Developing mentors to support students in practice, supporting students in practice: Evidence-based Practice (4721 words) Summary

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Developing mentors to support students in practice, supporting students in practice: Evidence-based Practice (4721 words)


Evidence-based Practice (EBP) is a feature of contemporary healthcare practice and subsequently is well embedded within preparation programmes for nursing, midwifery and Specialist Community Public Health Nursing (SCPHN) students. This article, the ninth in a series of eleven, seeks to delineate evidence-based practice, whilst discussing the importance and implementation of this approach within the context of the developmental role of mentors and practice teachers, in the preparation of nurses, midwives and SCPHNs. Furthermore, the aim is to provide guidance for both new and established mentors and practice teachers in relation to the domain ‘Evidence-based Practice’ specifically the outcomes for stage 2 Mentor and stage 3 Practice Teacher highlighted within the Nursing and Midwifery Council (2008) ‘Standards to Support Learning and Assessment in Practice’ (SSLAP). The text will be interspersed with these outcomes for mentors and practice teachers where they apply. In addition the activities indicated within this article will provide the opportunity for mentors and practice teachers to develop within their role, but also to generate evidence in order to map this on-going development against the NMC (2008) SSLAP


The Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) code (2015) provides a foundation for safe and effective practice for nurses and midwives within the wider context of ensuring trust, from those to who are receiving care from such practitioners. The code therefore forms the basis of the requirement that all registrants ensure that their knowledge and skills are up to date, in order for them to maintain professional standards. This is a necessity when working within an environment which is forever changing, requiring registrants to evolve to ensure the delivery of high quality care (Ellis 2013). Furthermore at the turn of the century Nicklin and Kenworthy (2000) indicate that due to the advance of information technology, better informed service users will expect interventions based upon good research evidence. As such mentors and practice teachers, have a responsibility to ensure that students are supported in developing their knowledge and skills within this area.

Students are required to work and learn in tandem with registrants within the challenging milieu of professional practice, and this requirement is reflected in the NMC Guidance on professional conduct for nursing and midwifery students (2011); in that students enrolled upon nursing and midwifery programmes are expected to base the care they provide on a best available evidence and best practice approach.

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