The one topic of conversation/debate that is bound to get me interested within my course is nurse undergraduate education. I am currently the School of Education Representative for Nursing in Nottingham. I represent all the nurses training based at the Nottingham center in educational matters. I mentor first year students and help them through the settling in process and getting to grips with everything. These two specific things have impacted on my aims and objectives while out in Norway. Through these two roles I have see and understood the challenges, problems and hurdles that undergraduate nurse education faces in the UK. From this an interest in how other countries conduct their nurse training has grown.
My overall aim while out in Norway is to identify and try to understated the differences and similarities between undergraduate nurse education at the University of Stavanger (UiS) and the University of Nottingham. Furthering to see if this is generalisable to Norway and the United Kingdom.
Why look at this is particular?
Nurse education in the UK has recently come under a lot of scrutiny in particular after the Mid Staffordshire Hospital NHS Trust Scandal that lead to a full public inquiry in 2010. The Francis Report was the result of this inquiry and within it, undergraduate nurse education received many recommendations to change including the balance and assessment of theory and practice as well as the need for national training standards. This was widely reported in the media and student nurses came under a lot of scrutiny as did their education.
The construction of nurse education affects me directly in the day to day life of conducting my degree and it will ultimately help (or hinder depending what way you choose to look a things) to shape the nurse I am on graduation with the skills and knowledge that I posses. It is a real time and ongoing issue that affects every nurse training today.
So what specifically will I look at…
1. The clinical skills taught at UiS
2. The bio/socio sciences components of the course and the balance of the two
3. How theory and practice time is structured and balanced
4. The assessments undertaken by student nurses – writen exams, written assignments, pratical exmas, presentations, portfolio work
5. What support structures (if any) there are in place throughout the nursing undergraduate course
6. Do student nurses at UiS have mandatory sessions? Do they have compulsory attendance for theory?
All of these will then be compared to Nottingham, then to a wider scale of Norway and the UK.
Other things to consider…
I am very interested to see the differences and similarities that the Norwegian health care system holds to that of the UK. Looking at the structure and funding will be particular areas of research as well as attitudes and opinions that the healthcare professionals and public hold. Contrasting their Trauma management system to the UK will also be of note as Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust is one of the major trauma centers in the UK since the change and overhaul in our own trauma management system back in 2012.
Identifying health trends in Norway and comparing them to that of the UK will also encompass my time away. Do they have the same problems with obesity that the UK are facing? What are their diabetes and cardiovascular disease rates like? What are their main health concerns?
I hope to be able to answer some if not all of the above. This experience as a whole is undoubtedly going to be a fantastic learning curve and hopefully the knowledge that I come away with will help with my own education and practice in the future.