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Trust student nurses benefit thanks to alternative training approach

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In 2017, the Trust became one of the first trusts in the country to introduce Collaborative Learning in Practice (CLiP) into adult nursing placements. It was implemented across several of our community hospitals.

This followed a successful pilot project by our Trust and Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust. It was led by lead practice educators PJ Holmes-Crips and Hayley Plowright.

Since then, CLiP has now been implemented by health Trusts across the UK.

Helston Community Hospital was shortlisted for Community Placement of the Year at the Nursing Times awards in 2021 thanks to the feedback from students about this style of support.

Last year Kerry Siau, Practice Educator, introduced this approach in mental health.

“There is limited evidence out there to show whether CLiP has been implemented within mental health placements.

“This trailblazing coaching-led approach to teaching student nurses in mental health is producing encouraging results.

“As part of the Chief Nursing Officer’s Research Fellowship, I have focused my change project on evaluating placement experiences of mental health nursing students, following the implementation of a CLiP model.

“We have had to modify it to consider things like ward layouts, numbers of patients, single rooms rather than bays, and the number of students allocated to the wards.

“The early evaluations are really promising, and we’re excited to expand the project from Bodmin, down to Longreach House in Redruth.” Kerry Siau

So how does the CLiP model work?

Kerry adds: “In a nutshell you put more students into an inpatient area. It’s student-led learning, so they take charge of a group of patients. Between them they decide who’s doing the tasks, who is doing the drug round, and they allocate their own breaks.

“This is as opposed to mentorship before, which was 1 student to 1 nurse. The students would follow the nurses around. They were being delegated to and told what to do.

“CLiP uses more of a coaching model. It gets students to think about what they’re doing and why. It encourages critical thinking. The hope is that it makes that transition into a registered nurse easier. That’s because they’ve developed a lot of those skills during their training.”

Since CLiP was introduced by the Trust in 2017 the feedback has been excellent.

“As part of CLiP we do a once weekly reflective meeting with all the students and 1 member of staff. A member of staff said that prior to the students starting morale had been quite low.

“But since the students have come in, she says it’s been like a breath of fresh air. It’s given her such job satisfaction. She’s really enjoying teaching them and supporting them.

“The students are having a really good time and feeling supported. If there are any little niggles or hiccups, they feel confident enough to broach it straight away. It enhances their learning because they are not sat stressing.” Kerry Siau

The Education Team have also been inundated with positive feedback from senior nurses, as well those training to be a nurse.

Here are just some of the comments Kerry and the team have received:

“It’s been good to be able to get involved and take lead on things, with supervision.”

“As an assessor, I felt CLiP supported independent student learning.”

“It has been great to learn from other students whilst in practice.”

“The support and time given to students is indescribable. Thank you.”

“Students are able to work more independently from the nursing team due to their peer learning and support.”

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