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Title: The link lecturer's role in undergraduate pre-registration nurse education : explored through policy and practice
Author: MacIntosh, Teresa
Awarding Body: University of Strathclyde
Current Institution: University of Strathclyde
Date of Award: 2013
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The aim of this study was to understand the purpose and objective of the link lecturer role in practice-based learning by comparing policy directive with practical application from the perspective of social learning theory. The link lecturer role in nurse education is governed by the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) mandatory standards to 'support learning and assessment in practice' (SLAiP) (NMC, 2008b). Translating these standards into a workable model of practice to guide implementation can be difficult. Meanwhile, academic literature over several decades reports the link lecturer role as poorly understood in terms of purpose, objective and contribution whilst challenging in terms of protected time allocation. The qualitative study reported in this thesis consisted of a critical review of the NMC SLAiP standards (ibid), and eight focus group interviews; one with nurse lecturers and one with student nurses, on the four sites of one Scottish university. The focus group data wer e initially thematically analysed, then conceptually analysed through communities of practice (CoP) and cognitive apprenticeship lenses. The findings demonstrate a complex relationship between policy and practice that results in the meaning of the link lecturer role continuing to be poorly understood in terms of purpose, objective, identity and contribution to practice-based learning. From the participants' perspective implementation of the role was cumbersome and varied whilst lacking pedagogical focus, efficiency and effectiveness. Meanwhile, duplication of effort was evident between the link lecturer and practice-based PEF and mentor roles as well as the university-based personal lecturer role. A key recommendation and three policy suggestions for the future of the link lecturer role are made. These offer a radical, new and forward thinking approach to supporting practice-based learning. They include abandoning the link lecturer role while strengthening the PEF role with leadership responsibility for practice-based learning. To take the academic profile of the nursing profession forward the nurse lecturer's responsibility is academic leadership and preparation of student nurses for practice. Alternatively if the link role is retained recommendations are made that it is considered critically in terms of mutually understood identity and contribution.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ed.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available