Example Reflective Essay Mentorship Program

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Week 6: Assessment and feedback


In Week 4 you were introduced to elements of assessment and providing feedback that related to building effective relationships with students that you mentor. In Week 5 you were also introduced to interventions that could contribute to this relationship-building and ensure an effective learning environment for the student.

This week you will be looking more specifically at the processes of assessment and delivering constructive feedback in the practice environment. You will explore various methods of assessment and how these can help in your decision making, and also consider appropriate feedback strategies. Although you may be a nurse registrant, it is useful to revisit standards for pre-registration nursing education (Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC), 2010) as they provide a useful starting point to understand the requirements of assessment throughout the pre-registration nursing programme. These standards can be accessed at the NMC website.

Watch the video, where Fiona Dobson introduces Week 6.

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As a mentor you will have specific responsibility for assessing your student’s progress against a range of assessment criteria. These criteria will address the standards of competence required of your student. And in completing the assessment you’ll need to use the paperwork provided by the university that your student is studying with.

The assessment process will involve both informal and formal assessment and may also require specific points of review throughout the practice learning period.

The completion of assessment in practice is complex. So don’t forget to allow enough time to consult with both colleagues, service users and the student so that the judgement that you make about your student’s progress is realistic and informed.

Once you’ve completed your learning for this week you should be able to demonstrate an understanding of the various methods of assessment. And also critically appraise the role of the mentor in evaluating student learning experiences and how you give effective feedback. This will encourage you to reflect on your role as a mentor in the assessment of competence and identify areas for your future learning and development.

Don’t forget have a go at the end-of-week quizzes because they do check your learning and get you ready for the final quiz in Week 8.

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After this week you should be able to:

  • show knowledge and understanding of a variety of assessment methods
  • reflect on how these assessment methods can be used in evaluating learning
  • show an awareness of constructive feedback approaches
  • understand your responsibilities as a mentor in assessing students.

Mentorship programme

If you are completing this session as part of an NMC mentor preparation programme, the materials and activities relate to the following NMC domains:

  • Assessment and accountability
  • Evaluation of learning
  • Establish effective working relationships.

Evidence of completion of the learning activities included in this session must be included in your practice portfolio.

1 What is assessment?

We ‘assess’ continuously in a variety of situations in our daily lives. For example, you may assess what to wear depending on the weather, or what you will buy for dinner depending on dietary requirements, or patient need depending on their presenting and potential problems. However, as a mentor, you will be collecting evidence to support your decision making in the assessment of student competence. This relates to the student’s learning over a period of time and may include an assessment of knowledge and understanding, skills, behaviour, attitudes and professional values, leadership, and team working.

Assessing the students’ learning while they are in practice is one of the most important mentoring roles you will be performing. Assessing a student’s knowledge, skills and attitudes provides you with an opportunity to nurture the student and develop their confidence as a practitioner.

(Aston and Hallam, 2014, p. 65).

The NMC’s competency framework (2010) identifies generic competencies in addition to field-specific competencies that students must achieve to register as a nurse. Other regulators may have alternative standards and competencies that will need to be adhered to.

Listen to the case study below to see if any of the words or thoughts you identified are shared with the person in this case study.

Download this audio clip.

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I remember being assessed by my mentor, who was the senior staff nurse. I was a second year student nurse and completing my ‘medication’ assessment. I remember being absolutely terrified. I had been awake most of the night, constantly revising the potential medications she could ask me about. I was so nervous for days before and dreading the thought that I might fail. I would be so embarrassed to tell my fellow students, and of course all the staff from the placement area would know that I was a failure. I had heard many horror stories from friends and colleagues relating to students who had failed this assessment.

I felt physically sick that morning of the assessment and couldn’t eat breakfast. My mentor asked me if I was ready, and my throat felt so dry I could just about nod. All prior knowledge I thought I had inside my head seemed to have disappeared – however, once we got started, things came back to me and I sort of relaxed. My mentor didn’t say anything throughout the whole assessment, but she was watching me like a hawk. Before, during and after I had administered a number of the required medications, she asked me questions and gave me scenarios relating to patients who had difficulty in swallowing, or were unconscious, or who refused to take the prescribed medication, or were in pain. She asked me many other questions relating to mental capacity, storage of drugs, and safety aspects. It seemed to go on forever.

