Working collaboratively towards practice placements

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<ul><li><p>wfounded on an elitist perception from which the</p><p>cuit with other Higher Educational Institutions,</p><p>strategy to take. By adopting this risky positionthere is a failure to recognise that practice place-</p><p>pendence to interdependence where strength andpower are derived from working in partnership with</p><p>1998).</p><p>Greater Manchester offering pre-registration edu-cation the last eighteen months has seen significant</p><p>0962-4562/$ - see front matter 2005 Published by Elsevier Ltd.doi:10.1016/j.nepr.2005.03.003</p><p>Nurse Education in Practice (2005) 5, 127128</p><p>NurseEducationin Practiceorganisational individualism is an inappropriate For the three Higher Education Institutions ininstitution is deriving its power base from.In circumstances such as a reduction in place-</p><p>ment numbers and sharing an existing practice cir-</p><p>others, respecting and trusting each other andsharing the vision, the planning, the goal setting,the work, the successes and the failures (Sullivan,GUEST EDITORIAL</p><p>Working collaboratively to</p><p>The last 10 years has seen a number of majorchanges to nurse education in the United Kingdom.Schools of Nursing have moved out of NationalHealth Service (NHS) control to become part ofHigher Education, pre registration numbers haveincreased significantly whilst the number of prac-tice placements for student to learn the art andscience of nursing has decreased. Whilst the move-ment over the last 10 years has been swift what hasnot kept pace is the willingness or perhaps abilityof universities to respond to the reforms of theNHS and its subsequent impact on the educationof nurses. Practice placement developments arean example of this.</p><p>Nurse education requires quality placements ifnurses are to link theory to practice and achievethe outcomes and proficiencies needed to registeras a nurse (NMC, 2004). With increasing NHS hospi-tal and community Trusts service reconfiguration,placement availability has decreased resulting inuniversity schools of nursing needing to considersharing practice placements which were previouslythe domain of one organisation. For some this maybe considered an unwelcome intrusion which argu-ably stems from the culture which has existed with-in Higher Education of organisational individualism(Hudson et al., 1999). Organisational individualismmay originate from the need to protect its ownstandards and interests or its own perceived terri-tory. Other possible reasons could be the need forthe Higher Education Institution to maintain its ownincome generation or additionally it may be purelyards practice placements</p><p>ments are not under the ownership of the universi-ties but placements providers such as hospital orcommunity Trusts. Increased pressure is forcedupon a shrinking placement circuit to accommo-date higher student numbers and the real loserare the nurses who do not gain a wider range oflearning experiences needed for their own personaland professional development.</p><p>Placement shortage is a national and interna-tional problem. Within the Greater Manchesterarea the situation is clearly evident for the threeuniversities offering pre-registration nursing toover four thousand students. Whilst the schoolshave functioned effectively for many years eitherin their NHS existence or their new life within High-er Education, the need for an appropriate responseto a reduction in practice placements was para-mount. Clarke and Copcutt (1997) refer to changeas a cause of events, by others as a consequence,it can be the disease, diagnosis and the cure.Whilst the reduction in placement availabilitycould be viewed as the cause or the disease, thediagnosis and cure can stem from universitieschanging their position of organisational individual-ism to working in collaboration with other HigherEducation partners.</p><p>Working in collaboration involves a partnershipwhere mutual goal setting occurs, where author-ity and responsibility for actions belong to individ-ual partners states Miccolo and Spanier (1993, p.446). The change requires a move away from inde-</p><p></p></li><li><p>changes to practice placement developments.Breaking down barriers which were in existenceto collaborative working was the first step in build-ing trust and a common vision. For each HigherEducation Institution there was a recognition stu-</p><p>the nurses being educated are for the same work-force in the Greater Manchester area which inten-</p><p>tional Institutions is to instigate or maintainexisting partnerships particularly in other areassuch as the promotion of interdisciplinary learning,post registration activities and changing workforcerequirements. Failure to respond may maintain an</p><p>References</p><p>128 Guest Editorialsified the required collaborative focus.A number of significant developments have oc-</p><p>curred including the allocation of students fromany Higher Education Institution to practice place-ments across the Greater Manchester area. Moreimportantly the collaborative working relationshipshave continued leading to the development andimplementation of a common self assessment toolto identify, select and monitor placement areas,a core mentor/associate mentor handbook, a stan-dard mentor update presentation package for allacademic staff and an associate mentor prepara-tion workshop. In addition a number of practiceplacement policies have been approved in consul-tation with the all the NHS hospital and communitytrusts in response to the Quality Assurance Agency(2001) Code of practice for the assurance ofacademic quality standards in higher education:placement learning. Collaborative work with theGreater Manchester Strategic Health Authority isaddressing placement capacity and availability is-sues whilst the longer term could see the possibilityof a shared curriculum and assessment strategy be-tween all three Higher Education Institutions inaddition to the development of an e-learning men-torship preparation programme.</p><p>The benefits of collaborative working are clearlyevident in the productivity generated to date andthe development of improved placement learningexperiences for students. The processes have beenchallenging but over time trust has built up charac-terised by the agreement of mutual goals andrequirements. A new sense of collective powerbased upon knowledge and expertise is emergingto which a return to organisational individualismand insularity would be a retrograde and unpalat-able step. The challenge for other Higher Educa-Clarke, J.E., Copcutt, L., 1997. Management for Nurses andHealth Care Professionals. Churchill Livingstone, London.</p><p>Hudson, B., Hardy, B., Henwood, M., Wistow, G., 1999. Inpursuit of inter-agency collaboration in the public sector.What is the contribution of theory and research? PublicManagement: An International Journal of Theory andResearch 1 (2), 235260.</p><p>Miccolo, M.A., Spanier, A.H., 1993. Critical care management inthe 1990s: making collaborative practice work. Critical CareClinics 9, 443453.</p><p>Nursing and Midwifery Council, 2004. Nursing and MidwiferyCouncil principles for practice learning for programmes toentry on the professional register. QA Factsheet C/2004.</p><p>Quality Assurance Agency, 2001. Code of practice for theassurance of academic quality standards in higher education:placement learning. Quality Assurance Agency, London.</p><p>Sullivan, T.J., 1998. Collaboration A Health Care Imperative.McGraw Hill Company, London.</p><p>Cyril MurrayStrategic Lead Partnerships and Collaboration</p><p>School of Nursing, University of SalfordPeel House, Eccles Campus, Albert Street</p><p>Eccles, Manchester M30 ONN, UKE-mail address:</p><p>Anne Marie BorneufPlacement Academic Lead, Department of HealthCare Studies, Faculty Of Health, Social Care andEducation, Manchester Metropolitan University</p><p>Elizabeth Gaskell Building, Hathersage RoadManchester M13 OJA, UK</p><p>E-mail address:</p><p>Jim VaughanDirector of Teaching and Learning, The Universityof Manchester, School of Nursing, Midwifery and</p><p>Social Work, Gateway House, PiccadillyManchester M60 7LP, UK</p><p>E-mail address: were losing out on developing the attributesneeded to become a nurse without learning experi-ences in a wider range of placements. Furthermore</p><p>organisations individualism but at the expense ofits isolation.</p><p>Working collaboratively towards practice placementsReferences</p></li></ul>