Thursday, 25 August 2011

Public involvement in nursing education

A key challenge in any nursing education provision is meaningful public involvement - in the development of the education, its delivery and in the wider aspects of assessment in practice, selection of students etc. While there does not appear, so far, to be a strong evidence-base for public involvement, it is intuitive to me that service users, carers, and others should be involved in the work that we as educators do to develop practitioners who are fit for purpose and practise. There are many ways in which we can work with the public - through the use of volunteer patients, through forums within the community, through links and networks that feed into the work of education providers..... If we are to educate practitioners who can provide person-centred care, we absolutely must engage with the public as an integral part of the development of our programmes.

Monday, 15 August 2011


I'm back to one of my current key areas of interest  - the partnerships that are forged between service providers and universities. I have re-read an interesting article in Nurse Education Today (Casey, M., 2011. Interorganisational partnership arrangements: A new model for nursing and midwifery education. NET, 31, 304-308) in which the obvious (but very pertinent) assertion is made that the development of nursing education requires support from both clinical and academic partners. Casey points out that the implementation of frameworks for partnership working will facilitate a responsive approach to the development of education for contemporary nursing practice. Her model incorporates context (the purpose of the partnership), environment (internal and external factors and relationships), input (an implementation strategy), processes (e.g. decision-making, conflict management), skills (in the facilitation of collaboration), outcomes (the resulting interactions), and the role of co-ordinator (for the building of strategic alliances) as the core concepts of a framework for partnership. None of these come as any surprise, but what is useful is to see them together within a framework as a basis for taking partnership working forward. I am sure that we all do well in some of the areas - but do we take a strategic and planned approach within a framework of engagement for our partnership working?

Thursday, 4 August 2011

Interprofessional education

I am writing a book chapter with a social work colleague on interprofessional working. As I wade through some of the literature (with which I am relatively familiar), I have been interested to see that the arguments and discussion points remain broadly similar to those presented 10 years ago (working in 'silos' is not good for the service user experience, the barriers to IPW are many and varied, the terminology is challenging, etc etc.). In reflecting on this literature, I can't help but think about the interprofessional education that many of us 'provide' within our curricula. At my university, we aim to help students from a wide range of professions consider the processes and structures which enhance interprofessional working, and to consider the potential for positive impact on care. At a national level a Score (Scottish Common Core Curriculum) project completed but never really seemed to get off the ground. At a policy level we are absolutely striving for a unified approach to care. I wonder how best to work with our students across the professions as we move towards achieving this aspiration?