Conference Publication Details
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Tully, A., Bourke, R., Smyth, S., Hunter, A., Freeman, G., & Scanlon, L.
12th Annual Interdisciplinary Research Conference; Transforming Healthcare through Research, Education and Technology. Trinity College. Dublin
The Integration of Clinical Supervision in a Pre-registration Mental Health Nurse Programme
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THE INTEGRATION OF CLINICAL SUPERVISION IN A PRE-REGISTRATION MENTAL HEALTH PROGRAMME  BackgroundDuring the 2nd Semester of the mental health nursing student’s final year, a 36 week clinical internship is undertaken. This involves students working full time in mental health settings. The students are guaranteed four hours of reflective practice every week. The reflective practice format is similar to models of clinical supervision (CS). The proposal was to formalise this process to benefit the students. Introducing CS at this transitional stage of the students’ career is aimed at increasing their professional development and openness to receiving and delivering CS in the future. In spite of international evidence that CS has an overwhelmingly positive response from nurses, who welcome the structured opportunity to discuss clinical issues, there is still a limited uptake and development of CS amongst MHNs in Ireland.  Aims and Objectives The paper aims to describe the psychiatric student nurses’ experience of partaking in CS during the internship year of the four year Bachelor of Nursing degree programme. MethodFollowing participation in CS for six months, 19 student nurses were interviewed within three focus groups. A semi-structured interview schedule was used to guide the focus group discussions. The study was approved by the University’s Research Ethics Committee.  FindingsThree main themes that were identified from the data were (1) Transitions, (2) Support/sharing and (3) Safety. It is envisaged that the outcomes of the study will assist educators and clinicians who are considering introducing CS in the undergraduate programmes. The findings indicate that CS is a possible strategy, within the internship reflective practice sessions, to complement and enhance the learning experience for preparation for future roles as a MHN.Conclusions and implications Overall, the students greatly valued the experience. They identified many gains from the process, and they advocated for CS to be included as an integral part of the internship experience for future cohorts.
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