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Workforce body plans shake-up of student placements and mentoring

  • 9 Comments

The agency that oversees NHS education and training is considering a radical shake-up of the placement and mentoring systems for nursing students.

Lisa Bayliss-Pratt, nursing director Health Education England, said she was looking into whether student nurses should be assigned to just one placement provider a year, as opposed to switching between up to 10 over the course of their degree programme.

“We need to personalise the placements for student so they get really understand and get embedded in the world of health and care,” she said in an interview with Nursing Times.

This approach would still allow student nurses to be exposed to a range of settings, she added, because they would be expected to follow the “patient pathway” as people within their caseload access different types of care.

“If you’re with a community team then you would look after a caseload, assigned under the supervision of the community nurse,” she said.

“But among those patients, some would die so you’d follow that pathway, some would go into hospital because they’ve had a fall so you’d follow that pathway, some would go into outpatients for long term conditions ,” she added.

“We need to personalise the placements for student so they get really understand and get embedded in the world of health and care”

Lisa Bayliss-Pratt

However, she acknowledged the approach would take “a lot of commitment” from universities, placement teams and students.

Other plans being looked at include reducing the number of mentors and increasing the size of student groups they are responsible for – potentially up to 12 – while making use of nurse coaches to support learning.

Recent increases in health visitor numbers following a government pledge had seen a similar strategy used for their training, noted Ms Bayliss-Pratt.

“We seem to need to work a lot harder at getting quality educators in practice,” she said. “That probably means less of them, as opposed to this assumption that every nurse can be a good educator and good at assessing people.”

  • 9 Comments

Readers' comments (9)

  • As all Nursing Homes do end of live care in a specialized environment , I do hope that they will be allocated students in this scheme, this element of Nursing is regularly undervalued and ignored

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  • This is a terrible idea; students need to gain experience in all areas of nursing. Bring back the 1982 syllabus when you were rostered on to shifts and spent three months on each placement.

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  • As a 2nd year student nurse, I think this is a terrible idea. My course only provides us with six 8-week placements over 3 years. This is not so much a problem for me as I have worked in healthcare for many years prior to my training but for the younger students with no previous experience, I don't feel that this is adequate to prepare for the responsibilities of the qualified nurse.

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  • This nonsense seems to have been copied straight off the whiteboard at the end of some comical "brain-storming" meeting. Is this the best that our "leaders" can come up with?

    Here's an original idea - stop moving the deck chairs around and thinking it will save the ship!

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  • Heather Henry

    What does this mean for having placements in primary care please? Or 3rd sector? Let's not perpetuate the status quo

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  • Particularly apt name I think !


    Anonymous | 21-Oct-2015 4:04 pm

    Here's an original idea - stop moving the deck chairs around and thinking it will save the ship!


    I think the ship is long gone, we are bobbing up and down on a dinghy!



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  • hotshiningsun

    I am a newly qualified nurse. I think far more emphasis should be placed on mentors - there seems little regulation as to how they operate or how effective they are

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  • Why is every one so negative, anything which broadens the scope of "Training"a new Nurse surely makes the individual more able to cope with all aspects of life.

    Why do so many newly trained Nurses go out all over the World, if its not to gain more experience? (Good ,Bad and ugly)

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  • Unless given experience in all relevant areas how on earth will they have the knowledge to understand when a patient ( as they do ) presents with multiple problems?
    Another total pie in the sky bit of thinking, these people should get back onto the nursing floor and see what nurses are actually facing every day.
    Total pathetic rubbish

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