Search skillsforcare.org.uk


Supporting nursing students to #KeepLearning

21 Feb 2024

3 min read

Claire Leenhouwers

  • Learning and development
  • Nursing

Claire Leenhouwers, National Professional Lead – Nursing, Фڱس, discusses the work Фڱس has been doing to provide guidance around social care nursing placements and support student nurses to #KeepLearning.

Since joining Фڱس at the end of 2023, one of the projects I’ve been involved with is publishing guidance around the development of social care nursing placement opportunities.

We also delivered a webinar as part of our around the same subject.

Social care nursing placements are something I’ve been passionate about for a long time, having come from working in a higher education institution as a senior lecturer in mental health nursing.

There are factors impacting on the under-utilisation of social care placements by higher education insitutions, not least the lack of infrastructure in place to support and manage these placements.

However, we know there’s an appetite from all key partners engaged in nursing recruitment for this to change.

At Фڱس we’re committed to ensuring social care nursing placements are recognised and valued for the wealth of opportunities they offer students and staff, as learning is a two-way process.

In line with the a nursing or nursing associate student will require both supervision and assessment of their practice whilst in a practice setting.

For some social care placement providers, availability of staff to provide this can be a challenge. However, what might not yet be known is who can provide this supervision and who can assess.

The NMC have recently updated their guidance to state that . This opens opportunities in social care for areas where a registered manager may not be qualified as a nurse. Assessment is provided by either a registered nurse for student nurses or registered nurse or nursing associate for student nursing associates in the practice learning environment.

Where areas have been hosting students, and continue to do so, the benefits they’ve experienced as a result of this have been plentiful. Hosting students offers both supervisors and assessors the opportunity to develop their own skills and knowledge as Gail Goddard (RGN) Practice Assessor and Deputy Manager at Belvidere Nursing Home identified within the guidance.

She highlighted that placements mean that student nurses can share the latest practice and new ideas with organisations. They also provide an opportunity to showcase the variety of experiences available in social care nursing to nursing students.

Ann Marston whose student placement was with Gail is now registered as a mental health nurse and went on to work for Belvidere Court Nursing Home after being with them for her first placement, in the first year of her nursing degree.

She highlighted that before starting her first placement she didn’t know what to expect from a nursing role withing a nursing home. The placement provided her with a range of tasks supporting people with different needs including challenging behaviour, mental health, dementia and end of life care.

After her third year as a student she was offered a job with Belvidere and has said that the continued support from the team has built her confidence as she adapts to her new role as a registered nurse.

We know recruiting and attracting nurses into social care can be a challenge, so offering placements increases the possibility of finding your next great nurse.

For existing staff, having the opportunity to develop their own skills in assessing and supervising students provides ongoing professional and career development which we know helps in retention. There’s so much to be gained from hosting students not least in that it opens up a world of opportunity that many student nurses and nursing associates may not ever know existed, had they not had the opportunity to step through the door.


Discover more about social care nursing.

Find more information to #KeepLearning.

Why learning and development matters to me

Brighton and Hove uses LGBTQ+ Learning Framework to examine EDI improvements