Integration of theory and practice in learning mental health nursing T. MUNNUKKA 1 rn ph d(nursing science) ph d(education) , T. PUKURI 2 rn mnsc , P. LINNAINMAA 3 rn & N. KILKKU 4 rn mnsc 1
Lecturer, University of Tampere, Department of Nursing Science, Pitkäniemi, 2Director of Nursing, Department of Psychiatry, Tampere University Hospital, Pitkäniemi, 3Nursing teacher and postgraduate student, School of Health Care, Pirkanmaa Polytechnic, 4Project manager and postgraduate student, Department of Psychiatry, Tampere University Hospital, Pitkäniemi, Finland
Correspondence: Nina Kilkku Tampere University Hospital PO Box 2000 33380 Pitkäniemi Finland
MUNNUKKA T., PUKURI T., LINNAINMAA P. & KILKKU N. (2002) Journal of Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing 9, 5–14 Integration of theory and practice in learning mental health nursing This article describes an action research project that aimed at a better integration of theory and practice in the education of mental health nursing students. Two partners, an institute of nursing and health care and a university hospital, collaborated to develop a new educational programme for mental health nursing. The blocks of theoretical studies were implemented simultaneously with practical training, and the theory content was taught by nursing teachers as well as by nurse practitioners who worked on the teaching wards. In addition, the students had their own personal nurse-preceptors on the wards. The nurse managers were responsible for the educational level of the teaching wards and the director of nursing planned the teaching arrangements together with the nursing teachers. In all, the project involved over 50 different actors and several researchers. The results are encouraging: all the participants – students, preceptors, nurse managers and nursing teachers – found the project rewarding and they want to continue to develop and improve the level of...