Nursing studies

A collaborative approach to pre-registration education

Under the Collaborative Learning in Practice model, students at Norfolk and Norwich University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust are participating in group reflective discussions to enhance their learning in the clinical setting.
collaborative

Under the Collaborative Learning in Practice model, students at Norfolk and Norwich University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust are participating in group reflective discussions to enhance their learning in the clinical setting

Collaborative learning is essential to the education of pre-registration nurses. At Norfolk and Norwich University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust we have adopted a coaching approach to education using the Collaborative Learning in Practice (CLiP) model.

Introduced in May 2014, the model was developed in conjunction with the University of East Anglia. As well as improving the quality of learning, it has increased the number of placements the trust can offer. Under this approach, a staff nurse is assigned as the students coach, and can supervise a maximum of two students at a time.

CLiP encourages

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Under the Collaborative Learning in Practice model, students at Norfolk and Norwich University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust are participating in group reflective discussions to enhance their learning in the clinical setting 

 

collaborative
Discussions give students confidence and increase their understanding
of patients' needs. Picture: Science Photo Library

Collaborative learning is essential to the education of pre-registration nurses. At Norfolk and Norwich University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust we have adopted a coaching approach to education using the Collaborative Learning in Practice (CLiP) model. 

Introduced in May 2014, the model was developed in conjunction with the University of East Anglia. As well as improving the quality of learning, it has increased the number of placements the trust can offer. Under this approach, a staff nurse is assigned as the students’ coach, and can supervise a maximum of two students at a time.

CLiP encourages the registered nurse to take a ‘Step Up, Step Back’ approach. This enables students to take the lead and develop essential nursing skills, such as delegation, prioritisation and time management. 

Confidence and understanding

One aspect of this model that has been particularly beneficial to students’ learning is active participation in reflective discussions. The aim of the discussions is to increase students’ confidence, and help them achieve a greater understanding of the holistic needs of their patients. 

The facilitated sessions take place in an informal environment in the clinical setting, which is paramount in reducing anxiety among students. Group reflection gives them the opportunity to talk about their unique and personal experiences, then share these with other students from different year groups working in different clinical areas.

We facilitate the sessions and invite other educators and mentors to come along if they wish to.

The discussions offer a holistic viewpoint on specific situations, which permits the student to heighten their learning and personal development. Involving a multitude of clinical areas enables students to be exposed to new nursing challenges.

Prepared and supported

Some discussions can be quite emotive, so students need to be adequately prepared and supported from the outset. As clinical educators for CLiP we ensure support is always available. 

Through evaluations of the model we learned that students found it highly beneficial to their learning and development. None felt the process was a hindrance to their nursing practice – on the contrary, they said it created an additional learning opportunity.

The CLiP model also promotes a culture of sharing knowledge, in line with the Nursing and Midwifery Council code. Through the promotion of reflection, in a facilitated and supportive environment, we can enable true learning to take place within the clinical setting. 

Students’ views on reflective discussions 

‘They’re beneficial as you get different people’s views on topics and it deals a lot with the emotional side of nursing, which I feel is often lost in our academic work.’ (Year one student) 

‘It’s not always possible to experience as much as you want to in placement. Having open discussions about certain aspects of practice you are unlikely to see is really useful.’ (Year two student)

‘It was really beneficial to hear the experiences of other students, and from different practice areas. Issues were raised that I hadn’t even considered before, so it was a great learning experience.’ (Year three student)


nicola taylor

stuart callow

Nicola Taylor and Stuart Callow are clinical educators for CLiP at Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

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