School of Nursing and Midwifery The Course February 2006 0 foreword




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School of Nursing and Midwifery


Review of the

BSc(Hons)/Diploma in Nursing Sciences

LEARNING DISABILITY BRANCH


In partnership with


Northern Ireland Health and

Social Services Trust Personnel


and other Health Care Providers and Users


SUMMARY





Curriculum Document

February 2006









School of Nursing and Midwifery


The Course





February 2006




2.0 FOREWORD



The course document is being submitted by the School of Nursing and Midwifery for joint validation and approval by the Queen’s University Belfast and the Northern Ireland Practice and Education Council (NIPEC), acting on behalf of the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC). The School is offering four Programmes. Each Programme is three years in duration, comprising a Common Foundation Programme (CFP) in Year 1, followed by a 2 year specific Branch Programme, as follows:

  • BSc (Hons)/ Diploma in Nursing Sciences: Adult Nursing

  • BSc (Hons)/ Diploma in Nursing Sciences: Mental Health Nursing

  • BSc (Hons)/ Diploma in Nursing Sciences: Learning Disability Nursing

  • BSc (Hons)/ Diploma in Nursing Sciences: Children’s Nursing


The annual intake is 495, with students divided between two intakes, one in September and one in February/ March.


The course consists of periods of University study interspersed with periods of clinical practice experience. With the double intake, and teaching across a calendar year, the normal nomenclature of semester does not accurately reflect learning periods. As such, the School uses the term Phase to denote a theoretical period of learning which normally lasts 6-12 weeks.


2.0.1 Statement of Compliance


The programmes comply with the Nursing and Midwifery Council requirements for relevant experience to enable students to meet the NMC proficiencies for admission to the Register.


Confirmation is given that, sufficient resources, in both academic and practice settings, have been identified to enable the Programmes to be effectively delivered for the intended number of students. These include: an appropriate range of academic and practice experience; sufficient audited placement opportunities; appropriately prepared mentors; and an effective network of Practice Educators/ Lecturers to facilitate clinical, academic and pastoral support.

2.1 THE BSC (HONS)/ DIPLOMA IN NURSING SCIENCES

The BSc (Hons)/ Diploma in Nursing Sciences is a 3-year full-time Undergraduate Programme designed to prepare students for eligibility for entry to the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) Professional Register and the award of BSc (Hons)/ Diploma in Nursing Sciences. The current course commenced in September 2001 and, in keeping with NMC requirements, is scheduled for professional revalidation for the 2006/ 07 academic year. In preparation for revalidation, a review was undertaken by a Curriculum Planning Group consisting of lecturing staff, service providers and service users (Appendix 1). The review took account of feedback from students, mentors, service users, service providers and external examiners. Internal and external quality assurance mechanisms (The University, QAA) and Professional Statutory Body requirements have also informed the changes. The review reflects a collaborative process between the School and a variety of stakeholders. This document presents the changes to the content and sequencing of the academic and clinical modules arising from that review and is congruent with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) Standards of Proficiency for Pre-Registration in Nursing Education (2004) and European Union Directives: 771453/ EEC updated by 89/ 595/ EEC.



2.1.1 Course Review


As indicated above a review of the overall course and its four Programmes, i.e Adult, Mental Health, Learning Disability and Children’s, was undertaken. The coherency of the review was managed by the relevant Heads of Division with a member of teaching staff from each Programme leading the specific review of their respective Programmes. To ensure liaison with all relevant stakeholders, the School utilised many of its existing communication channels to gain feedback and proposals for change. Detailed below are some examples:


  • Each Programme has a Partnership Group (teaching and clinical service staff) which meet on a regular basis to discuss day to day operational matters;

  • Teaching staff also act as link lecturers to designated clinical areas and meet with mentors and other clinical staff on a very regular basis. Link lecturers are grouped by Trust (Health and Social Services Trust) with each group having a lead lecturer. In addition to the normal contact, link lecturers meet with clinical staff through active partnership groups, whilst others (normally the lead) meet on a regular basis with senior members of clinical staff;

  • Staff Student Consultative Committee (SSCC) meetings;

  • Module/ Pathway/ Subject reviews/ NIPEC Monitoring reports;

  • External Examiner ongoing feedback and reports.


In addition to this, Curriculum Review Steering Groups were set up to oversee the review of each Programme. These groups, comprising teaching and clinical staff, took feedback from both existing communication channels and lay/ carer representatives for all branches of nursing, (see appendix 1 for Curriculum Review Steering Groups). This involved a series of meetings and consultation with clinical staff which provided co-ownership of the programme by service and education provides as required by NMC. For ease of reference, a summary of the specific review changes is given at the beginning of each Programme. However, changes which affect the overall course are detailed below.


