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Albert Odro, Carmel Clancy and John Foster
A key challenge facing pre‐registration nurse educators is to turn out students who are fit for practice by the end of their training (United Kingdom Central Council for…
A key challenge facing pre‐registration nurse educators is to turn out students who are fit for practice by the end of their training (United Kingdom Central Council for Nursing, Midwifery and Health Visiting, 1999). This includes developing their understanding of professionalism (Department of Health, 2003; Nursing and Midwifery Council, 2004; 2007). This paper provides an evaluation of a special personal and professional development scheme for mental health student nurses implemented to improve the learning and development process. The scheme required that in addition to individual meetings with personal tutors, students would meet in small groups of 12‐15, every six weeks, facilitated by their personal tutor and a clinician. The meetings provided a space for students to discuss nursing topics, their clinical experiences and performance to improve their understanding of professional standards in their role transition.The outcome was that over 80% of the respondents were satisfied with the structure, facilitation methods, contents, group size and the time allocated for the meetings. They also reported an increase in knowledge and level of understanding, awareness of professional expectations, making better theory‐practice links of learning and becoming more self‐aware. The authors suggest that nurse training departments should collaborate with their clinical partners and adopt a similar framework to help bridge the theory‐practice gap and enhance the transition process from student to qualified practitioner.