At the end I felt so relieved when she said I’d passed. I felt an overwhelming sense of pride and achievement when she said how well I had performed, but I was glad it was over.

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Depending on the assessment you identified, you may have had similar feelings to those in the case study. Our own experiences and understanding of assessment can influence how we view our role in assessing others. Therefore, it is important to understand the nature of assessment and how it can be used not only to ensure safe and effective practice, but also as an opportunity to promote learning through effective feedback.

Activity 1 Understanding assessment

Allow 15 minutes

  • When you think of the term ‘assessment’, what is your immediate reaction and what words come to mind?
  • Reflect on a situation in your life when your learning was ‘assessed’. This could be a situation at school, work, or within your social sphere. How did you feel before, during and after the assessment?


You may have chosen an examination at school, a driving test, a sports assessment, a continual assessment relating to a probation period or an assessment you were involved with during your own career. In many cases the assessment will relate to knowledge, skills and attitudes – the same components as NMC standards.

2 Types of assessment

There are many forms of assessment, but the main three domains identified within educational literature are diagnostic (initial), formative and summative assessment (Figure 1).

Figure 1 The three domains of assessment

Long description

There is a wealth of literature concerning assessment and assessment frameworks. Suggested reading materials are listed at the end of this week if you would like to learn more about this area.

These three domains of assessment are defined as follows:

  • Diagnostic assessment – This is completed when a student begins a specific stage of learning (or placement period) and can initially involve a student self-assessment and a SLOT analysis to assess the strengths, limitations, opportunities and threats relating to the student’s current knowledge, skills and attitudes. It can also include initial observations of the student delivering nursing or health care, discussions on particular areas of practice, and preliminary questioning, in order to give a baseline on which to build and develop action plans and learning strategies.
  • Formative assessment – This relates to continuous assessment and incorporates regular feedback sessions that are planned throughout the specified time allocated in the learning environment. It gives an opportunity to identify areas of strength and areas that need to be improved, with subsequent action plans developed. It is a method that can be used to monitor progress and provide immediate and ongoing feedback within daily learning experiences. This can also include continuous portfolios of evidence that indicate reflections on learning experiences.
  • Summative assessment – This is usually a more formal process that is designed to assess specific learning outcomes or criteria at a given point in the student’s learning, usually at the end of a period of study (or placement period). This may be an assignment, examination, objective-structured clinical examination, question and answer discussion, observation, portfolio of evidence, or performance indicators including skills and competencies.

3 Evidence to inform assessment

Prior to assessing learning and competence, the student should engage in some form of self-assessment, either by completing a SLOT analysis (see Week 5) or by self-assessing against those criteria required for the particular practice area. Often it can be assumed that the student will be aware of their own capabilities; however, the process of self-assessment will encourage an opportunity to plan learning. You could discuss with the student their:

  • knowledge base
  • strengths
  • limitations
  • self-perceptions and confidence.

Nevertheless, this process should only be used as one method of assessment in conjunction with others such as direct observation and questioning, which will be needed to confirm current capabilities. Baxter and Norman (2011) suggest that caution is needed when utilising student self-assessment as a method of evidence for competence, as findings from their study recommend this common practice is less than effective and is not an accurate measure of clinical ability when used in isolation. It does however give an insight into how the student perceives their own capabilities and their level of confidence in specific areas of practice.

Activity 2 Exploring methods of assessment

Allow 15 minutes

  • From Table 1 below, what methods of assessment do you feel you could utilise in assessing students learning in practice?
  • Next identify the methods you feel most comfortable with or that you feel you need more experience with.

Table 1 Methods of assessment

Direct observation

Does the student need more practice and guidance? Additional role modelling may be required.

Does the student appear nervous when being directly observed? Reflect on the impact of your presence and observation technique to ensure these are performed in a supportive way. Clarify when you may need to intervene (i.e. client safety).