2.1.2 Outcome of Course Review

2.1.2.1 Assessment

One major change relates to a reduction in the number of assessments within the three year Programme. Currently, most theoretical modules only span 7 weeks with assessment periods being scheduled at the end of the 7 week period. This has resulted in an assessment led course in which students are required to undertake module assessment more or less every 7 weeks. This is not in keeping with modern educational philosophy and has proved highly challenging for students and staff involved in marking, and for External Examiners attending Examination Boards. Additionally, a number of the assessments relating to the theoretical modules with submission dates during practice placement were deemed by students and staff to be unnecessarily interfering with and, at times, distracting students from their primary goal of learning in practice. Module and programme evaluations and our recent University Subject Review (USR) and NIPEC Monitoring Reports have all highlighted assessment as a major difficulty and the review has provided a useful opportunity to redress this imbalance. The majority of modules will now span 12 weeks teaching with assessment spread more evenly.

2.1.2.2 Changes to the Course Calendar


The review of assessment necessitated consequent changes to the course calendar (Diagram 1). In doing so, the School was challenged by the competing demands of maintaining a theory practice model favoured by clinical staff and ensuring that streaming through clinical placements was effective, efficient and not unnecessarily overlapping. In resolving these competing tensions, the School proposed to the DHSSPS that the second intake of students be admitted in November of each academic year and not February/ March. This would have resulted in an even flow of students through both University and clinical areas, i.e. three cohorts in University whilst three cohorts were on practice. Additionally, the makeup of the students in practice areas would have been more useful with year 1, year 2 and year 3 on clinical areas together, rather than, as can be the case, some areas having the majority of students coming from one year. This strategy would benefit students by providing support from year 3 students for those less experienced, whilst simultaneously providing teaching and support opportunities for the more experienced student. Having an even spread of students and years would also prove beneficial to clinical areas. This is still a matter of discussion with DHSSPS and, as the application process for each year commences early, it may not have been manageable for the 2006 –2007 academic year. The University will continue to keep the matter under review. Planners, though accepting that a September and November commencement date is more suitable, have adjusted the course calendar to take account of the changes in assessment scheduling within a context of efficient streaming of students through clinical practice.


2.1.2.3 Added Value


The School has always sought to provide excellent education for effective patient care delivery and, in doing so, provide the opportunity for added value throughout the educational provision. Each programme has selected a component, which is specific to the needs of its particular patient group and will now provide for each student the opportunity to further enhance their skills and evidence base in that particular area. In keeping with the practice focused and patient centred philosophy, the School is pleased to present the added value opportunities now available as integral and unique aspects of our pre-registration provision. The added value component of each of the Programmes is detailed below:-


2.1.2.3.1 Adult Nursing


The School is delighted to be one of only three Schools within a UK university to be accredited by the United Kingdom Resuscitation Council as a course centre for the The Resuscitation Council (UK) Immediate Life Support Course (ILS). Having run a successful pilot for pre-registration students, the course will now become main stream and be fully incorporated into the undergraduate programme.


NMC state specific competencies and highlight the knowledge, skills, attitudes and behaviour expected of those seeking entry to the nursing profession. Under clinical and practical skills, the NMC states that students must be able to demonstrate competence in cardiopulmonary resuscitation amongst other specified clinical and practical skills.


The course aims to provide the student with the knowledge and skills to recognise and treat the acutely ill patient before cardiac arrest. It also provides the essential knowledge and skills to manage a patient in cardiac arrest for the short time before the arrival of the team. Additionally, the course trains personnel to participate as members of the cardiac arrest team.


The course can only be run by accredited Resuscitation Council (UK) Course Centres, and those who successfully complete the course will receive a Resuscitation Council (UK) ILS Certificate.


All students now successfully undertaking Adult Nursing will leave the University with an academic award, a professional award and an ILS certificate.


2.1.2.3.2 Mental Health Nursing


A.S.I.S.T. - Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training


Suicide is currently one of the most significant public health issues in this region and is often a complication associated with a number of mental health problems. Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST) supports a primary health care model, providing help to persons at risk of suicide as early and as quickly as possible. It is a nationally recognised programme designed to recognise and successfully treat individuals presenting with suicide ideation and/ or suicide intent.


ASIST is essentially triage at the front line of care giving, by providing front line caregivers with similar lifesaver intervention skills to review suicide risk and provide safe planned support until a connection is made to a more specialized resource. ASIST also provides a common language in which interventions follow a standardised model and comprehensive risk review framework. This provides a common language to foster understanding and communication between mental health providers. It is anticipated that mental health students on completion of the course will present seminars to their colleagues in other Branches.


All students now successfully undertaking Mental Health Nursing will leave the University with an academic award, a professional award and an ASIST certificate.


2.1.2.3.3 Learning Disability Nursing


Makaton


Makaton is an internationally recognised communication programme used in more than 40 countries worldwide. Most Makaton users are children and adults with a learning disability who need it as their main means of communication, but everyone else who shares their lives will also use Makaton.


Used in the UK for more than 25 years, the Makaton Vocabulary is a well established language programme for encouraging and developing communication, using speech, signs and written symbols.

Originally part of a research project, Makaton was devised by Speech and Language Therapist, Margaret Walker MBE, in response to the practical need for a communication system for a group of people with communication and learning difficulties and their carers. Now administered by a charitable trust (The MVDP), all the proceeds from the publications and training provided goes towards the creation of new materials and vocabulary selections for the ever widening group of users.

