RETURN TO PRACTICE AND MAINTENANCE OF PROFESSIONAL COMPETENCE PROGRAMME (NURSING) Mentor Handbook

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1 . RETURN TO PRACTICE AND MAINTENANCE OF PROFESSIONAL COMPETENCE PROGRAMME (NURSING) Mentor Handbook Programme Leader: Clare Clarke RTP Mentor Handbook CC/KH Aug 2014

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3 The Programme Team address: University of York The Department of Health Sciences Seebohm Rowntree Building Heslington York YO10 5DD Contact numbers are as follows: Clare Clarke Programme Leader Karen Harper Programme Administrator Trudi Neenan Lecturer in Health Sciences Gillian Punton Lecturer in Health Sciences, Moving and Handling Coordinator Lisa Huyton/Laura Examinations office Arundell Student Information Services Practice Learning Facilitators/Practice Placement Facilitator The PLFs are responsible for supporting the mentor/practice supervisor in practice, to ensure the adequate provision of quality assured placements for the full range of students undertaking educational training within the health care community. Practice Learning Facilitators (PLG)/PPF RTP Mentor Handbook CC/KH Aug 2014 Page 3

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5 Dear Colleague, Thank you for agreeing to be a mentor for a student on the Return to Practice and Maintenance of Professional Competence Programme (Nursing). The programme is compulsory for those who want to re enter professional practice after practicing for fewer than 450 hours in the preceding 3 years. It is optional for those who want to update their competence, but are already on the register. This handbook has been designed to provide you with information about the specific programme requirements and your responsibility as a registered sign off mentor of students on the Return to Practice and Maintenance of Professional Competence Programme (Nursing). It should be read in conjunction with the programme handbook. Although the specific programme requirements differ the process of assessment is the same as for any pre-registration student nurse. Therefore please visit for up to date mentor information and resources. Your support, guidance and assessment are vital to help the student achieve, regain and update the important knowledge and skills a competent registered nurse must have in today s health climate. We hope you find this handbook helpful and would welcome your feedback on its value and on any other aspect of the programme. Please do not hesitate to contact an appropriate member of the Programme Team if you require further information or support regarding any aspect of the programme including the assessment process. Kind regards Clare Clarke Programme Leader/Lecturer University of York The Department of Health Sciences Area 5 Seebohm Rowntree Building Heslington RTP Mentor Handbook CC/KH Aug 2014 Page 5

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7 Welcome to the Return to Practice and Maintenance of Professional Competence Programme (Nursing) and this Mentor Handbook Aims of Return to Practice and Maintenance of Professional Competence Programme (Nursing): To provide those who wish to return to practice and reactivate registration, or those who wish to maintain their competence, the opportunity to identify knowledge and skills deficit and regain competence in both a simulated and actual practice setting. To provide the opportunity to explore professional and contemporary issues relevant to effective and accountable nursing practice. The NMC have set learning outcomes for a Return to Practice Programme (Nursing), which need to be included in an approved programme (NMC, 2011). By the end of the programme, to achieve these learning outcomes at level 6, the student will demonstrate the ability to: 1. Critically analyse the influence of health and social policy relevant to the practice of nursing. 2. Critically examine the requirements of legislation, guidelines, codes of practice and policies relevant to the practice of nursing. 3. Explore the current structure and organisation of care, nationally and locally. 4. Critically analyse current issues in nursing, education and practice. 5. Access and critically appraise relevant literature and research to inform the practice of nursing. 6. Critically reflect on own ability to identify and assess need, design and implement interventions and evaluate outcomes in all relevant areas of practice, including the effective delivery of appropriate emergency care. 7. Utilise and critically apply appropriate communication, teaching and learning skills. 8. Critically reflect on own ability to function effectively in a team and participate in a multiprofessional approach to the care of patients and clients. 9. Identify and critically appraise strengths and weaknesses, acknowledge limitations of competence and recognise the importance of maintaining and developing professional competence. In addition the student must: 1. Demonstrate competence in all the entry to register Standards of Competency and Essential Skills Clusters (ESCs) The student will also be required to undertake a personal learning needs assessment in order to identify their own personal, professional and organisational learning needs, formulate these into learning outcomes and negotiate a learning contract and personal development plan with their registered sign off mentor and personal supervisor. It is therefore expected that the student will gain competence in core skills as well as others to meet personal learning needs and practice requirements. RTP Mentor Handbook CC/KH Aug 2014 Page 7

