Students and Apprenticeships

CSH Surrey is proud to provide placements for undergraduate and postgraduate students from a variety of universities. We work hard to ensure our placement experiences reflect the NMC/HCPC Standards of Proficiency and the current University curriculums.

We have qualified and highly experienced Practice Supervisors, Practice Assessors and Educators who support our students while on placements with CSH Surrey.

Placement opportunities

  • Community hospitals: we run five community hospitals that provide 24 hour nursing care for people needing specialist rehabilitation nursing and therapy input. The aim is to help patients return to living as independently as possible. You’ll work within a multi-disciplinary nurse-led team that includes nurses, physios, occupational therapists, doctors and social care. 
  • Rapid Response: this service provides multi-disciplinary nursing and therapy input when patients require urgent care and support at home. GPs and hospitals refer to this team. 
  • Community nursing: this service provides direct nursing care in patients' homes and in the community
  • Walk in Centres: these provide medical treatment when patients' conditions are urgent but not emergencies.
  • Multi-disciplinary community hub teams: we have a number of community teams whose patients are primarily the frail elderly and who the teams support to stay safe and independent at home. You will work as part of the community hub team (nurses, therapists, GPs, social care) and with external partners to support proactive case management and client self-care of long-term conditions to help prevent unnecessary hospital admissions.
  • Specialist teams: our specialist nurses provide expert knowledge and practice in areas such as continence, respiratory disease, heart failure, tissue viability, Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinson's Disease and stroke. You will have the opportunity to spend time in these areas as part of your placement. Elective placement opportunities are also available within these teams.
  • Children's community nursing and therapy teams: these include Health Visiting, School Nursing, School Immunisations, Continuing Care, Specialist Community Nursing and Paediatric Therapies including Physiotherapy, Speech and Language Therapy and Occupational Therapy.
  • Adult Therapy services: these include musculoskeletal services, inpatient rehabilitation, outpatient services, domiciliary and community rehabilitation, neurological rehabilitation, podiatry, dietetics and psychology.

Support while on placement

Before starting your placement you will be allocated a Practice Supervisor/Practice Assessor/Educator from within the team you're working in who will support you while on placement.

To further support you and ensure you have a positive learning experience and achieve all your learning outcomes, our Clinical Practice Educator will be available throughout your placement.

We work with a number of different universities and education providers who will provide support and guidence as required throughout your programme. This will include your personal tutor at your University. 

Student stories

Sarah Watts, Registered Nursing Associate: "I found out about the Nurse Associate role at a Health Care Assistant Forum meeting. I was attracted to the role because I wanted to progress and wanted the recognition I would gain in the role. The application process was straight forward and quick - we applied in January and started the course in April. There have been ups and downs over the 2 years, but mostly ups! It has been hard work as we were working full time in the placements and studying for exams and writing essays as well. That said, I would recommend this course to others: it’s a good opportunity to progress and gain huge amounts of valuable experience."

Amelia Brown, Paediatric nurse Degree Apprenticeship: Amelia is a Children's Community Carer with Children and Family Health Surrey and is in the second year of the Nurse Degree Apprenticeship Programme. "The course has been life changing. Doing an apprenticeship means I can work and still provide an income for my family while training for a career that I am so passionate about. I've felt very supported throughout the programme and feel incredibly lucky to be on this programme, which is helping me to train and achieve something that wouldn't have been possible in any other way financially." Read more.

What our students say about placements at CSH Surrey

  • "The nurses are all very compassionate and attentive to patients, it is real holistic care. The nurses were very caring and hard working. Every member I worked with was compassionate and willing to give each patient as much advice and time as they needed. It was my favourite placement so far –  I loved every minute of it, it gave me a huge variety of experiences. I’m hoping to go back another time."
  • "My mentors designed my placement around what I wanted to learn/practice. All the nurses were very caring and knew all patients by name and discussed best methods of care when needed. A lovely placement with friendly staff who were all welcoming."
  • "All the staff were fantastic and supportive, providing an excellent learning environment with lots of opportunities. All the mentors invited me to spend time with them meeting my learning outcomes. The nursing team met all the needs of the patients, showing care, compassion, understanding and were extremely supportive, going out of their way to provide the highest standard of care they could give. They go the ends of the earth for their patients."
  • "The district nurses were amazing and you could tell they had the patient’s interests at heart. They went out of their way to ensure patients and their families understood their care and involved them in all stages of the decision making process. Working in the community allowed me to experience a different kind of nursing, it was a good learning experience and increased my confidence in patient care.The District Nurses were a lovely team who cared well for their patients. Staff were kind, caring and considerate – they go the extra mile to enhance patients’ experience in their homes."
Photo of Kat Sealey a school staff nurse

Now employed as a School Staff Nurse Kat Sealey

After gaining some experience as a healthcare assistant in the community, I moved to Gibraltar and began working as a healthcare assistant on a psychiatric unit. Although I had gained a great deal of experience in mental health and with a variety of age groups, I chose to pursue a degree in adult nursing. I strongly believe that providing holistic care should encompass a recognition of emotional and psychological health, as well as physical health. This can be difficult to achieve in a ward setting, often due to staffing levels and time constraints.

