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Norfolk trust expands new student nurse training model


A new coaching model at a trust in Norfolk that allows double the number of student nurses to be trained is to be expanded following its success.

The new model, piloted by The Queen Elizabeth Hospital King’s Lynn Foundation Trust, means that up to 15 students can be allocated to a ward during a placement rather than its traditional approach which allowed for just six.

Last year the trust introduced its Collaborative Learning in Practice (CliP) model for student nurse training for one of its acute surgical wards in collaboration with the University of East Anglia.

“The CLiP coaching model allows for an increased number of students to undertake tasks under direct supervision of a registered nurse”

Catherine Morgan

Under this approach, a staff nurse is assigned as the students’ coach mentor, with no other responsibilities, and is therefore able to supervise more students.

Catherine Morgan, director of nursing at the trust, told Nursing Times that other training models allowed just one student to be allocated to a registered nurse.

This new approach means that up to 15 students can be assigned to a CLiP ward during a 12-week placement, with three student nurses on a ward during any one shift.

“The CLiP coaching model allows for an increased number of students to undertake tasks under direct supervision of a registered nurse who is acting in a coaching capacity,” said Ms Morgan.

She said that patient safety was a priority and stressed students only undertook tasks under observation by their registered nurse.

“The coach assesses the abilities of the individual student nurse – which may depend on the stage of their education, their previous experiences as a student nurse for example – and the nature of the tasks to be performed. 

“In a more traditional mentoring system there is sometimes a tendency for mentors to take the lead in providing care and the students to observe”

Catherine Morgan

“A decision is then made as to the degree of supervision required for an individual student nurse undertaking specific tasks.  The coach remains accountable at all times for the standard of care provided and must therefore decide the level of direct or indirect supervision required,” she said.

Ms Morgan said students were allocated up to nine specific patients to care for on each shift which meant they were much more likely to carry out essential personal care, supervised medication rounds, ward rounds and handovers on a daily basis.

“In a more traditional mentoring system there is sometimes a tendency for mentors to take the lead in providing care and the students to observe,” she added.

The success of the model so far has led the trust to roll it out to students working on its dedicated frailty unit from November.


Readers' comments (3)

  • Dare I comment as an old trained nurse that things do ,indeed, go round in circles. So here we have the return of the old Clinical Instructor, a really useful member of staff who was phased out following the Salmon report long ago. We all learnt so much from the CI and they were greatly missed by all of us running wards and teaching students.

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  • Let's hope this is shown to be the obvious way to give practical training. The way I was trained in the 60's.

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  • I am currently a student in my first year and this is my second placement. I am currently a student doing the CLiP Project and I will be honest in saying that it is a better way of learning.

    My first placement was the student/mentor role and although I did learn somethings I was at times a glorified HCA. That's not to knock the role of being a HCA mind you, I just did not feel that I was learning the role of a nurse. I would come home and think to myself what is the actual reality of being a nurse?! You were only involved in something if you were picked and then you would spend your time just watching instead of doing. Considering the fact that nursing is pretty practical it was actually annoying.

    Now though on this placement I am learning the role of a nurse better. Writing in notes, taking charge of patient care, giving hand over and being up to date with the plans in a patients care. I actually feel like I am part of the team instead of just being 'the student'. We had an induction to the hospital and the ward. Our own rota and I feel inclusive into the culture of the hospital as though I am qualified staff.

    As a group of students we organise ourselves, the bay, working as a real qualified team with qualified nurses to help and guide us. I love it and to be honest I hope that this gets rolled out to all nursing placements.

    The student, mentor role of one nurse per student takes away a students ability to be a nurse of the future. I mean how scary is it to know that you'll be qualified and have only ran a bay of patients or actually fully know the role until your 3rd year. Haven't learned to question the ability of a doctor and their decisions. Collaboratively worked with a group of nurses in which YOU ALL have input?! That whole 'being let loose on the ward' thing that so many newly qualified talk about.

    I like the CLiP Project. I like it.

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