Supporting the midwifery practice-based curriculum: the role of the link lecturer

Collington, Val, Mallik, Maggie, Doris, Faye and Fraser, Diane (2012) Supporting the midwifery practice-based curriculum: the role of the link lecturer. Nurse Education Today, 32(8), pp. 924-929. ISSN (print) 0260-6917


BACKGROUND: It is essential that Approved Education Institutions (AEIs) support practice learning to the education standards required by the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC, 2009). Evaluating whether midwife lecturers bring a unique contribution to the outcomes of preregistration midwifery education programmes was investigated through a national research project (Fraser et al., 2011). The study task addressed in this paper was to establish which roles and responsibilities of lecturers have most impact on student learning and capability as midwives and provide best support for mentors' teaching and assessment decisions. METHODS: Data were collected through United Kingdom (UK) wide survey of Lead Midwives for Education, midwife lecturers and questionnaires and focus groups of student midwives from six case study sites. An activity analysis tool was completed by lecturers in these sites, as well as individual interviews with LMEs and Programme Leads. FINDINGS: The nature of midwife lecturers' engagement with practice is variable and is determined by the particular organisation model used. There is an overall agreement that midwife lecturers have a vital role in supporting the practice based curriculum. Key findings highlight the link lecturer role in supporting students, participating in assessments, supporting mentors and maintaining clinical credibility. Enhancements and deterrents to undertaking the link role are also outlined. These findings are relevant to health care programmes worldwide where clinical practice is an essential component. Implications: contribution to knowledge development about models to support and enhance practice-based learning.

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