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Student Nurse Placements

Student Nurses for Placement Providers

Why is it important to introduce student nurses to General Practice?

Welcoming student nurses into General Practice is important for recruitment and retention. A Survey carried out by Queens Nursing Institute (2016), shows that of 3,426 registered nurses working in general Practice revealed that a third expressed an intention to retire by 2020. If this figure is extrapolated to the 23,100 headcounts of GPNs nationally (NHS Digital, Sept 2016) would imply that over 8,000 may leave the workforce in the next three years. The five years forward pledged to increase investment, improve infrastructure, and redesign care. To be able to implement this, General Practice needs to recruit GPNs. To be able to recruit GPNs, student nurses need to be exposed to the environment, through nursing placements in General Practice

Why it is important to welcome student nurses into General Practice?

Student nurses need exposure to General Practice for them to understand how diverse and varied the GPN role is. By giving the students a placement in General Practice they will be able to see first-hand how the greater team work together to provide the best outcomes for the patients in our area.

 

Which Universities will the students be from?

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Depending on the area, the student nurses can be from University West London, Open University, Bucks New University, or Oxford Brooks University.

 

 

 

What is the difference between a Practice Supervisor, Practice Assessor and Academic Assessor?

Practice supervisors are role models for safe, effective, and inclusive practice, enabling students to learn and safely achieve proficiency and autonomy in their professional role. Any Allied Health Professional (AHP) can be a practice supervisor and sign off areas of competency if they feel the student has met the learning outcome.

Practice Assessor is the named person who is responsible to sign off the end of the placement. The Practice Assessor has completed an extra training day to be able to do this. There is a Practice Assessor lead across Berkshire West who can assist with signing off the placement if needed. The Practice Assessor lead can also assist a Practice Assessor if they have any concerns, questions or if advice is needed.

All students have a different nominated academic assessor for each part of their education programme. They’re also assigned a nominated practice assessor for practice placements, in line with local and national policies.

Assessors must also use the SSSA standards to conduct evidence-based, robust and objective assessments which confirm that students have the right knowledge and skills to practise safely. They’re based on an understanding of student achievements across theory and practice (NMC, 2018).

What is involved in becoming a placement provider and how long will this take?
  • An initial conversation – to discuss learning opportunities and development needs of Supervisors/Assessors
  • The development of a practice placement profile for your placement area
  • Completion of a learning environment audit
  • Approving the placement agreement (PPA)
  • The setting up can take from a few weeks up to six months.
How long are student placements and when will I know that a student will be coming on placement?
  • Nursing students – Placements are between 5-12 weeks
  • Paramedic students – 1–3-week placements (practice educators within the ambulance trust are responsible for assessment of paramedic students)
  • Physiotherapy placements – 5–10-week placements
  • Physician Associate students – one day a week for year one and a 6-week placement in year two (may vary depending on the HEI)

The training hub will negotiate placements on your behalf with higher education institutes. Practices often have a designated contact for learners.

How long are student placements and when will I know that a student will be coming on placement?
  • Nursing students – Placements are between 5-12 weeks
  • Paramedic students – 1–3-week placements (practice educators within the ambulance trust are responsible for assessment of paramedic students)
  • Physiotherapy placements – 5–10-week placements
  • Physician Associate students – one day a week for year one and a 6-week placement in year two (may vary depending on the HEI)

The training hub will negotiate placements on your behalf with higher education institutes. Practices often have a designated contact for learners.

How many hours do the students work?

When students are on placement, they work 40 hours a week. However, this does not mean that students must spend the whole time in practices/clinics. All students will have learning outcomes/ competencies that they need to achieve, they will discuss these when they begin their placement and agree with their practice assessor how to achieve them.

They can spend time away from clinics/practices, researching evidence for their learning outcomes, completing relevant online learning to supplement their knowledge, and understanding, completing case studies etc. Students can also contribute to research/audit etc that is happening in practice. Whilst students remain supernumerary, they are able to run clinics with the appropriate level of supervision.

How are students prepared?

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The university will provide:

  • Enhanced DBS clearance
  • Appropriate preparation of the student, commensurate what the placement being undertaken
  • Adequate statutory and mandatory training
  • Occupational health clearance
  • Skills-based training
  • Preparation on professional behaviour
  • Uniform
What support will be available?

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  • Ongoing support will be provided by the University for both studentand placement provider
  • All universities have a placement contact that is available to support the placement
  • The Training Hub Learning Environment Lead is also able to support students, especially if a student is not achieving and the practice needs support.
What is a placement agreement?

The practice education of Health and Social Care students is a partnership between students, university staff and placement areas. This agreement outlines the expectations and responsibilities of all those involved. The underlying principles will be that all individuals will be treated with courtesy and respect and to be treated as a valued member of the wider multi-disciplinary team. Any issues regarding an individual’s safety are raised and escalated as per policy.

The placement agreement includes:
  • That the placement providers will provide a safe and supportive learning environment
  • Agreement that the student will be suitably supervised while in practice
  • That staff supporting students are appropriately trained
  • Insurance arrangements
  • Ensure health and safety policies are in place
  • Ensure an appropriate induction is in place
  • Allowing access to relevant policies and procedures
  • Access to evidence-based resources
What Student Nurses need from their placement
  • Good induction/Welcome pack
  • Regular time with the Practice Assessor
  • Time to spend with the wider MDT
  • Information on current pathways in your area
How will the Surgery get Paid for having students?

The Surgery will be paid £100.70 per student per week (amount can fluctuate). This money comes directly from Health Education England (HEE), but through the University. It is good practice to keep a spreadsheet of all students who have attended placement and how many weeks they have been at the practice. The payment is usually made yearly.

What if something within the practice and we can no longer host the student?

A placement changing at the last minute can be really disrupting for the student, we ask at least 4 weeks’ notice if practices are no longer able to host the student or negotiate with other practices within the PCN to host the student

Why are learning environments audited?

Learning environments are audited to ensure they are conducive to meeting learning needs, commensurate with their level of competency and programme outcomes in order to achieve the learning outcomes for progression and registration. Placement audits include;

  • Ensuring learners have access to policies and procedures
  • Staff supporting students have sufficient training requirements
  • Learners are allocated a member of staff to support them
  • There is a process for induction – fire, emergency procedures etc.
  • Learners should work as part of MDT
  • Staff provide support, teaching, supervision, and feedback
  • Required documentation completed in a timely fashion
  • Any adverse incidents are fed back to university
  • Feedback from evaluation will be given
  • Access to IT systems

Most universities will accept an existing learning environment audit to prevent duplication.

 

Useful links
NMC Standards for education https://www.nmc.org.uk/standards-for-education-and-training/standards-for-student-supervision-and-assessment/
Practice Assessment Document (PAD): https://www.healthcare.ac.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/Handbook-PLPAD-1.0-SSSA.pdf

 

10 point GPN Plan https://www.england.nhs.uk/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/general-practice-nursing-ten-point-plan-v17.pdf

 

Berkshire West Training Hub