Questioning of related evidence-based practice Does the student understand the underpinning theory relating to the skill or competence performed?
Working alongside the student during an episode of care or placement periodHolistic assessment over a longer period can give context to a required competence. Examples of care settings could include an acute care or community setting, a service user’s home, or a health promotion setting. Values and attitudes can be monitored.
Feedback from colleagues, other mentors, service usersAdds to the reliability of decision making and identifies if overall standards of practice have been achieved.
Oral presentationMust be conducted in a supportive environment. Allows the student time to research and prepare. Can lead to shared learning and new insights.
Reflective discussion/writingPromotes self-awareness and encourages critical analysis of episodes of care. Helps to demonstrate knowledge learned, what went well and what could be done differently in future care interventions.
Problem-based scenarios or patient storiesThis method can be useful to discuss possible scenarios that have not been observed. These can determine a student’s understanding and application of nursing knowledge to a variety of situations and must include holistic care of people with disabilities and learning needs, including visual and hearing difficulties that may not be physically obvious.


All the above methods provide sources of evidence that can be utilised in your overall assessment of student learning. It is useful to make notes either during or immediately after an assessment and refer to these in future discussions. Encouraging the student to write down their reflections from the above assessment processes will also help to demonstrate current knowledge and understanding, and identify potential areas for improvement. Gaining written feedback from colleagues and other mentors is more effective than a rushed ad hoc conversation, and can be more productive in identifying the student’s potential strengths and limitations. Asking several colleagues who have worked with the student rather than just one provides a more balanced approach and can identify if there are multiple concerns or multiple areas of progression that can help to inform your decision making about a student’s stage of learning (Price, 2012).

Mentorship programme

If you are completing these learning materials as part of an NMC mentor preparation programme, use the protected learning time allowed to discuss the above methods with your own supervisor/mentor and identify opportunities for further exploration of these methods.

Critically reflect on these experiences within your portfolio of evidence to demonstrate new learning. NMC (2008) requirements state that ‘most assessment of competence should be undertaken through direct observation in practice’ (p. 32).

3.1 Involving service users in assessment

In response to health policy initiatives, the patient, service user or carer voice has become a fundamental concept in the quality assurance processes of both nursing practice and education (Casey and Clark, 2014). The NMC’s Standards for Pre-registration Nursing Education (NMC, 2010) requires that ‘programme providers must make it clear how service users and carers contribute to the assessment process’.

However, there are few empirical studies to suggest a robust mechanism to achieve effective service user feedback in practice assessment. This may be due to ethical implications of asking patients for feedback relating to student performance. Service users and relatives are vulnerable in care situations and should not be coerced to be involved with student assessment.

Despite these potential challenges, the literature does suggest that service users, carers and relatives can be instrumental in highlighting particular performance capabilities relating to the care they receive, such as privacy, compassion, dignity and communication skills (Atkinson and Williams, 2011). Service user and carer involvement can provide additional evidence to the mentor within the student assessment process as part of shared decision making.

  • You may already have a tool or template in use within your practice environment or may consider developing one with relevant stakeholders, including patients, relatives and colleagues.
  • Consider the use of both verbal and written feedback, including questionnaires or surveys that are specific with clear criteria or cue questions. There may be instances where it is appropriate for the student to be present when discussing an episode of care delivery with the service user or carer. In certain circumstances, you may wish to speak with the service user or carer alone to gain their feedback or ask them to complete a written feedback form.
  • Patient selection should be considered carefully, and consent sought.
  • Assure anonymity. You, as the mentor, should ask the service user for information or feedback – not the student.
  • Consider the way you ask a service user for feedback. It may be appropriate to ask how they felt about the care delivery received and any suggestions for improvement.

Activity 3 Gaining service user feedback

Allow 10 minutes

What factors do you think should be considered before asking a service user or carer for feedback relating to care delivered by a student?


Factors you might have considered could include:

  • Patients may feel they are required to give ‘positive feedback’.
  • Patients may feel ‘pressured’ into agreeing to give feedback and cannot say no.
  • Patients may feel responsible for the ‘pass’ or ‘failure’ of the student.
  • Patients may have concerns about their anonymity.
  • Patients may feel too ill and weak to make an informed judgement.
  • Relatives may feel that it will affect their loved ones’ care if they don’t comply.
  • Relatives’ perceptions of care received may differ from those of the patient.
  • Patients or relatives don’t understand what is expected of them.
  • There may be bias in choosing patients; for example, only choosing patients who have the same language skills, culture or religion, or who are undemanding, don’t complain and have already expressed positive feedback about their care.

4 Developing effective questioning

Underpinning all of the assessment methods explored previously is effective questioning, which helps to:

  • understand the students’ thought processes
  • assess students’ critical thinking skills and decision making capabilities
  • clarify the processes and actions observed
  • ascertain understanding of the various components of a care intervention
  • encourage further reflection.