8 Assessment task Personal Development Plan Formative or Summative (F/S) F Timing of the assessment Normally week 10 Closed Exam S Normally week 16 Reflective Essay S Normally week 18 Assessment S Normally week of Practice 24 Declaration of good health and good character S Normally week 24 Length of examination (hrs) or word count of essay/coursework (as appropriate Contribution to the module mark (summative only) 0% 3 hours 50% 3000 words 50% A minimum of 200 hours over a 6- month period Pass / Fail Pass / Fail No compensation is allowed by the Nursing and Midwifery Council. Compensation between elements of the assessment is not allowed. Students are normally allowed 2 attempts in both theory and practice. On successful completion of both the practice and theoretical components of the programme the student will gain 40 academic credits at level 6 and will be eligible to reregister or remain registered with the NMC and recommence professional nursing practice. Assessment of Practice Guidelines The student is required to complete a minimum of 200 supervised practice hours within a 6 month period of time in an adult or mental health practice setting to demonstrate achievement of competence in practice. The freedom to organise the actual hours and days they will undertake to complete the required hours in practice is essential as the student often has other work and family commitments. However, depending on the student s individual needs and in order to broaden experience they may need to gain a variety of experiences across a range of shift patterns and different areas. Please note: It is important that the student is not asked to work as a registered nurse until they have successfully completed the programme. The student should have supernumerary status in the practice area. However, in order to gain confidence and competence it is important that they actively participate in care planning and delivery, but always under the supervision of their sign off mentor or a registered nurse. Summative Assessment of Practice: Students should be regarded as beginning their progress to competence throughout the programme. By the end of the 6-month period the student must be assessed as competent as any newly registered nurse entering professional practice. However, learning must continue to be consolidated and developed and this requires a commitment on behalf of the RTP Mentor Handbook CC/KH Aug 2014 Page 8

9 student to life long learning and continued professional development. To demonstrate competence in all the Standards of Competency and Essential Skills Cluster for Entry to the Register the student must complete the Continuous Assessment of Practice Document and the required number of hours in practice. The statement of achievement and record of practice hour s sheet must be signed by the registered sign off mentor. Please note: It is not the number of hours spent in practice that is assessed but the level of competency required by the NMC to re-register and recommence professional practice. The 200 hours is a minimum requirement and some students, depending on individual circumstances i.e. years out of practice, will need to spend a far longer period of hours as a supernumery student undergoing supervised practice to achieve the required level of competence. This handbook is to be used by sign off mentors. It is designed to assist in the continuing development of professional nursing practice and will be a useful guide to learning throughout the Return to Practice and Maintenance of Professional Competence Programme (Nursing). Continuous assessment of practice is an integral part of the assessment strategy for preregistration nursing programmes. Successful completion of the practice assessment component is essential for the student s progression to the register. Summative assessment of practice will be carried out by the sign off mentor at the end of their Practice Experience (by week 24 of the programme) using the competency framework and essential skills clusters (ESCs) provided within the Continuous Assessment of Practice documentation. Other staff will contribute to this process. The competency framework has 4 sections: 1. Professional Values 2. Communication and Interpersonal Skills 3. Nursing Practice and Decision Making 4. Leadership, Management and Team-working The template used following each of the competency sections contained within the Continuous Assessment of Practice Document (CAP) will help the student to think about how to record what the students do and learn and how their learning is applied to personal professional practice. This will help the student to complete and record their PREP requirements in the future (Nursing and Midwifery Council [NMC], 2011). It is the student s responsibility to keep the Continuous Assessment of Practice Document secure and up to date. It is their record of essential assessment information and their supervisor or other examiners may ask to see it and discuss its contents. Loss of assessment documentation will create difficulties in verifying achievement. Information to take on placement RTP Mentor Handbook CC/KH Aug 2014 Page 9

