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Busting the myths around the nursing profession

Published: 28/3/24

If you’re in two minds about becoming a nurse, it may be because you’ve bought in to one or more of the myths about what it’s like.

So, we’re going to set the record straight by giving you statements, and then explaining whether they’re true or false.


True or false: You need a lot of life and work experience before applying to be a student on a nursing programme.


Each university has their own specific entry criteria. You will need qualifications, such as A levels or equivalent. You will also have to pass an interview where you’ll need to be able to demonstrate the right values and behaviours. This can come from any area of your life where you have shown a caring attitude, a desire to help others, and so on.


True or false: You won’t be able to afford to be a student.


The NHS Wales bursary award scheme is available for all students offered a place on health-related degrees at a Welsh university.​

What is the bursary award?​

  • Financial support ​
  • Fully covers the cost of tuition fees​.
  • Helps with cost of living - £1,000 non-means tested maintenance grant (per academic year)​
  • Able to apply for a means tested bursary​.
  • Additional support can be accessed for childcare, dependants’ allowance and others​
  • Is non-repayable providing all the terms and conditions are met​.
  • Requires you to commit to working in NHS Wales as a nurse for 2 years after qualifying for your degree. ​
  • Students applying for the bursary must be a permanent resident in Wales. ​

Additionally, all students in Wales can apply for a maintenance loan from Student Wales Finance.​

Other options include applying for a scholarship to Coleg Y Cymraeg if you wish to study some of your modules through the medium of Welsh.​


True or false: The starting salary for a nurse is £28,834.


The basic starting salary for a nurse is £28,834 (bottom of band 5)​
Top of band 5 basic salary is £35,099​
Band 6 = £35,922 to £43,257​
Band 7 = £44,398 to £50,807​

Non- pay benefits include:​

  • Continuing learning & development​
  • 37.5 hours working week or flexible working.​
  • Competitive pension & holidays​
  • NHS staff discounts & childcare vouchers when applicable 


True or false: There is only one field of nursing.


There are four nurse training programmes:​

1. mental health ​

2. learning disabilities ​

3. adult ​

4. children's​


Student placement locations could include:​

  • in the community​
  • hospital on wards​
  • care homes​
  • education/research​


Final word

As you can see, nursing is a profession with fair pay and great benefits, especially if you’re keen to progress. You can choose what field of nursing you want to do, and your tuition fees can be paid through the NHS bursary.

We hope you feel encouraged to consider a career in nursing!