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How to Survive your Nursing or Midwifery Course

How to Survive your Nursing or Midwifery Course

First Edition

February 2017 | 296 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd
How to Survive your Nursing or Midwifery Course is designed to help readers that are struggling and need a little (or a lot of) guidance. This helpful text is packed with useful information and practical exercises to help readers cope with all of the major sources of stress for nursing and midwifery students, including:
  • Juggling time
  • Succeeding in assignments and exams
  • Understanding what’s expected in real life and on placements
  • Managing finances
  • Coping with stress
  • Applying for jobs and more
Written by authors who have helped countless students from a wide range of backgrounds conquer their problems, this book will be something readers can come back to again and again to help them succeed on their journey to becoming a registered nurse or midwife.
Chapter 1: So you want to be a nurse or a midwife?
Chapter 2: You're more than just a student
Chapter 3: Communication and interpersonal skills
Chapter 4: Procrastination: putting things off and delaying the obvious
Chapter 5: Evidence-based practice
Chapter 6: Succeeding at assessments
Chapter 7: Reflective practice
Chapter 8: Making theory make sense in clinical practice
Chapter 9: Fitness to Practise – how to be a safe and professional nurse or midwife
Chapter 10: Expectations and responsibilities in nursing and midwifery clinical practice
Chapter 11: Planning and preparing your career in nursing or midwifery
Chapter 12: Developing your Professionalism

A super well-rounded nursing handbook. The pages are split up into speech bubbles, diagrams and things that I find a little more pleasant to read, it’s not just pages and pages of words with nothing cool or stimulating to keep your interest. There are some funny bits in there aswell, which add to it being a nice, easy read.

(Full video review can be found here:

Grace Barry - Registered Nurse and Blogger

‘An easy to follow, step-by-step guide, which will help you through important parts of your learning on a midwifery/nursing degree.’ 

Sasha Taylor, UG Midwifery student

‘I think this book will be interesting and useful. In my case, I would use it to help me with the reflective case analysis and the rest of my essays.’ 

Elena Rosas Ramos, UG Midwifery student

‘This is a very useful book, just being aware of the different support systems available would have made a massive difference to stressful situations I have been in when studying. It gives a good overview of all the areas essential to studying midwifery and I would use it as a study guide and to help with writing assignments. Definitely the chapter on procrastination will be useful as this is a big problem for me when writing assignments. I have heard other students say that this is a problem for them also and I have not seen any other books address this.’ 

Stephanie Atwood, PG Midwifery student

‘These chapters are superbly realistic and have added excellent insight as to how the life of being a student nurse or midwife will be – hard BUT rewarding. I found the chapters very easy to read and could not really fault them, they are ‘chatty’ and ‘real’ which makes it a more conversational read and not a boring lecture feel…..’ 

Melissa Cohen, UG Midwifery student

‘I wish I had this book when I was at university - I would have used it as my bible to help and guide when things weren’t going to plan.’

Sharon Patterson, former Student Nurse

'This is an enjoyable and refreshing writing style which engages the reader effectively. This text will be beneficial for both students of nursing and midwifery commencing their respective programmes and would also be recommended for potential candidates and career teachers within secondary education.'


Gail Anderson
Queen’s University Belfast, UK

'Written in conversational accessible language... proving popular with readers'

Judith Tonner, Airdrie and Coatbridge Advertiser

This is exactly the kind of book I wish I had been given (I’m a student midwife—I’m penniless, after all) before I started my course. Even the contents page felt like an organised list of the last 3 years of my life, down to the smallest, SMARTest target.

Alex Bush, Student Midwife
British Journal of Midwifery

The book is easy to follow and its layout makes it possible to dip in and out of chapters as necessary, depending on academic need or point of study. It is honest throughout, highlighting the responsibilities of being a caring and accountable practitioner...(and) it is purposeful in enabling the reader to evaluate their own learning and practice, making the reader an active participant, rather than a passenger. A particular strength is how the authors emphasise that the readers are human, and will be affected by what they witness in clinical practice. The book gives advice on managing emotions and the support networks available, such as mentors and trade unions, but also suggests methods of self-support. These tools are imperative to survive the intense situations midwives and students face, and are transferable to balance work/life/study stress.

Ellie Baggott - Newly qualified midwife
British Journal of Midwifery

Sample Materials & Chapters

Chapter 1

Monica Gribben

Monica Gribben is a dyslexia specialist with a background in languages and education. She works as Dyslexia Adviser at Edinburgh Napier University and, in a private capacity, as Dyslexia Consultant to corporate companies. Monica has widespread experience in student support, specialising in Scottish and Norwegian University support systems for students with dyslexia. Throughout her career, she’s worked extensively with student nurses and midwives. Monica currently sits on the Scottish Government's Working Party Group on Dyslexia and is Author of The Study Skills Toolkit for Students with Dyslexia.  More About Author

Stephen McLellan

Stephen McLellan is Careers Adviser at Edinburgh Napier University and Secretary of the University's Unison Branch. Throughout his career, Stephen has worked extensively with student nurses and midwives.   More About Author

Debbie McGirr

Debbie McGirr trained and worked as an RGN in Newcastle before moving to Edinburgh to undertake post-registration Sick Children's Nursing (RSCN) course.  She worked across a variety of settings (acute medical/ITU/HDU) before moving into the community to undertake her BA Community Health and District Nursing qualification.  She set up the REACT palliative care service at RHSC Edinburgh and worked as a community paediatric palliative care nurse across the east of Scotland.  She then moved into teaching to be the part-time discipline leader for the national Community Children's Nursing Degree (Specialist Practitioner... More About Author

Sam Chenery-Morris

Sam Chenery Morris (RGN, RM, RSCN) is an Associate Professor in Midwifery at the University of Suffolk. She has worked in all areas of midwifery practice, from the community to the delivery suite, from 1995-2003 before moving into teaching in 2006. Sam has a PhD in midwifery education specifically around learning, assessment and grading in clinical practice and an MA in Interprofessional Healthcare Education. Her teaching expertise encompasses normal midwifery practice, neonatal care and screening, professional issues and research methods with her module responsibilities reflecting these areas. She is a link lecturer to local hospitals and... More About Author

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