Cardiff University expects all nursing students to complete at least 2300 placement hours as a requirement of the Nursing and Midwifery Council. During your placements you will be required to apply and build upon your theoretical knowledge and practical skills.

Going on placement can be one of the best experiences of your life, but may be quite daunting at first. We've put together some quick information to help you while you're away, and to remind you that the Students' Union is still here for you, even if you're not in Cardiff at the moment.

Placement providers are primarily situated in health and social care settings across South East Wales, although students may also have an opportunity to pursue non-traditional placements in the private and third sectors. To find out more about your placements we would advise you to contact the placement tutor in your department at University, who should be your point of contact if there is a problem that cannot be resolved with your supervisor.

Or, if you are experiencing a problem on your programme, you can contact Student Advice using the web form below, or email

As a Nursing Student you should:

  • Be aware of your responsibility to find a suitable placement by the due date;
  • Be aware that their responsibility to prepare for and show commitment to placement begins upon enrolment;
  • Make full use of individual departmental and central University assistance and support;
  • Understand and adhere to any assessment requirements for placement;
  • Attend ALL required placement briefings and debriefings organised by individual and central university departments;
  • Behave appropriately at ALL times (before, during, after, in and out of work), acting to enhance the reputation of all parties involved.

Students should be aware of their rights to:

  • An appropriate learning experience;
  • A safe working environment;
  • Be treated in accordance with applicable legislation.

Placement Guidance

  1. When you arrive at your place of work there may be a number of things which are unclear to you. Everybody gets that feeling of being the new person, but try not to be too anxious. Someone at work should be appointed as your supervisor. They will be the person to answer any queries and help you settle in.
  2. It is a good idea to meet with your supervisor or manager when you begin your placement and set objectives for yourself. It is also a good idea to arrange to meet regularly to review your progress and to receive feedback. Make sure that you get a final review before you leave.
  3. Make sure you arrive on time. This may seem obvious, but if you’re starting a new placement in an unfamiliar facility, it is important that you are prepared. How are you getting there? Do you know the way? Is there parking available? What time is your shift again? And is that your arrival time, or the time that you need to be on the ward?
  4. A little enthusiasm goes a long way. Try not to let those nerves show if you can help it. If you can throw yourself into your placement, you are likely to get a lot more out of it.
  5. Get to know your team – we’re not suggesting going out for cocktails, but demonstrate your willingness to learn and support the team! You are on placement to develop your skills, but a positive experience with your peers is conducive to your learning, and is likely to improve your overall experience, especially on difficult days.
  6. Be professional – outside of the staffroom you are expected to have a professional approach to confidentiality and to keep your emotions in check.
  7. Be aware of your limitations; no one is expecting you to be an expert immediately. In a high risk environment, it is important that you seek help if you need it. If you are asked to perform a task, you should be supervised by a skilled practitioner.
  8. Reflect on your experiences regularly. We understand that placement reflections are built into your programme, but building time into your day to reflect on what you have learnt and accomplished is an effective learning tool.

Network Access

Cardiff University provides a remote access service using PCs located in each of the NHS hospital-based libraries which connect to the University network.

You can connect using a Library Workstation/PC which has been set up with a shortcut to the remote desktop service. These computers allow you to launch a Windows desktop, which is connected to the Cardiff network.

Find out more about this here.

NHS Wales Hospital Libraries and Placement Library Cards

If you're on placement in NHS Wales, you will be entitled to join the hospital-based libraries and borrow material.

Books from the University can also be obtained via these libraries as Cardiff University and NHS Wales libraries work in partnership to provide an Inter-Library Loan service.

Before you go on your first placement, a placement library card should be issued to you which will allow you to borrow books at NHS Health Boards/Trust libraries around Wales (except in Cardiff and the Vale University Health Board, including University Hospital Llandough or Velindre NHS Trust).

You should be notified in the weeks before your placement that your card is ready for you to collect from the enquiry desk on the first floor of the Health Library. You can only use this card in the specific hospital library where you are on placement.

When registering to use the placement card, you agree to:

  • Only use the card in the library where you are on placement.
  • Return borrowed material by its due date and respond to the recall of any material on loan.
  • Potentially incur fines for the late return of material or be charged for replacement items.
  • Renew books on the placement card directly at the placement library (they cannot be renewed online).
  • Return all material before leaving a placement.
  • Clear your account before taking books out at a new placement.
  • Pay for a replacement copy and a handling/processing charge for any lost items.
  • Pay £5 for a replacement placement card.

Need advice?

Student Advice can help you with a range of issues while you are placement. We specialise in things like academic advice on issues such as fitness to practise, and concerns or worries you may have about your placement. We offer a confidential service that is independent from the University.

You don't need to be in Cardiff to use the Student Advice service. Our team advise via email and telephone so you can contact us even when you’re away.

Your student life supported

Stay in touch with the University Student Support & Wellbeing teams throughout your placement and during your studies to access the full range of support available to you.

The Student Occupational Health team can help you with enrolment screening, immunisations, fitness to study, fitness to practise, tips for maintaining good health. Get in touch:

The Counselling, Health & Wellbeing team can help you with tips on good wellbeing & helpful coping strategies, face to face, telephone & online appointments, workshops and self-help resources, and online support programme ‘SilverCloud’ access via the University Intranet. Get in touch:

Student Academic Representatives

You can still raise any ideas, issues or opinions about your course or placement with your Student Academic Rep. Student Academic Reps are volunteers who voice the questions, queries and concerns of their fellow students to the University.

Reps take any feedback that you might have to Student Staff Panels. Here students and University staff discuss topics that affect your education. Together they come up with action plans on how the University can improve your course and placement experience.

Contact Student Advice
+44 (0)2920 781410




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