Session 5

STEP : Strengthening Team-based Education in Practice
Kathy Wilson, Associate Professor, Middlesex University London
Pam Hodge, Lecturer in Practice Learning,
Middlesex University London
Julie Moody, Senior Lecturer (Practice) Adult Nursing, Middlesex University London

STEP, is a large collaborative project led by Middlesex University. Based on research findings the STEP team are developing a web-based toolkit to facilitate the development of critical thinking and leadership skills in nursing and midwifery students in practice. This session will include discussion and exploration of this work.

Session summary:
One of the specific outcomes for the STEP project is the development of an electronic toolkit to provide direction and support for practice staff, students and academics and include a range of evidence based resources to promote ‘expansive learning’ which will support them in developing critical employability skills .

STEP has 5 key themes identified to inform an overall framework. The themes include:

  1. Academic-Practice Partnership Working: The expertise of academic and practice partnerships need to be capitalised on to support practice learning and promote expansive learning.  The role of the student link/lead mentor is key in facilitating this as well as the link lecturer role. The project team is currently exploring how these roles can be further developed and new models of partnership working introduced to enhance learning in practice. 
  2. Orientation and Socialisation to Practice: An exploration of the preparation students receive prior to placement as well their orientation and initial support is practice areas has been undertaken through a number of focus groups involving a range of students. This theme is not just focusing on the initial introduction to practice but also on socialisation to the team / environment.  
  3. Helpful Others: This theme is focusing on the knowledge and skills of the whole team and the specific part that certain groups play in supporting learning in practice. One specific area that is being explored in the role of the HCA in providing support for students and how this is being perceived by both groups through a number of focus groups with students, HCA’s and qualified nurses. 
  4. Peer Support:  A range of peer support models are currently evident in a number of our local organisations that we are learning from. One specific model which aims at developing the knowledge and skills of senior students through pairing them up with other learners in practice is being piloted and the findings will be used to support further developments. 
  5. Expansive Learning: Working with staff and students, the project team have been exploring what type of facilitation/coaching enables the development of leadership skills, problem solving and critical thinking in students. Findings are being analysed to support the development of guidance and resources to promote expansive learning in practice.