Nursing education is one of the most difficult fields of study in the health care field. It is filled with various challenges for the learner, from the academic and theoretical learning to the field of initial clinical exposure as a student learner. …
Although the standards of practice have been set by the academic setting, nurse educators and mentors can however find it difficult to fail students who are actually failing. Some of them often pass these students, sometimes, encouraging them to persist in their studies. This practice can however lead to various issues in nursing where incompetent nurses may be allowed to test their skills in the clinical setting. This paper shall critically explore the management of a student/learner whose standard of practice are cause for concern. This analysis shall include how the individual should be managed in terms of fitness for practice accountability, responsibility of the mentor and how this event would be documented. The implications of failing to fail learners who do not meet with the required standards to practice both personally and professionally will also be discussed. This study shall also consider when an action plan would be developed, whether or not I would get involved, and the assessment strategies which would be considered. This paper is being undertaken in order to establish ways by which the nursing profession can be whittled down academically and objectively in order to ensure that only competent nurses are to be allowed to practice. Body Undoubtedly, failing students can be a difficult and stressful experience for students and mentors. However, a nurse’s knowledge of one’s accountability as a mentor and supervisor and the complex process of crafting failing students imply that these decisions can still be made with utmost confidence (NHS, 2010). Mentors are considered gatekeepers because they guarantee that students who cannot comply with the standards of the practice are not allowed to enter the practice. The crucial stage of the assessment process seeks to protect the general public and the patients from incompetent nurses (NHS, 2010). Various concerns on how effective the gate keeping role is being carried out have been expressed by various practitioners. Failing to fail can have dire consequences to the general public (NHS, 2010). A 2004-2005 survey established that out of about 1400 issues of misconduct, poor practice was cited in majority of these incidents. Incidents of poor practice included errors in drug administration, inadequate record keeping, unsafe clinical practice, and failure to care for basic needs (NMC, 2005). According to the Royal College of Nursing (RCN, 2007), the mentor’s role is to generally offer support and guidance to the student and to help the patient understand the practice and to help him apply theory. The mentor’s role is also to assess, evaluate and provide feedback to the student; and to supervise reflective practice (RCN, 2007). These mentors are also tasked with ensuring that the students: are fit for the purpose of the practice, can fulfil the needs of registration, and have the depth of learning in order to be granted a diploma or a higher degree (RCN, 2007). These mentors are also considered positive role models and are there to assist students in gaining confidence; to promote professional relations with students; to assist appropriate supervision; and to offer honest, yet constructive feedback (RCN, 2007). The registered nurses’ role as a mentor is crucial because it ensures the protection of public health and interest (RCN, 2007). It is the responsibility of mentors to ...
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NMC has set standards to ensure an ongoing training, education and professional development in the clinical domain. Gopee (2011) defines a mentor a “registrant whose role is to facilitate learning, supervise and assess students in learning or practice settings” This essay critically explores the management of a student/ learner whose standards of practice are of cause for concern.
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