Reviews

Partners in Learning

Partners in Learning is both a timely and valuable nurse education resource for a number of reasons. First, it fits in with the emerging recognition of what happens in the university classroom within the professional practice arena (and perhaps more importantly vice versa). Second, given my personal belief that education is every nurse’s business, this volume should have a place on every nurse’s bookshelf. We all have a role in being supportive, critical friends for each other in the name of good patient care. Third, it will be particularly useful for those newly developing roles which are being created to bridge that important interface between practice and theory, such as professional practice facilitators, practice development nurses, RCN Learning Representatives, joint appointments and all others engaged in the educational endeavour, including those completing Post Graduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) programmes. Fourth, it is a well- organised and comprehensive text with helpful chapter summaries (except in the case of Chapter 3, where the summary was omitted). Some chapters could have been strengthened. For example, Chapter 2 on learning theories could have included some discussion of the power of role models and culture bearers in the learning process. Chapter 3 was particularly good in challenging the traditional rhetoric that ‘thinking’ and ‘doing’ are mutually exclusive, especially in relation to nursing, but it could have benefited from a little more attention to learning styles, possibly with some reference to how our understanding of our own learning styles might give added insight into how patients learn. This would be particularly useful in the pursuit of the public health agenda. The paradigm shift from a paternalistic healthcare system to one of partnership also has implications for ‘partners in learning’, particularly in terms of who the principal stake- holders are and how they are factored into the learning equation.

Chapter 7 is an excellent exposé of the paradox of nurses’ inability to reflect on the concept and practice of reflection. This discussion could have been enhanced by incorporating some discourse of the complex process of decision making, building on the reflective infrastructure.

As a postscript I would have loved to have had access to this book at any time during my professional career from student, ward sister, tutor, university lecturer and researcher into nursing practice/education. The only caveat I would have is around the use of the Vancouver referencing system as opposed to the eminently more usable Harvard System. As an avid reader and follower up of references Vancouver drives me nuts!

Chapter 7 is an excellent exposé of the paradox of nurses’ inability to reflect on the concept and practice of reflection. This discussion could have been enhanced by incorporating some discourse of the complex process of decision making, building on the reflective infrastructure.

As a postscript I would have loved to have had access to this book at any time during my professional career from student, ward sister, tutor, university lecturer and researcher into nursing practice/education. The only caveat I would have is around the use of the Vancouver referencing system as opposed to the eminently more usable Harvard System. As an avid reader and follower up of references Vancouver drives me nuts!

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