Teaching rewards a two-way street

AN ORIENTATION program to assist practice nurses in mentoring student nurses might encourage more to take on the role, a nursing researcher says.

Dr Elizabeth Halcomb, associate professor at the University of Western Sydney’s school of nursing and midwifery, said universities needed to provide proper education and training support to practice nurses.

Many nurses had not been through the university system and most were not familiar with the curriculum, she said.

Dr Halcomb’s concerns follow findings from a study she led that practice nurses derived as much from student placements as the students themselves.

The 12 nurses from four states who took part in the focus group had between two months and 10 years of experience in mentoring students in general practice. The nurses relished the opportunity to mentor and reported the task was beneficial for their personal development, and the development of their role as practice nurses.