Carlson et al. (2009) suggest that questioning is the most commonly used form of student–mentor interaction, should be planned carefully in relation to the student’s stage of learning and should not be interrogative or judgemental. Ness (2010, p. 42) identifies key points below when asking students in practice questions to assess their learning:

  • Do my questions relate to the students learning outcomes?
  • Are my questions clear?
  • Do my questions help the student link theory to practice?
  • Are my questions at the appropriate academic level for the student?
  • Are my questions seen as threatening?
  • Am I asking too many questions at once?
  • Am I asking questions in an appropriate place?
  • Am I asking questions at an appropriate time?
  • Do I listen to the student’s response?

Activity 4 Acknowledging stages of learning

Allow 20 minutes

In the case study below, what questions would you ask to assess learning if a student, Jo, is:

  • A.at the initial stage of a pre-registration nursing programme?
  • B.completing their final placement period of a pre-registration nursing programme ?

Case study

Jo, a student nurse, has been working with a Health Care Assistant for two hours caring for Mrs X.

As Jo’s mentor, you have a planned meeting to discuss the episode of care for thirty minutes before lunch. Jo states that Mrs X is complaining of headaches, feeling weak and just wants to go home. Jo has noticed that her skin is very dry.


Possible interventions for scenarios A and B are described below.

  • You may have decided not to bombard Jo with too many questions at this stage.
  • Ask about their understanding of Mrs X’s condition as a baseline.
  • Can Jo think of any reasons why Mrs X’s skin could be dry?
  • Ask about communication skills. How could Jo gather more information about Mrs X’s headaches, feeling of weakness and wanting to go home?
  • Consideration of the environment; ask Jo to consider noise levels, comfort and positioning relating to how Mrs X could be sitting/lying.
  • How did Jo feel about the episode of care? You may want to ask Jo to accompany you to the patient to role model how you would assess Mrs X.
  • Ask Jo to reflect on this and read around a specific element of her care to discuss further at your next meeting.
  • You may want to ask more complex questions relating to Mrs X’s condition.
  • What does Jo consider to be the causes of the above symptoms and how have these been identified? What assessment tools did Jo use?
  • Ask about current and potential medication, including their side-effects.
  • What would Jo suggest in order to alleviate Mrs X’s symptoms? What related evidence and theory can be drawn upon to plan practice interventions?
  • What information has Jo given to Mrs X and what interventions did she perform?
  • You may want to ask Jo to write a critical reflection on this episode of care to include within her portfolio, which can be discussed at your next meeting.

All discussions relating to episodes of care need to be followed up with your own observation and assessment of the patient’s needs in order to ensure that appropriate actions are performed and plans of care are formulated.

5 Documentation

When completing assessment documentation, you are accountable for the decisions you make. Therefore, you should be detailed, systematic and comprehensive in collating the evidence that is required to inform your judgement. When assessing student competencies, there may be just a signature box to complete within the assessment document, an identified space to write a rationale for a particular decision or a general comment box following a set of competencies within a specific learning domain. These spaces should always be utilised fully to justify the decision you make.

Assessment can be seen to be interpretive and somewhat subjective, so drawing on appropriate evidence when writing your comments can lead to increased confidence in your assessment. This can be discussed openly and honestly with the student. Price (2012) suggests that there should be no surprises for the student when it comes to the final placement interview if effective continual assessment (including regular discussions and constructive feedback) has been implemented.

Mentorship programme

If you are completing these learning materials as part of an NMC mentor preparation programme, you should appreciate that from day 1 as a nurse mentor you must understand the assessment process and student documentation. Discuss these with your clinical educational lead, university link tutor and supervisor to ensure that you fully understand the various requirements and processes for initial, intermediate and final assessment.

5.1 Validity and reliability of assessment

The validity of an assessment is the extent to which it measures what it is supposed to measure. The reliability of an assessment is the extent to which it measures the skill, learning or competence consistently (Quinn and Hughes, 2007).

A range of assessment methods should be utilised to give an overall picture of how the student is learning and progressing in practice. This will also increase the validity and reliability of assessment. The assessment documentation to be completed will have been scrutinised as part of required quality assurance mechanisms, which may include professional bodies such as the NMC and by the programme provider or university.

