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Service user involvement in an undergraduate nursing programme

Eleanor Jack (Faculty of Health and Social Sciences, Bournemouth University, Poole, UK)

The Journal of Mental Health Training, Education and Practice

ISSN: 1755-6228

Article publication date: 7 February 2020

Issue publication date: 12 May 2020

295

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to highlight the impacts that service user involvement can have on the education of UK undergraduate student mental health nurses both personally and professionally. It reports the findings from a short module evaluation of a collaboratively delivered theory unit using a qualitative approach.

Design/methodology/approach

The study reports the findings from a short module evaluation of a collaboratively delivered theory unit using a qualitative approach embracing two focus groups.

Findings

The findings from the two focus groups highlight that the service user input (expert by experience) offered a positive learning experience for the students, enabled them to appreciate the meaning of recovery and hope and facilitated the identification of the importance of their role in terms of connecting meaningfully with those they are supporting and reconsidering key priorities for practice. They also suggest that there is theory/practice gap reduction as students were able to connect the service user narratives to the evidence base for deeper understanding and application.

Research limitations/implications

Although only a brief evaluation of a short theory module within a wider programme involving a small number of participants, the findings echo the wider literature and offers further rationale to support direct service user involvement within mental health education across all healthcare professions. This finding is also relevant, as, increasingly, learning/teaching programmes now seek to implement blended learning with significant online teaching and less face-to-face facilitation of learning.

Practical implications

This study highlights not only the positive impact of service user input on health-care education but also the benevolent influence skilled narratives can have as a pedagogical approach to learning.

Originality/value

Although there is much in the literature as to the benefits for student learning in involving service users within higher education institute education, there is limited information as to “how” and “why” this is the case, this article seeks to bridge that gap.

Keywords

Citation

Jack, E. (2020), "Service user involvement in an undergraduate nursing programme", The Journal of Mental Health Training, Education and Practice, Vol. 15 No. 3, pp. 125-140. https://doi.org/10.1108/JMHTEP-12-2018-0073

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2020, Emerald Publishing Limited

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