Student nurses successfully took over the running of a ward last month at University Hospitals Plymouth NHS Trust, as part of a new model of learning, according to those behind the initiative.
Collaborative Learning in Practice Placements (CLIPP) is a new model of nurse training in practice, whereby teams of students take over the running of one or two bays of a hospital ward.
“I believe this was the first time that a whole ward has been taken over by students in the South West”
However, they continue to be overseen during the exercise by dedicated registered nurses and healthcare support workers.
At the end of April this year, a team of University of Plymouth nursing students began to pilot the new initiative at Derriford Hospital.
They initially took over the running of one or two bays on the hospital’s Hartor ward, which cares for older patients.
By the start of July, the trust deemed the move so successful, that for their final week, the student takeover was extended to cover the entire ward.
Katie Jackson, placement development team educator at the trust, said: “Instead of students simply shadowing a registered nurse, as part of the CLIPP model they are encouraged to learn by doing.
“This ultimately enhances the student learning experience, giving them an opportunity to be more hands-on, and therefore increases their confidence, leadership and decision-making skills,” she said.
“The CLIPP model brings together the best of both traditional and modern learning approaches”
Ms Jackson noted that the students who took part in the trial were allocated by random selection from each of the three year groups. She highlighted that few knew each other at the start of the placement, but that they “quickly developed into a team”.
“The success of the CLIPP pilot is certainly a result of their hard work and team-working skills,” she said, while also praising the “fantastic support” given by the ward and its manager Teresa Beer.
The placement team said it hoped that, by trialling the CLIPP model with further students across different wards, it would become standard practice.
Ms Jackson said: “I believe this was the first time that a whole ward has been taken over by students in the South West, and perhaps even the country.
“We look forward to how it will improve integration between the hospital and university, as well as increasing the number of placement opportunities we can provide,” she added.
Trust deputy chief nurse Beverley Allingham said: “It’s been wonderful to see first, second and third year students working closely together to develop a strong team ethic and a network of peer support.
“Their learning experience is greatly improved with the CLIPP model, as they feel more empowered and so their confidence grows quickly,” she said.
“It’s been wonderful to see first, second and third year students working closely together”
Ed Cox, the trust’s head of nursing, added: “The CLIPP model brings together the best of both traditional and modern learning approaches.
He said: “We’ve received excellent feedback from both the staff and the students, and I hope that we will see it trialled further in other parts of the hospital.”
The initiative has also been a hit with students. Suzy Bayliss, a third year student nurse, described taking part in CLIPP as an “amazing opportunity”.
“I feel very lucky to have been chosen to take part,” she said. “It has enabled my confidence to grow, and I now feel ready to take the next step as a registered nurse.”
Meg Neal, also a third year student nurse, added: “I have loved every minute. The experience has inspired me to go on to mentoring, once I am qualified.”