Mentoring Nursing and Healthcare Students Essay

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The Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) defines the role of a mentor as a nurse with specific training who is able to facilitate learning, and supports and supervises students in a practice setting (NMC 2008). Mentorship plays an integral part in the next generation of practitioners and nursing professionals play a vital role in guiding a process that allows the transference of knowledge, skills and attributes from healthcare professionals to the students they are working with (English National Board and Department of Health 2001). This assignment will critically review the key issues for the preparation of an effective learning environment and appraise the opportunities and challenges experienced when facilitating learning in practice.…show more content…
This experience prepares the student for the realities of professional practice, acquiring the knowledge skills and attributes to become a safe, competent practitioner (Mcallister 2001, cited in Midgley 2006). Educational audits by the clinical lead universities monitor clinical learning environments for their appropriateness of learning provision, enabling the ward to facilitate change if necessary to ensure continuing suitability as a clinical placement (NMC 2008). Mentors have an important role in ensuring the acquisition of knowledge obtained at university translates into competency in practice and does not lead to the 'theory practice gap' described by Cope et al (2000). Mentors have to consolidate the knowledge taught in university into practice in the learning environment and allow the student to reflect on their performance and experiences. Mentors now have to be aware of the NHS Institute for Innovation and Improvement, NHS leadership Qualities Framework, which gives mentors clear instructions about their responsibilities (Kinnell and Hughes 2010). However, meeting these requirements alone will not make a nurse a successful mentor. Mentors have to plan and provide appropriate opportunities for teaching and learning activities, with clinical experience to achieve learning outcomes and develop professional competencies (Choun and Suen 2001). This will enable them to assess students performance,
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