Preparation for Mentorship and Assessing
Learning in practice is an important part of the curriculum and
accounts for approximately 50% of the pre-qualifying nursing programme
in the UK (Andrews and Roberts, 2003). Supporting students to learn
is an important function for both educators and practitioners and thus
teaching, assessing and mentoring are fundamental aspects of nurses’
roles and responsibilities.
The quality of the clinical learning environment is a national
priority for both Trusts and Higher Education Institutes (Rapson,
Holding and Shepherd, 2003). In recent years, the impetus for review
can be attributable to a variety of sources including recommendations
made by the government in ‘Making a Difference’ (Department of Health
(DoH), 1999) and the emphasis on ‘Fitness for Practice’ by the United
Kingdom Central Council (1999).
More recently, the ‘Placements in
Focus’ document stressed that the environment should provide an area
in which students can experience good quality care and treatment of
patients (DoH, 2001). It is recognized that clinical staff exercise a
major influence on the quality of pre-registration programmes (Eraut
et al, 1995, cited in Stuart 2003 p33). They do much of the teaching,
supervision and assessment of students and, as it is likely that this
will continue it is imperative that they are capable of fulfilling
these roles (Clifford, 1995; White et al, 1994; cited in Stuart 2003
Various definitions of the terms ‘mentor’, ‘teacher’ and ‘assessor’
have been offered through the years and choosing one in favour of
another is a difficult task. The English National Board. .
e: A Guide for Nurses, Midwives and Other Health Professionals.
Edinburgh, Churchill Livingstone.
· Taylor, B. (2000) Reflective Practice – A Guide for Nurses and
Midwives. Buckingham. open University Press.
· Teekman, B. (2001) Exploring reflective thinking in nursing
practice. Journal of Advanced Nursing. 31, 1125-1135.
· Watkins, M. (2000) Competency for nursing practice.
Clinical Nursing. 9, 338-346.
· Webb, C. (2003) Evaluating portfolio assessment systems; what are
the appropriate criteria ?. Nurse Education Today. 23, 600-609.
· Williams, B. (2001) Developing critical reflection for professional
practice through problem-based learning. Journal of Advanced Nursing.
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· Williams, B. (2003) Assessment of portfolios in professional
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