So popular and widely used is Makaton that it is the chosen communication method for a wide variety of documents, including The Patient's Charter and The Mental Health Act.

Though students have always been introduced to this communication programme, this curriculum will offer a fully certificated course in Makaton. This will take the form of a two-day workshop delivered by a licensed Makaton Tutor.


All students now successfully undertaking Learning Disability Nursing will leave the University with an academic award, a professional award and a Makaton certificate.


2.1.2.3.4 Children’s Nursing


Inter-Professional Education


Inter-Professional Education within the Children’s Branch Programme enhances the motivation of nursing and medical students to collaborate by enabling them to have productive learning relationships.


An inter-professional learning environment provides students with the opportunity to learn about their own and other professional roles and responsibilities in the care and treatment of children. Students are encouraged to reflect on how this knowledge impacts on their ability to work as members of the team.

The Inter-Professional Programme involves second and third year nursing students and fourth year medical students. Designated hospitals involved in the programme are: Altnagelvin, Antrim, Coleraine, Daisy Hill, the Ulster Hospital, and the Musgrave and Allen Wards within the Royal Belfast Hospital for Sick Children (RBHSC). Each unit has a co-ordinator from nursing and one from medicine who ensure that students have appropriate levels of guidance and support.


The provision of learning opportunities is equally applicable for both student groups and complements each profession’s unique learning objectives. Shared learning may vary between hospitals, but core activities include ward rounds, ward based teaching by nursing and medical mentors, collaborative assessment of child/ family needs and participation in specified care interventions. Learning experiences may be presented as the medical student’s study, which is submitted for formal assessment, and in the nursing student’s Reflective Commentary which is formally assessed.


The interdisciplinary approach to care of the child and family is woven throughout the Children’s Branch Programme.

2.1.2.4.5 E-Learning


Queen’s On-line (QOL) has provided a new and exciting opportunity to more fully incorporate e-learning into the course. E-learning is defined by the Institute of IT Training as “The delivery of learning with the assistance of interactive, electronic technology, whether off-line or on-line”, and includes the internet technologies such as email, web pages and conferencing, along with computer based management systems such as virtual reality environments. This mode of delivery has obvious benefits for students as it makes full or part-time study feasible for a great many. The technology is not a replacement for face to face lectures, tutorials or seminars, nor is it a shortcut to digests of downloadable course material. For this curriculum, e-learning is defined as “learning facilitated and supported through the use of information and communication technologies” (LTSN Generic Centre, 2002).


Due to the nature of nursing, it is envisaged that e-learning will form part of the enhanced classroom model or blended approach. Within the University there is a comprehensive e-learning strategy which will provide guidance to the School in the development of learning and teaching strategies. The School will make use of the provision of the University’s established ICT infrastructure to support the delivery and assessment of e-learning. Staff within the School with a particular interest or expertise will be encouraged to contribute to the further development of the infrastructure in order to meet the e-learning needs of students and staff. Courses for staff development are provided by Central University’s. This approach to e-learning offers student’s individual empowerment with greater control over learning. It increases flexibility over the time, place and mode of study, and makes resources, peer and tutor group interaction, and the centralised pastoral and academic support services more accessible. It enables interactive, independent learning and supports traditional teaching methods. To succeed in e-learning, students must have adequate computer skills. These skills include basic computer operation, file management, web browsing and email operation. Based on computer needs assessment, a general technology review will be carried out at commencement of the course.


For teaching staff, e-learning helps keep them in touch with relevant technological and subject specific advances, while identifying and sharing best practice in curriculum design, teaching, learning and assessment. On-line technology offers unprecedented and managed access to learning materials including research resources, thus enabling sophisticated collaborations with a diverse range of partners. E-learning in its broadest sense includes activities whereby students learn and are taught by assessing remote information or by interacting with on-line experts. The curriculum will use the following technologies to assist students to:


  • Gain access to module information, such as: contact details, the module handbook, learning outcomes, reading materials and methods of assessment, including submission/ examination dates. Support for students to use this system is available and encouraged;

  • Download and print electronic resources, e.g. timetables, notes and presentations, and, where appropriate, use hyperlinks to other web-based sources;

  • Search for and retrieve information on the World Wide Web and locate intranet references in bibliographic systems, on-line databases and e-journals;

  • Engage in on-line tutorials and discussions. This is set to further develop;

  • Submit plans of work electronically;

  • Present and communicate information to teaching staff. Ultimately the School is working towards electronic submission of assignments (alongside hard copy) and is currently working with central University on an electronic anti-plagiarism pilot scheme;

  • Assess and evaluate elements of the course on-line;

  • Undertake on-line tests, examinations and assessments;

  • Communicate via email and QOL;

  • Access support from teaching and other staff;

  • Access on-line information relating to clinical areas.


Currently much of the above is in operation; however, on-line assessment raises serious security issues. For this reason, on-line security is maintained through close collaboration with the University’s IT services to ensure that large groups of students are treated in a safe, fair and equitable manner. However, there is a commitment within the School towards exploring and developing these initiatives during the life of this curriculum. This development will happen incrementally, and will eventually become established practice throughout the School.

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