difference, helping people during their times of greatest need.

Studying in Herts

The University of Hertfordshire is located outside the historic town of Hatfield, 25 minutes by train from London’s King’s Cross station and close to the A1 (M).

image for the text

While the two modern campuses have everything you’ll need to enjoy student life – from fantastic sports facilities to cafés, clubbing and live entertainment – the location means you’re in easy reach not just of the capital, but also Hertfordshire’s green open spaces and many places of interest. All are just a short bus or train ride away.

The University was pleased to be awarded Gold in the Teaching Excellence and Student Outcomes Framework (TEF). The TEF Gold Award recognises the support they offer and the importance they place on enabling their students from all backgrounds to go on to highly skilled employment or further study.

The University’s nursing courses are taught within the School of Health and Social Work, which has a long-established reputation as a centre of excellence for healthcare education. Hands on learning is offered through our Emergency and Clinical Simulation Centres, with mock general ward and intensive care unit.

Click here to find out more information on further education colleges and universities.

Local Organisations

There are a wide range of different organisations that we represent across Hertfordshire and west Essex. These include acute hospitals that provide a wide range of hospital outpatient and inpatient services, community providers that provide a range of services in local settings, mental health and learning disability services, social care providers that support people with their non-clinical needs and urgent and emergency services such as the ambulance and integrated urgent care service (NHS111).

For more information on our organisations click here.

full width image


Each of the nursing courses are half theory and half placement – the placements provide you with a safe environment to apply the theoretical learning you have gained from the University in a NHS Trust organisation.

Overall throughout the three years you have to do 2,300 hours placement to qualify and to get on the Nursing and Midwifery Council register at the end of the course.

Your first placement will be after Christmas and before you start you will be invited to an induction day. This will give you the chance to orientate yourself to the NHS trust you will be based in and meet some of the staff you will be working with. You will be allocated a mentor for each placement, so this won’t be the same person throughout your training. During your placement your mentor will work with you on many occasions. If your mentor isn’t on duty all nurses will be able to support you, facilitate your learning, guide you and answer any questions you might have.

image for the text

During your three years you will spend time in a range of different settings and organisations, as it is important you get a rich and diverse experience. You can expect to spend some time in the community, but you may also experience working in a GP practice, a hospice or a care home. We will also allocate a super mentor, which is a senior nurse who will be with you for the whole of your three years studying. This nurse might be a matron or might be the chief nurse. This nurse will meet you at least yearly, and you will have a chance to talk about how your training is going, give feedback and talk about your career aspirations.

Image credit to K Bursa

Support and Wellbeing

The University offers a range of support services, from academic support, to childcare to counselling, ensuring that you make the most of your time at Herts.

Getting Support

We hope that you will be happy and have a rich learning experience throughout your studies however there may be times when you need a little support. This might be because you are struggling with the workload, you may want to share an experience that you found difficult or overwhelming, or maybe you have seen something that you don’t think is right. If you believe you have seen poor practice or behaviour in any of our services or in another trust, we encourage you to share this with someone.

 Image credit to K Bursa

image for the text

There are a number of ways you can talk to someone.

  • Your mentor on the ward or team leader

  • The lead for student nurses

  • Your link lecturer

  • Via your trust's freedom to speak up guardian

Look on your organisation’s intranet for more details in relation to the Freedom to Speak Up Guardian, whom you can raise concerns with anonymously.


The below image shows all the different uniforms you will see in each of our trust organisations.

full width image

The 6 C's and code of conduct

The 6Cs and Code of conduct that apply to all health and social care staff can be found in the image below. The code of conduct is also known as the 4P's.

full width image

Case studies

case study image

Vikki - Paediatric Nurse

I think the most enjoyable thing about the course so far has been interacting with the children and seeing you’re making a difference to their lives.

Read more
case study image

Masimba - Mental Health Nurse

It was quite intensive but I got the grades and then enrolled as a student nurse. So if I can do it, any man can do it!

Read more