An Innovative approach to Curriculum Development, through Partnership working




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NET 2012 conference



Peer reviewed



In 2010 the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) published new Standards for Pre-Registration Nurse Education (NMC, 2010) stating that all programmes leading to registration must be at a minimum of degree level. Providers of nurse education have been required to critically review their provision and develop innovative responses to this demand. The Standards make clear the need to develop programmes in partnership with a range of stakeholders, including practice partners and service users, ensuring assessments are clear and transparent and students become safe, effective and autonomous practitioners capable of caring for all service users in any environment. Nurse education moved into higher education in the 1990’s and has almost inevitably led to changes in the relationship between the academic providers and the healthcare environments providing practice experiences. Some studies have suggested that this move augmented existing arguments about the balance between practice based nurse education and the theoretical (Gillett 2010.) The new Standards make clear the need to ensure that practice partners and the service user are involved in the development of curriculum at all levels and that both practice and academia are given equal weighting. At De Montfort University the process of developing the curriculum in readiness for approval in November 2011 began with Curriculum Development Group meetings and the identification of a Programme Leader, practice staff were invited to all meetings and attended wherever possible. Through these meetings it was agreed that the development of practice based resources should be the responsibility of practice staff. A Practice Learning Lead with a significant interest in the development of practice based education was identified to lead a subgroup responsible for developing and managing the resources required to support and assess the practice component of the programme reporting directly to the Programme Lead and Curriculum Development Group. There are a number of Innovative developments that the Practice Learning Subgroup was instrumental in developing, including a Service User Questionnaire; an Assessment Framework for Mentors and a robust strategy for a series of Insight Visits in year two of the Programme. These visits will ensure that all students gain valuable experience of clients from all other Fields of Practice and Midwifery. Additionally a Skills Log which demonstrates ongoing development of core skills including Essential Skills Clusters and the Ongoing Achievement Record which received commendation during the approval event for the transparent nature and clear direction. This partnership has led to a curriculum which will ensure students are able to develop into autonomous practitioners in a safe and supportive environment and the approach to partnership working was commended by the reviewers at the validation event.

Contribution to knowledge development;  Effective partnership working can open up opportunities which might otherwise be missed.  When mentors feel they “own” the practice assessment process they engage effectively with the development of resources, despite time constraints.  Service Users are able to make effective judgements and contribute to assessment when they have been fully involved in the process. References; Gillett K, 2010 “From ‘part of’ to partnership: the changing relationship between nurse education and the National Health Service. Nursing Inquiry 2010 17(3):197-207 NMC (2010) Standards for Pre-registration Education Nursing and Midwifery Council, London


Conference core paper for NET 2012, September.Theme: Partnership working.


curriculum development, partnership, innovation, creativity


Stribling, J. and Coulson, A. (2012) An Innovative approach to Curriculum Development, through Partnership working. NET2012 Conference


Research Institute