The first stakeholder event was held at GCU on the 3rd June 2019 and was attended by a range of key stakeholders including current nursing students, service users, carers, 3rd sector organisations, private sector, NHS mentors and practice education facilitators. The aim of this World Cafe style event was to build a collaborative vision of the new Future Nurse pre-registration programme at GCU alongside people who have knowledge and experience of the current pre-registration programme, to reflect the strengths of the current programme and to capture creativity, innovation and vision. There was a great atmosphere at the event and there was a real sense of enthusiasm and energy for change. Each group was given the opportunity to explore the following 3 key areas: How We Teach; How We Assess; How We Involve. A summary of the key themes identified are presented in the narrative below.
- How We Teach (table hosted by Val and Mairead):
- We need to work in partnership.
- Students want a variety of placements that are longer with more use of spokes.
- Practice areas and students want protected time for supervisors/assessors to support and provide feedback.
- Mentors want a clearer rubric that differentiates between part 1, 2 and 3. Practice staff need to know what the new programme will look like -engagement events.
- Having a University day every week during placement is difficult to manage.
- Pre-placement learning needs to be better to prepare students for what is expected of them.
- More academic credit for practice.
- Use alternative fields of practice for adult students i.e. not just health visiting.
Within the University
- Students liked the “flipped approach” when it is done well and where it’s appropriate i.e. no repetition of what they’ve done at home and not just reading a book chapter prior to class. Perhaps start with a little bit of pre-class reading and then build in class. Students like pre-class learning to allow discussion. They also enjoyed the debates. They like scenario-based teaching and it should all be person-centred and not task orientated. Students wanted less group work. Reflecting on real situations and real lives. Use a range of strategies to engage with students -deeper learning.
- To be taught on specific disease processes should be taught earlier. Death and how to deal with it should be covered more. Less repetition with theory modules -values and EBP. More physiology taught by nurses so it’s linked to practice -understand and remember it more.
- Students feel the need for evidence based practice (EBP) but want this to be more practical and relate to their practice e.g. dissecting guidelines, using data, quality improvement. In year 3, being able to choose their own specific problem based question (PBQ) to research is good. Integrate it into course content/topics.
- Students want more face-to-face teaching and smaller groups. They would like to be able to book their own rooms. All fields linking back in nearer the end of their studies to learn from each other and share experiences would be good. More shared modules -share knowledge between fields.
- Students like the fact that their lecturers are approachable and want this to continue.
- More teaching time in the interprofession simulation centre (ISC). They want shared learning and use a similar approach as in practice e.g. being taught, then supported, then independent. They would like University staff to come out into practice and teach the skills there.
- For the interprofessional module (IPE), students want more realistic scenarios that are more engaging -so that they can see the link between theory and practice.
- More peer support through debriefing/reflection sessions. Have the same groups throughout the years (in at least some subjects) and resilience training. They want academic writing skills at the very start. Group personal tutor sessions to support students.
How We Assess (table hosted by Rosie and Fiona):
Assessment in Practice Placement
- Why A,B,C’s in assessing practice- should be pass or fail? Bar set too low at 40%. Grading rubric for SOAR should be adjusted per year ie 1st,2nd, 3rd and mentor to be clearer about how grading is achieved and for there to be consistency with assessors on placement, ongoing discussion with mentors and team communication regarding student.
- There needs to be more robust measures for assessing the learning culture of placement area. Make placement evaluation for students compulsory so that feedback from students is used constructively to identify any areas for enhancement, training as well as areas of strength.
Assessment in University
- Using a range of assessments and appeal to a range of different learning styles Ideas on how to assess using different approaches included- Assessment of writing comprehensive care plans and nursing notes. Assessment in simulation which includes interpersonal skills, communication with patients and relatives, Triangle of Care. Measure accurately professionalism and behaviours and not just technical skills and knowledge. Focus more on the softer skills such as communication, emotional intelligence, empathy and compassion. Use written case studies to encourage students to get to know the patient and have a greater understanding of their illness and an insight in to how it is affecting them and how this then links to supporting literature.
- Exams can be anxiety provoking so use of exemplars for assessments to help students to feel more prepared for the exam
- Less emphasis on group based assessments- particularly in IPE, research and values modules. This causes students more anxiety and stress due to inconsistent contributions of other group members. The consequence of not getting a good grade could mean your degree classification is affected.
How We Involve (table hosted by Bill and Mark):
- We need to engage with everyone in the community not just patient groups or groups for people with specific health needs or conditions. Thinking about Health Promotion in a broad way. Engagement events like this one to give everyone the chance to share ideas and promoting awareness and understanding of who could be involved and what opportunities there could be.
- Emphasise the importance of health promotion by taking the message to the community, for example, hold the Health Fayre or similar events in community spaces like shopping centres, community centres, health centres.
- Students could lead patient information sessions – with appropriate preparation, supported by supervisors, could students lead community based patient information sessions on certain topics
- Student Presentations – where students are required to prepare and deliver presentations could local members of the community be invited along
- Year 3 IPE module, for example, involve the MDT groups looking at a community based project that contributes to the local community, rather than the mock MDT currently used. Each discipline would still bring their specific knowledge and skills to the project and effective team working would be essential to success
- Projects Run by Other Service Providers – a web page could be established where organisations could post upcoming activities and events. Students could access this for opportunities to support such events, again perhaps with credit for practice hours
- Fund Raising – this is the reality for many organisations and it would be useful for students to become more aware of some of the challenges faced by some service providers, including difficult decisions around resourcing when funds are limited. This also sits well with the university ethos of “For the Common Good”
- More Varied Placements – this could include 3rd sector and Volunteer Opportunities perhaps as spokes. If organisations have or obtain a “Standard Mark” could such experiences merit practice hours for the students. This benefits local communities by involving students with local people and groups and benefits the students with both experience and practice hours.
Thank you to everyone who gave up their valuable time to attended this event. Your contributions were so valuable and we look forward to working with you again in the future.
A final thank you to our table hosts- Bill McDonald, Mark Gallagher, Val Ness, Mairead Collie, Rosie Mullen and Fiona Ritchie.