Community Practice

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Student nurses’ experiences of community-based practice placement learning: A qualitative exploration

Summary 
United Kingdom (UK) health policy has adopted an increasing community and primary care focus over recent years (Department of Health, 1997; Department of Health, 1999. Making a Difference: Strengthening the Nursing, Midwifery and Health Visitor Contribution to Health and Health Care. Department of Health, London; Department of Health, 2004. The NHS Knowledge and Skills Framework (NHS KSF). Department of Health, London). Nursing practice, education and workforce planning are called upon to adapt accordingly (Department of Health, 2004. The NHS Knowledge and Skills Framework (NHS KSF). Department of Health, London; Kenyon, V., Smith, E., Hefty, L., Bell, M., Martaus, T., 1990. Clinical competencies for community health nursing. Public Health Nursing 7(1), 33–39; United Kingdom Central Council for Nursing, Midwifery and Health Visiting, 1986. Project 2000: A New Preparation for Practice. UKCC, London). Such changes have major implications for pre-registration nursing education, including its practice placement element. From an educational perspective, the need for increased community nursing capacity must be balanced with adequate support for student nurses’ learning needs during community-based placements. This qualitative study explored six second year student nurses’ experiences of 12 week community-based practice placements and the extent to which these placements were seen to meet their perceived learning needs. The data came from contemporaneous reflective diaries, completed by participants to reflect their ‘lived experience’ during their practice placements (Landeen, J., Byrne, Brown, B., 1995. Exploring the lived experiences of psychiatric nursing students through self-reflective journals. Journal of Advanced Nursing 21(5), 878–885; Kok, J., Chabeli, M.M., 2002. Reflective journal writing: how it promotes reflective thinking in clinical nursing education: a students’ perspective. Curationis 25(3), 35–42; Löfmark, A., Wikblad, K., 2001. Facilitating and obstructing factors for development of learning in clinical practice: a student perspective. Issues and innovations in Nursing Education. Journal of Advanced Nursing 34(1), 43–50; Priest, H., 2004. Phenomenology. Nurse Researcher 11(4), 4–6; Stockhausen, L., 2005. Learning to become a nurse: student nurses’ reflections on their clinical experiences. Australian Journal of Nursing 22(3), 8–14). The data were analysed using content analysis techniques, exploring their contextual meaning through the development of emergent themes (Neuendorf, K.A., 2002. The Content Analysis Guidebook. Sage Publications, London). The identified themes related to elements of students’ basic skill acquisition, the development of their working relationships with mentors, patients and others, the learning opportunities offered by community practice placements and the effects that such placements had on their confidence to practice. These themes are discussed with regard to the published literature, to arrive at conclusions and implications for future nursing education, practice and research. Author: M.R. Baglin

Source: http://www.nurseeducationinpractice.com/article/S1471-5953(09)00110-3/abstract

Community nursing competencies: a comparison of educator, administrator, and student perspectives. Perceptions of functioning levels of baccalaureate students nearing graduation were assessed, comparing views of 15 educators, 15 health department administrators, and 185 students. A modified list of the 47 essential public health nursing competencies identified through the U. S. Department of Health and Human Services Division of Nursing served as the basis for data collection and analyses. Student competencies in individual skills were ranked higher than group and community competencies by all three groups surveyed. Students ranked competencies at higher levels than...
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