Karlynn and Allan

Kingsacre Promotes Student Nurse Placements

At Kingsacre Care Home we encourage practice placements for student nurses. We believe practice-based learning is a crucial part of student nurse training, with 2,300 hours of clinical practice needed to meet the NMC requirements for registration.

Spending time in a care home provides a fantastic opportunity for nurses to learn in a working environment. This is a valuable learning experience, especially during times such as now with the recent global pandemic.

The Scottish Government commissioned a report on the Provision of Nursing, Midwifery and Allied Health Professions (NMAHP) placements in the 2020-21 Academic Session (NES 2020) (PDF). This report stated that the care home sector needed to increase its placement capacity. In July 2021, only 303 of Scotland’s 1,084 care homes for adults were approved practice learning environments for students.

The care home sector then faced further challenges with staff recruitment and retention. As a result, this had an impact on practice supervisor and assessor capacity, as these roles were essential to supporting student nurse placements. In spite of this, 2021 started to see a gradual increase in student placements. NES Care Home Education Facilitators (CHEFs) played an active and vital role in engaging with care homes, as well provide training and support to make this happen.

Scottish Care represents the largest group of independent sector social care providers that supply residential care, nursing care, daycare, care at home and housing support services.

Karlynn Wheelan, Manager of Kingsacre Care Home who is a qualified nurse said the following:

“It is essential students have a wide variety of placements and different experiences during training. It is important to me to support students in a practice learning environment and work together to break the stigma attached to care home nursing.

“Kingsacre became a practice learning environment in the past nine months, and we have supported four students at various stages in their training. They all expressed surprise at how much they loved their placements.

“I’ve built excellent relationships with several members of the NES CHEF team during my 12-year career in the care home sector. I’m happy to support students because I know I’ll be well supported by the CHEFs.”

Allan Dickins, CHEF, NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde added:

“Having students on placement is so valuable for care home staff, managers and residents. They ask questions and encourage supervisors and assessors to reflect on their own practice. I often receive enquiries from contacts asking about new research or topics because a student was talking about it.”

Karlynn Wheelan went on to say:

“As you support more students, you identify more learning opportunities. Students come from a variety of backgrounds, experiences and placements and are each looking for different outcomes.

“They bring new ideas, learning and newer ways of working with them. Residents love the presence of younger people. They bring extra buzz to the home. CHEF teams also direct us to NES and Scottish Care resources for training and CPD. All this results in good staff development and ultimately, better outcomes for residents.

“The presence of students in the home allows us to start breaking that stigma and supports recruitment. For example, one of our placement students has joined our staff bank. And by the end of 2022, we hope all seven care homes in our group will take students on practice placements.”

For more information on practice placements in care homes, please read the article published in NHS Education For Scotland.

If you would like to find out more about practice placements at Kingsacre Care Home, do not hesitate to contact our home manager who will be happy to help.

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