However, a study by Fahey et al. (2011) suggests that the language of competency documentation can often be misinterpreted by both students and mentors, so you must get clarity from the programme provider or practice link facilitator if there are any uncertainties. A study by Brown et al. (2012) suggested that even experienced mentors lacked confidence in their assessment of students, in particular with failing students (this is considered in more detail in Week 7), so always seek support from your own supervisor, mentor colleagues, educational lead and practice link tutor.

Remember that your assessment of a student’s learning should be based on required criteria, and not norm-referenced. Norm-referenced assessment is where the student is assessed against another student who is at a similar stage of their learning (Anderson, 2011).

Activity 5 How reliable is your assessment?

Allow 10 minutes

Think of a time when you have been involved in the assessment of a student. This can be an initial diagnostic episode, or formative or summative assessment.

  • How reliable do you think your assessment was?
  • What do you think can affect the reliability of an assessment?

Click on ‘Reveal discussion’ to reveal possible factors that can affect the reliability of assessment.


Reliability of assessment can be affected by:

  • only being able to observe one episode of a particular skill or competence
  • bias towards the student (both positive and negative)
  • being unable to gather evidence from colleagues or service users
  • being unsure of documentation requirements
  • using only one method of assessment (such as discussion)
  • the readiness of the student
  • adequate preparation
  • your mood – a very busy or rushed day versus a calm, relaxed day.

Mentorship programme

If you are completing this as part of an NMC mentor preparation programme, write this as a critical reflection for your portfolio of evidence. On completion of your mentorship preparation programme, a subsequent reflection can be included relating to a recent assessment to demonstrate new learning.

6 Feedback

Figure 2 Giving feedback

Long description

Feedback goes hand-in-hand with assessment as a successful strategy for learning and improvement. Effective feedback is a priority for the mentor–student relationship in order for students to progress and learn from their experiences. Clynes and Raftery (2008) describe feedback in clinical practice as ‘an interactive process which aims to provide learners with insight into their performance’ (p. 405).

Mentor feedback is also important for education providers and their external examiners, and also as part of regulatory body quality assurance and monitoring processes. Mentors may also be asked to give feedback on students who are being mentored by other colleagues.

Activity 6 How do you give feedback?

Allow 20 minutes

  • Reflect on the last time you gave feedback to a learner. What strategies did you use and how did it make you feel?
  • How do you think the learner benefited from this feedback?
  • Would you do anything differently next time?


It can be challenging to give feedback, in particular if it involves an identified area of the student’s practice that needs improving. It can seem much easier to give positive feedback, although all feedback should be viewed as constructive in helping the student progress and improve. Clear feedback and direction in how to improve is vital, with studies suggesting that students do not want generalised or superficial feedback that does little to help them understand what they need to do to develop their practice (Murray et al., 2010; Aston and Hallam, 2014). It is important when assessing a student that they receive feedback when applying quality standards to service users from a variety of backgrounds, including ethnic, religious, physical, learning or mental ability, and social class, to exclude bias or prejudice.

You may have used terms such as ‘Well done’, ‘That’s good’, ‘That’s fine’, ‘That wasn’t too bad’, ‘That’s OK, just keep practising’ or ‘That’s not quite right yet’. These are all general comments but do not provide specific, constructive feedback in how to improve or know why particular interventions were good. Constructive feedback needs to give further detail and refer to relevant criteria so that the student clearly understands how their practice is progressing. The ‘sandwich method’ is an established strategy for giving feedback, whereby a discussion relating to the need for improvement is ‘sandwiched’ between two pieces of positive feedback that highlight strengths and progression (Dohrenwend, 2002).

6.1 Delivering feedback

There are various models to help you consider how you would like to deliver feedback. Examples of these are shown below. Figure 3 depicts the effective feedback cycle.

Figure 3 Effective feedback cycle

Long description

The four stages of feedback according to Duffy (2013) are:

  1. Gauge the student’s expectations of feedback.
  2. Gather information on student practice.
  3. Act immediately.
  4. Be specific.

Jerome (1995) describes four other stages of giving feedback:

  1. Provide a description of current behaviours that you want to reinforce and redirect to improve a situation.
  2. Identify specific situations where these behaviours have been observed.
  3. Describe impacts and consequences of the current behaviours.
  4. Identify alternative behaviours and actions that can be taken.

