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Practice Learning

Aims

  • Develop guidance for a common approach to documenting assessment of practice in pre-registration nursing programmes in Scotland.
  • Support the implementation and evaluation of demonstration projects of new and innovative approaches to providing practice placements in pre-registration nursing programmes.
  • Establish a national strategic forum that promotes consistency, coordination and sharing of information to inform and guide the practice learning experience.
  • Enhance mentor support and the learning experience of pre-registration nursing students in the Care Home Sector through the recruitment of Education Facilitators.
  • Establish a national web based resource for mentors, and those who support them.

Projects

The group's work was informed by evidence from three nationally funded projects:

 

The Evalution of Fitness for Practice Pre-registration Nursing and Midwifery Curricula Project (Lauder et al, 2008)

 

Response from NHS Education for Scotland (NES, 2008)

 

The Evaluation of the Practice Education Facilitator project (Carlisle et al, 2008)

 

 

1. National Approach to Practice Assessment Documentation in Pre-Registration Nursing Programmes

 

Variability across universities in relation to assessment processes and documentation has the potential to impact on the student experience and the quality of mentor support provided.

 

It was argued that a national approach to documenting practice assessment would provide more consistency in approach, make the best use of resources, and would increase student retention by providing a more positive assessment experience for both students and mentors.

 

A working group was established, with representation from each university and other collaborative partners, to develop guidance for a common approach to documenting assessment of practice in pre-registration nursing programmes in Scotland.

 

The guidance will include core documentation, guiding principles, and recommendations from two commissioned literature reviews exploring issues of using grading of practice, and service user and carer involvement in practice assessment. Guidance will remain in draft format and be reviewed following the publication of the revised Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) Standards for Pre-registration Nursing Education in 2010.

 

2. Demonstration Projects of New Approaches to Providing Practice Placements in Pre-registration Nursing Programmes

 

Current models of practice placement allocation present challenges, including configuring placements that respond to policy drivers, variability in number and length of placements across branches and between universities, balancing supply and demand for particular placements and ensuring the quality of student practice placement experience. NES provided funding to support three pilot sites in exploring solutions to some of the challenges outlined above by establishing and evaluating new and innovative approaches to practice placement via the establishment of demonstration sites.

 

Three partnership projects between NHS Scotland Boards and universities to design, implement and evaluate demonstration projects, and pioneer new and innovative approaches to organising practice placements in the pre-registration nursing programmes. Hub and spoke models are being piloted across a common foundation programme, pre-registration mental health programme, and Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS).

 

Detailed feedback on process, outcomes and further action will be provided by each of the pilot areas.

 

Phase 2 of the Demonstration Sites project is now complete and the full reports can be accessed below:

 

Edinburgh Napier University - Demonstration Sites Phase 1 Report
Edinburgh Napier University - Demonstration Sites Phase 2 Report


Robert Gordon University - Demonstration Sites Phase 1 Report

Robert Gordon University - Demonstration Sites Phase 2 Report

 

University of Stirling - Demonstration Sites Phase 1 Report
University of Stirling - Demonstration Sites Phase 2 Report

 

 

3. Supporting Mentors in the Care Home Sector

 

The Care Home sector is often cited as both a growing area for care delivery and an area where support to students is less well developed. Therefore there is an opportunity to develop pre-registration student learning experiences and mentor support across care home practice placements.

 

Supported by Recuitment and Retention Delivery Group monies, NES has therefore led the provision of funding to NHS Boards for the recruitment of 14 WTE education facilitators nationally to support care home practice placements, with a specific focus on enhancing the student experience and developing the learning environment.

 

This has enhanced the development of pre-registration nursing students in care home practice placements, providing support to mentors through education and development activities and contributing to the care setting as a positive learning environment.

 

4. National Strategic Group for Practice Learning