Practice support and development is a key part of delivering courses for nurses and a high priority for the school. Practice accounts for 50% of all courses leading to registration as a nurse. The Division of Nursing has the largest number of placement opportunities and contacts in the region, and the opportunities cover all fields of nursing.
Where does learning in practice take place?
Learning in practice occurs in selected:
- health centres
- primary healthcare teams
- other settings within the local NHS and independent healthcare sector
- the social service sector
In these settings guided observation, critical incident analysis, clinical teaching and student portfolios are used to help students reflect on their experiences and examine the relevance of their theoretical learning to nursing practice.
Developing practice learning
We have developed a number of strategies and activities within the school specifically designated to develop practice learning, in conjunction with service colleagues. These systems ensure the courses delivered (from pre-registration through to Learning Beyond Registration) are up to date, ensuring our students are equipped, on course completion, to deliver safe and effective healthcare to patients and clients.
Support on placement
As part of our commitment to practice we have established a variety of support mechanisms for students and service colleagues, these include:
- Practice Learning Teams for placements
- standard placement evaluation and feedback
- support from healthcare support workers (where appropriate)
- extra-curricular 'drop-in' sessions for students to develop and practice clinical skills
- peer support (buddy system) where senior students support junior students
- mentor preparation and support systems
Within the practice curriculum we will continuously respond to changes in the way healthcare is delivered and update practice accordingly. Through our Practice Learning Strategy we identify and outline the direction in which future developments will take place, continually reviewing and evaluating new initiatives.
Through effective mentor preparation and support systems, we ensure that student supervision in the practice setting is both supportive and effective.
Practice learning evaluations - what happens next?