10 On days when the student is meeting with their sign off mentor or personal supervisor, if is their responsibility to take supporting evidence to help demonstrate the ways in which they link theory to practice. Additional evidence of development Value of supporting evidence Supporting evidence is important in helping the sign off mentor and personal supervisor to evaluate the student s ability to link theory to practice. Additional evidence of learning and individual development reinforces confidence that the student understands the activities and outcomes of practice and is able to link theory to practice. It contributes to the Department of Health Sciences picture of their progress and may be considered by the Department of Health Sciences if the students progress comes under review. Students are encouraged to gather specific and relevant examples of how they have made links between theory and practice. Volume is not important. Additional evidence must include: Reflective accounts of an experience Case studies Critical analysis of an incident in practice Questions and answers Verbal exchanges Testimony from other appropriately qualified care staff. Analysis of an interaction with a client or carer. Practice related projects. Factual information concerning an aspect of practice which demonstrates student work (e.g. research evidence) Please note students must not: include any stationery from the practice area. No confidential information, care plans or case notes can be removed from the practice area or copied for inclusion as evidence in the portfolio. Base and Spoke Approach to the Practice Experience In order to successfully meet programme requirements and progress to the register the student is required to complete a minimum of 200 hours in practice by week 24 of the programme. The Department of Health Sciences will allocate the student to an audited practice experience with the capacity to facilitate their learning. Base This provides primary field specific practice experience and will provide learning opportunities appropriate to facilitate the achievement of all the Standards of Competence and ESCs for progression to the register. The experience offers opportunity for the student to follow a typical patient / client s journey. RTP Mentor Handbook CC/KH Aug 2014 Page 10

11 Spokes Spoke allocations allow the development of generic and field specific competencies as well as enhancing understanding of the patient / client experience of health care across organisations and agencies. Spoke allocations must provide demonstrable added value to learning consistent with the standards to be achieved. Allocation to spokes will be negotiated locally in the base. It is the student s responsibility to identify the learning outcomes to be achieved and the length of experience required in the spoke, in negotiation with the primary sign off mentor and spoke supervisor. Learning from spoke experiences and time spent must be recorded in the CAP document and signed by the relevant spoke supervisor. Please note: A minimum of 150 hours must be spent in the allocated audited Base Practice Experience. Sign off mentor During the Practice Experience, the Sign off mentor will review the student CAP document, in addition to assessing competence in their area. They will then make a decision about the student s competence during the Practice Experience. They will be assessing the student s fitness to enter the Register and will complete the students Statement of Completion of Practice Requirements for Entry to the Register Forms. Tripartite Meetings A tripartite meeting is to enable the student, sign off mentor and link lecturer / personal supervisor to develop agreed learning contracts for the students practice experience. These should normally occur within the first four weeks of a practice experience Assessment Process The assessment of the students learning is based on a Learning Contract. This is an agreement between the student and your sign off mentor setting out the standards to be achieved based on the experiences available in the Practice Experience. At the end of the Practice Experience, which must be within a 6 month period of time from the start of the programme (by week 24 of the programme), the sign off mentor indicates whether the students progress has been satisfactory (PASS) or not satisfactory (FAIL). The student must have achieved competence in all the Standards of Competence and the ESCs to progress to the Register. Progress Reviews Progress will be reviewed at approximately mid-point of the practice experience, but may be reviewed more frequently at the discretion of the sign off mentor. These are opportunities for the student and the sign off mentor to get together and establish progress. In most cases this will be satisfactory and there is no need to involve anyone else. Concerns about progress If the sign off mentor have concerns about the students progress at any stage on a Practice Experience, they must be raised as soon as possible and formally documented. The Personal Supervisor or Link Lecturer (PLF if appropriate) must also be notified. RTP Mentor Handbook CC/KH Aug 2014 Page 11

12 The Personal Supervisor (or Link Lecturer / PLF) and sign off mentor will meet with the student to agree a statement of Areas Requiring Significant Improvement and the support plan that will help the student achieve the outcomes before the end of the Practice Experience (or in some instances a shorter period). Pass/Fail decisions As noted above, the student must have met all the Standards of Competence and ESCs for progression to the register by week 24 of the programme. In the event of a fail: The student must meet with their personal supervisor, within a week and agree an ACTION PLAN. The student will be given a further period of time in their practice experience to achieve the requirements of the ACTION PLAN. Failure to achieve the requirements of the ACTION PLAN will result in a recommendation of discontinuation from the programme. After the Practice Experience is successfully completed The student should hand the entire Continuous Assessment of Practice Document to Student Information Services, Department of Health Sciences by the submission date published on the Return to Practice and Maintenance of Professional Competence (Nursing) assessment schedule, which is available on the Student Intranet. RTP Mentor Handbook CC/KH Aug 2014 Page 12

