Learning together in medical and nursing training: aspirations and activity

Ross, Fiona and Southgate, Lesley (2000) Learning together in medical and nursing training: aspirations and activity. Medical Education, 34(9), pp. 739-743. ISSN (print) 0308-0110


CONTEXT: Policy documents about service innovation, education priorities and professional development exhort professions to learn together and work collaboratively. However, the literature suggests that the existence of shared learning in medical and nursing pre-qualifying education is patchy. AIM: This paper does not claim to be research. It sets out to reflect on the trends and tensions in key policy directions, relating these to aspirations and a mapping of current intiatives in the sphere of medical and nursing pre-qualifying education. APPROACH: A limited national information gathering exercise was conducted during the planning phase of seminars hosted by the Centre for the Advancement of Interprofessional Education (CAIPE) in 1996 and 1997. This involved directly contacting all medical schools and departments of nursing and midwifery in geographical proximity, or with an institutional relationship. Information was sought on current or planned activity in shared learning, defined as medical and nursing students and/or working together. EMERGING THEMES: There were a few examples of shared learning identified by the mapping exercise. The paper discusses these and draws on the consensus that emerged from the seminars on objectives and topics for shared learning. It concludes with a discussion of what makes for success or failure in such ventures with suggestions for future educational policy development.

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