Below is an example ‘script’ for providing constructive feedback.

Activity 7 Giving feedback

Allow 30 minutes

Watch the video below, produced by the University of Plymouth, Faculty of Health, and answer the following questions for each of the four student scenarios.

Interactive feature not available in single page view (see it in standard view).

  • What feedback would you give the student?
  • What would you advise the student to do to overcome the situation?
  • What are the consequences of not giving the student feedback or direction?

Write in your notebook or portfolio what your feedback would include and how you would deliver this. Pause the video after each scenario to write down your answers.


You may have chosen to utilise one of the models above to structure your feedback to the students in the video clips. Each situation will be different, as all students will have individual needs. You may be able to directly observe other colleagues and role models in giving feedback to gain an overview of different approaches first-hand; however, with practice you will become more confident with your own style. It is also useful to ask the student how they felt about receiving your feedback, which can contribute to your learning and influence how you give feedback in future.

An example of constructive feedback

‘How did you feel about that care episode today?’

Allow the student time to express their views and reflect on the care scenario, incorporating these points into your feedback as appropriate.

‘I felt the care you gave to Mr S was good, as you demonstrated care and compassion and maintained his dignity throughout. There are a few things that you could try to incorporate next time in order to improve your nursing care. You did introduce yourself and explained the procedure you were about to perform, but you could explain this further in terms that Mr S would understand, as you did use some medical terms. You also need to check a patient’s understanding and give them time to ask any questions before commencing the procedure. I was really pleased to see you ensured that Mr S was comfortable before leaving and asked him if he needed anything. It was also good to see you placed the call buzzer within reach. How do you feel about the feedback I’ve given you …?’

Allow the student time to ask for clarification from the points you have raised and any differences of opinion. Be prepared to justify your assessment of the situation and feedback given. Be open to learn about your own feedback mechanisms and encourage the student to give feedback to you.

‘So, if you’re happy to move forward we can now agree some action points from this discussion to give you direction in how to develop your nursing care.’

Mentorship programme

If you are completing these learning materials as part of an NMC mentor preparation programme, use the protected learning time allowed to be observed giving feedback to a student. Reflect on this process and discuss with your own supervisor, identifying areas of strength and any areas for improvement. This can be included within your portfolio of evidence.

7 This week's quiz

You’ve nearly reached the end of another week of study. Now it is time for the weekly quiz. This week's quiz won't count towards your badge, so only has five questions.

Go to:

Week 6 practice quiz

Open the quiz in a new tab or window (by holding Ctrl [or cmd on a Mac] when you click the link).

8 Summary

This week you have explored and reviewed your own attitudes to assessment, how various forms of assessment can be utilised to provide overall evidence of student learning and subsequent decision making/action planning, and how effective feedback strategies can be considered when evaluating student learning.

Next week you will explore the role of the mentor in supporting failing students.

You can now go to Week 7.

Further reading

Benner, P. (2000) From Novice to Expert: Excellence and Power in Clinical Nursing Practice, Upper Saddle River, NJ, Prentice Hall.

Cant, R., McKenna, L. and Cooper, S. (2013) ‘Assessing pre-registration nursing students’ clinical competence: a systematic review of objective measures’, International Journal of Nursing Practice, vol. 19, no. 2, pp. 163–76.

Gopee, N. (2011) Mentoring and Supervision in Healthcare, London, Sage.

Joghin, G. (ed.) (2009) Assessment, Learning and Judgment in Higher Education, Wollangong, Australia, Springer.

Week 7


Anderson, L. (2011) ‘A learning resource for developing effective mentorship in practice’, Nursing Standard, vol. 25, no. 51, pp. 48–56.

Aston, L. and Hallam, P. (2014) Successful Mentoring in Nursing, 2nd edn, London, Sage.

Atkinson, S. and Williams, P. (2011) ‘The involvement of service users in nursing students’ education’, Learning Disability Practice, vol. 14, no. 3, pp. 18–21.

Baxter, P. and Norman, G. (2011) ‘Self-assessment or self-deception? A lack of association between nursing students’ self-assessment and performance’, Journal of Advanced Nursing, vol. 67, pp. 2406–13 .

Brown, L. (2012) ‘What influences mentors to pass or fail students’, Nursing Management, vol. 19, no. 5, pp. 16–21.