13 Escalating Concern Regarding Standards of Practice Student identifies concern about practice Discuss with Mentor/Supervisor and/or Ward/Department Manager No action concern unresolved Concern acted upon Contact Link Lecturer/Personal Supervisor Student reports event and outcome to Link Lecturer/Personal Supervisor Link Lecturer/Personal Supervisor contact placement provider Resolved Unresolved Document Contact Director of Practice Education Contact Senior Management of placement area and investigate Resolved Unresolved Document Contact HEYH RTP Mentor Handbook CC/KH Aug 2014 Page 13

14 Placement Interview Guides Before the placement begins: The student is expected to contact and visit the placement area to discuss the placement rota, which should attempt to maximise the times you will be working together. The student is expected to write a short reflective account of this experience to discuss at the 5 day workshop. At the pre-visit please give the student a copy of your Placement Information Booklet, if you have one. The students on the Return to Practice Programme really appreciate being given information about the placement area either before or early in their placement experience. It assists them in preparing for the placement and allows them to start thinking about the learning opportunities that may be available to them. During the first week of the placement: Meet with the student to discuss the learning contract and to agree what needs to be achieved by the student during the placement. The Initial Interview: The initial discussion should centre on identifying the student s strengths and the areas of practice he/she wants to develop. The student is expected to self assess learning needs before this interview. It is a valuable opportunity to identify and negotiate with the student the most appropriate learning opportunities available as this may help the student to decide which specialty to return to after completing the programme. Some students may start to set goals at this initial meeting. It is important that the student and mentor understand what the student wants and needs to achieve and the support he/she requires. Set the date for the student s intermediate and final placement interviews. It is now expected that the student undertakes at least 100 of the 200 hours during the first 3 months of the programme to ensure there is a fixed point for progress to be reviewed at the mid point interview and should problems or issues arise an action plan can be developed. In reality and depending on the years out of practice, many require far longer reaching the level of competency required by the Nursing and Midwifery Council to reregister and commence professional practice. This information is continually reinforced to the student by the Programme Team. Complete comments and sign the Initial Placement Interview form. Complete practice outcomes when achieved. Feedback and evaluation of the student s knowledge and skills should be ongoing in order to enable the student to develop and learn from experience. RTP Mentor Handbook CC/KH Aug 2014 Page 14

15 Progress Review: Intermediate Interview: An opportunity to monitor progress and skills development. The student should evaluate their own performance and ongoing needs prior to this meeting. There should be general discussion about how the placement is progressing. Encourage the student to identify the various roles that they have seen the mentor performing, and in what circumstances. It will also be useful to encourage the student to talk about the ways in which they have participated in inter-professional working. Review any supporting evidence the student has completed and negotiate the next set of supporting evidence. If there are any serious concerns about the student s progress or suitability to recommence professional nursing practice please contact an appropriate member of the programme team ideally prior to the intermediate interview so that appropriate actions can be taken. An action plan will need to be agreed and recorded with the student, mentor, personal supervisor and / or link lecturer. The Final Interview: The sign off mentor should meet with the student to complete the final interview page together, looking at further evidence of learning where appropriate. Make sure the student s record of placement hours is completed and signed. PASS Based on the evidence documented to date on this student s performance during this Practice Experience and summarised on the final interview sheet, I confirm that the student has PASSED the Practice Experience including the competencies and essential skills clusters for progression to the register. FAIL Based on the evidence documented to date on this student s performance during this Practice Experience and summarised on the final interview sheet, I confirm that the student has FAILED the Practice Experience. Areas for further development should also be identified as it is after completion of the programme that learning is consolidated and developed and this requires a commitment on behalf of the student to life long learning and continuing professional development. The personal supervisor must be informed immediately if the student s progress is NOT Achieved Please note: The student will normally be expected to complete the required number of hours to successfully achieve competency in all the Standards of Competency and Essential Skills Cluster for Entry to the Register within a 6-month period of supervised practice. Return to Practice Students who are unsuccessful and do not achieve the level of competency required by the NMC to re-register or remain on the register may be permitted one further RTP Mentor Handbook CC/KH Aug 2014 Page 15

16 attempt over a period of 3 months unless the reason for failure is related to the individuals professional conduct. Students who are given an additional period of supervised practice and are subsequently unsuccessful may not be permitted a further period of supervised practice. Mentoring at York Remember! Visit the Department of Health Sciences Mentor Page at for other important, up to date information and resources. RTP Mentor Handbook CC/KH Aug 2014 Page 16

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