Nursing Student Support in Practice from September 2019

The Nursing & Midwifery Council (NMC) are introducing new Standards for Student Support and Assessment (SSSA) and these will be in place for University of York students from September 2019 onwards. 

What will the changes mean for mentorship?

  • NMC SLAiP standards will cease to apply
  • The term ‘mentor’ will no longer be used and the traditional role of a mentor will change
  • The sign-off mentor role will cease to exist in its current form
  • Practice learning and support of students will officially be the responsibility of every registered practitioner, as stipulated in the NMC Code (2015)
  • The 40% mentor- student contact requirements will be removed
  • Triennial review will no longer be a requirement
  • Other registered professionals (non-nurses/midwives) will participate in the supervision of students.

How will students be supported in practice from September 2019?

New roles will exist to support students in the practice setting:

Practice Learning Co-ordinator

  • Promotes a quality practice learning environment
  • Ensures students are allocated to a Practice Supervisor on each shift
  • Acts as a point of contact for Practice Supervisors and Practice Assessors
  • Actively supports students and addresses their concerns.

Practice Assessor

  • Receives feedback from Practice Supervisors / Service Users on student performance
  • Observes aspects of student’s practice periodically over the placement
  • Undertakes and records summative assessment
  • Communicates and collaborates with Academic Assessor to agree student progression.

Practice Supervisor

  • Identifies student’s learning needs at the beginning of each shift and sets a realistic goal to achieve these
  • Seeks learning opportunities to support student to achieve skills and practice learning outcomes
  • Uses coaching skills / skilful questioning to support student learning
  • Collects and documents evidence of student performance
  • Provides verbal and written formative feedback to student
  • Discusses student’s performance with Practice Assessor.

Academic Assessor

This is a Higher Education Institution role. The Academic Assessor will discuss and agree student progression with the Practice Assessor.

Registered practitioners will be prepared for their roles in supervising/assessing students and will be required to keep these skills up to date and evidence this through the revalidation process. It is possible to be a practice supervisor and a practice assessor – but not for the same student. All universities in the region will use the same Practice Assessment Document in 2020 for nursing students.

What remains the same in terms of student supervision in practice?

  • Students will remain supernumerary and require the support of a registered practitioner on each shift
  • Induction, learning contracts, mid-point (formative) assessment, action plans and summative assessment will continue
  • Students will receive continuous feedback to inform their progress
  • The cause for concern process will continue to apply.

Further information

Our practice learning link lecturers Emily Hemmings, Sheila Brocklehurst and Wumi Ajayi can answer any questions you have on the new standards and provide you with further information.