Brugnolli, A., Perli, S., Viviani, D. and Saiani, L. (2011) ‘Nursing students’ perceptions of tutorial strategies during clinical learning instruction: a descriptive study’, Nurse Education Today, vol. 31, no. 2, pp. 152–6.

Carlson, E., Wann-Hansson, C. and Pilhammar, E. (2009) ‘Teaching during clinical practice: strategies and techniques used by preceptors in nursing education’, Nurse Education Today, vol. 29, no. 5, pp. 522–6.

Casey, D. and Clark, L. (2014) ‘Involving patients in the assessment of nursing students’, Nursing Standard, vol. 28, no. 47, pp. 37–41.

Clynes, M.P. and Rafferty, S.E. (2008) ‘Feedback: an essential element of student learning in clinical practice’, Nurse Education in Practice, vol. 8, no. 6, pp. 405–11.

Dohrenwend, A. (2002) ‘Serving up the feedback sandwich’, Family Practice Management, vol. 9, no. 10, pp. 43–9.

Duffy, K. (2013) ‘Providing constructive feedback to students during mentoring’, Nursing Standard, vol. 27, no. 31, pp. 50–56.

FacultyofHealthUOP’s channel [YouTube user] (2010) ‘Describe yourself on a placement’ (online), YouTube, 2 March. Available at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=job59GG2bR4 (Accessed 24 February 2015).

Fahy, A., Tuohy, D., McNamara, M.C., Butler, M.P., Cassidy, I. and Bradshaw, C. (2011) ‘Evaluating clinical competence assessment’, Nursing Standard, vol. 25, no. 50, pp. 42–8.

Jerome, P.J. (1995) Coaching through Effective Feedback, London, Kogan Page.

Murray, C., Rosen, L. and Staniland, K. (eds) (2010) The Nurse Mentor and Reviewer Update Book, Maidenhead, Open University Press.

Ness, V. (2010) ‘Supporting and mentoring nursing students in practice’, Nursing Standard, vol. 25, no. 1, pp. 41–6.

Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) (2008) Standards to Support Learning and Assessment in Practice: NMC Standards for Mentors, Practice Teachers and Teachers, London, NMC.

Nursing and Midwifery Council NMC (2010) Standards for Pre-registration Nursing Education, London, NMC. Available at

http://standards.nmc-uk.org/PublishedDocuments/Standards%20for%20pre-registration%20nursing%20education%2016082010.pdf (Accessed 24 February 2015).

Price, B. (2012) ‘Key principles in assessing students’ practice-based learning’, Nursing Standard, vol. 26, no. 49, pp. 49–55.

Quinn, F.M. and Hughes, S.J. (2007) Quinn’s Principles and Practice of Nurse Education, 5th edn, Andover, Cengage Learning.

Week 7


Week 6 of Facilitating learning in practice was written by Kay Norman.

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Week 7

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The Nursing and Midwifery council (NMC) standards of proficiency for pre-registration nursing education (2010) sets out exactly what student nurses must achieve to enable registration onto the first part of the register. Another NMC publication; Standards to support learning and assessment in practice (2006) lays out what a post registration nurse requires to fulfil in order to formally assess student nurses. These two sets of standards make it clear what is expected of both students and mentors when learning in the clinical environment. This makes the process of mentoring sound simple, however, the reality of working on a busy ward coupled with staffing shortages and low morale makes this a complex and challenging task (Ref). As a…show more content…

The initial ‘interview’, however, descended into a chat more than an interview. Although I got all the information across that was required, I believe if the interview was structured in a more professional manner, then it would have set the tone for my expectations of the learner (Gill and Burnard 2008). Instead I may have portrayed too much of a ‘mate’ type approach in fear that the relationship would suffer irreparable damage due to a bad first meeting. Clutterbuck (2004) suggests that the first two meetings between people are key if the relationship is to develop ‘depth of trust and mutual confidence’ in one another. On reflection I think the benefits of my approach to the initial meeting were that the student felt more at ease with me, however, by coming across almost facetious initially this could have had implications further down the line had the situation arose were I needed to discipline the student. I believe this situation occurred due to my own personality and nature taking control of the interview instead of my professional character. Now that I know how important introductions are with students and mentors I will plan more in advance and prepare myself to behave in such a way that promotes both a professional and personal


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