For much of my training as an adult nurse, I believed I wanted to look for a role in Accident and Emergency after I qualified. When I had a placement there in my third year, I found there were many things I would like to change and improve. I quickly realised that as a newly qualified Band 5 this would be very difficult. At this point, I had to re-think my choice of career path.

I decided to go into school nursing because I believe that we can promote good health by providing young people with access to health information at school. This approach is key to encouraging people to take responsibility and facilitate making healthy life choices. By providing this much needed contact and education, we can improve the health of the general population and reduce the pressure on the acute care sector.

Community services are the future of the NHS, they empower patients by giving them a choice. For me, this is a true definition of holistic care. By providing services in the community, the NHS is also freeing up hospital beds, reducing waiting lists and reducing the burden on hospital staff. I strongly believe that better provision of community-based services will not only save the NHS money in the long-term, but also promote the autonomy of our patients, allowing them to achieve a better quality of life for longer. As a student nurse, if you are not passionate about the acute sector, don’t work there! Our role in people’s lives is an honour, not a punishment.

It can take time to feel confident in your first post-qualification role, wherever you decide to work. On a busy ward it can be difficult to find support as soon as you need it, but preceptors and mentors will always try their best to provide support. This is no different in the community - you will not be sent out on your own until you are both confident and competent and support is only a phone call away. In truth, what people may perceive as a lack of support is actually an increased level of autonomy, which is actually hugely empowering!

As newly qualified nurses, we have the most up-to-date training, the benefit of the experiences of our lecturers and mentors, fresh experiences in many different sectors and have developed skills for ensuring evidence-based practice. We are valuable, the future of nursing, colleagues can learn from us as much as we can learn from them.

In the short time I have worked at CSH Surrey I have experienced a plethora of support techniques. These have included one-to-one time with my line manager, time to shadow and observe my colleagues on a super-numery basis, access to online e-learning modules and a two day company induction.

CSH Surrey is employee-owned and this makes a real difference. The team of co-owners are all approachable and friendly. From admin staff to the Board of Directors, I have been made to feel welcome, valued and supported. Did you ever write an assignment that you thought you could put into practice? Well CSH Surrey is the place to make your good ideas a reality, to be innovative, creative and make a difference! CSH Surrey is allowing me to put all my great training into action, to help people and improve lives. Isn’t this why we all wanted to be nurses in the first place?

Photo of Valerie Acheampong student school nurse

Student school nurse Valerie Acheampong

I am currently a student specialist school nurse practitioner with CSH Surrey. Before, I worked for about 18 months as a cardiac thoracic nurse in an acute hospital, but I couldn’t be the nurse I wanted to be in the acute. There is more time in the community to deliver the care you want, whereas in the acute everything has to be timed. I enjoyed my school nursing placement when I was training and am looking forward to qualifying.

Clip art owl nurse

Newly qualified nurse Jane

In my second year I did a placement with the Leatherhead community nursing team. I thought I would hate it but ended up really liking it!

There is a real acute bias at university, but in the community I am doing everything that I would in the acute (from palliative care to using syringe drivers, pic lines and vacuum dressings) and in my view it’s easy to become too specialist in the acute.

I learnt that in the community you have time to get to know patients and build relationships with them. You quickly know if something’s wrong because you have a complete picture of that person and you can make a real difference to them.

In the acute the wards can be like conveyor belts. Patients are known by their bed numbers, not by their names.

Nursing in the community is less ‘fly by the seat of your pants’. You have time to think and give high quality care.

The student mentors in the community also have more time to give you. Mine was so supportive and was always checking in with me. I got no sense that I was ever in the way or a burden or used like an HCA.

At CSH Surrey I was never made to feel like a ‘number’ and no-one ever called me ‘the student’, which happens a lot in the acute.

Instead, I was given more responsibility and autonomy, the chance to manage my caseload and we also get good handovers at the end of each day, all of which increased my confidence.

I deliberately chose community for my final supervised placement and for my first qualified role as it means I can be the type of nurse I want to be. I can be more holistic and caring and show more dignity and compassion. In the community my patients are real people, not just numbers on a handover sheet.

Photo of Charlene Hayes student school nurse

School nurse Charlene Hayes

I have always wanted to go into the community and having worked in a high dependency unit specialising in cardio and respiratory for three years, I’ve become even more passionate about wanting to go into preventative nursing.

The support at CSH Surrey is good: we each had a named practice teacher and a personal tutor at University. Having done a nursing degree, the students on the school nursing Masters all realise how important it is to support each other as nurses and as colleagues.

Being employee-owned gives you a real sense of ownership. I feel I have more of a voice and people take more responsibility. If someone spots something that needs changing, they are more likely to want to say something.