Author(s): Williams A, Taylor C
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Abstract Educational policy (DOH, 1999. Making a difference: strengthening the nursing, midwifery and health visiting contribution to health and healthcare. Department of Health, London; UKCC, 1999. Fitness for Practice. United Kingdom Central Council for Nursing, Midwifery and Health Visiting, London; Nursing and Midwifery Council, 2006. Standards to support learning and assessment in practice. Nursing and Midwifery Council, London) and current nursing literature (Griscti, O., Jacono, B., Jacono, J., 2005. The nurse educator's clinical role. Journal of Advanced Nursing 50 (1), 84-92; Owen, S., Ferguson, K., Baguley, I., 2005. The clinical activity of mental health nurse lecturers. Journal of Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing 12, 310-316), place increasing emphasis on nurse educators undertaking clinical practice to facilitate their clinical confidence and competence. This study investigated nurse educators' perceptions and experiences of undertaking clinical practice. A qualitative design and descriptive, exploratory approach were used. A purposive sample of 11 nurse educators in one nursing department, took part in two focus group interviews, one with 5 and the other with 6 respondents, to identify and discuss their perceptions and experiences of undertaking clinical practice. A process of thematic content analysis revealed three broad themes relating to the meaning and importance of clinical practice, perceived benefits and barriers which are examined and discussed. The paper concludes that despite policy recommendations, barriers highlighted in this study such as insufficient time, heavy workload and a lack of valuing of the clinical role have been raised over the past few decades. The effect of undertaking clinical practice, particularly on the quality of teaching is argued to be valuable armoury in the battle to secure sufficient resources to support engagement in clinical practice. Financial and organisational commitment; valuing of clinical practice and research evidence are crucial to realising clinical practice for nurse educators. Alternative interpretations of what may constitute the clinical role such as joint research projects and supporting and supervising students are offered, which need to be assessed against clear, specific and realistic aims for the clinical role of the nurse educator.
This article was published in Nurse Educ Today
and referenced in Business and Economics Journal