14 July 2011
A collaborative scheme at the School of Nursing and Midwifery Studies offers nursing and midwifery practitioners valuable development opportunities and also ensures Cardiff students benefit from up-to-the-minute clinical expertise.
Professor Sheila Hunt, Head of School is delighted with the way the scheme is unfolding and says: “We are absolutely clear as to the benefits that clinically credible and leading practitioners in nursing and midwifery can bring to our students and to the School. They are like breath of fresh air, valued, appreciated and warmly welcomed.”
Launched in April 2008, the Associate Lecturer Scheme was developed by the School in collaboration with local health partners in response to key policy guidance on clinical academic careers.
Associate Lecturer opportunities in education and research are offered as secondments to nursing and midwifery practitioners. They undertake a secondment for two days per week for a period of between one and two years. This allows them to participate in teaching, learning, research and scholarly activity whilst remaining in their substantive clinical post. To date 36 opportunities have been undertaken reflecting all the fields of nursing and midwifery practice. 17 are currently on secondment, with four more expected to be recruited in September.
Students meanwhile benefit by learning from and with the broad experiences of active, clinically credible clinicians, seeing them both within the university setting and on clinical placements.
The School also runs a regular programme of Associate Lecturer Masterclasses. Facilitated by the clinical experts, these promote the sharing of best nursing and midwifery practice, education and research for clinicians, academics and postgraduate students.
An evaluative research project titled An Illuminative Evaluation of an Associate Lecturer Scheme indicates that Associate Lecturers have had very positive experiences whilst on secondment.
One Associate Lecturer participant summed up the importance of the role in combining education and practice and so neatly summed up the ethos of the Associate Lecturer Scheme:
"Its getting away from that fact that it isn’t just all about that [practice setting] because what happens here [university setting] is what makes the difference to what happens out there, it’s all interlinked."
‘When they [students] see me working I hope that gives me credibility…I think I do it alright. I think if they see me running the labour ward they know I know what I’m talking about when they come into class."
To coincide with the Cardiff School of Nursing and Midwifery 40th anniversary celebrations in May 2012 an Associate Lecturer Scheme showcase event is being planned. This will be an excellent opportunity to meet with some present and former secondees to hear of their experiences during the secondment and how this has contributed to both their professional development and enhanced their practice.