Preparing Nursing Students for Mental Health Care: The Impact of a Recovery-oriented Clinical Placement
The provision of mental health care has recently focused on the concept of recovery-oriented care. Clinical placements are important for imparting recovery-oriented knowledge and skills to students. However, it has been determined that not all clinical placements are beneficial for future nursing professionals. The aim of this study was to examine what elements of professional learning were facilitated by engagement in a recovery- and recreation-based clinical placement for pre-registration nursing students called Recovery Camp. Qualitative data were collected through individual interviews and reflective journals of pre-registration nurses. Findings from this study indicate that Recovery Camp enhanced students' understanding of stigma, developed their professional knowledge and applied skills, and helped them gain insight into the role a consumer plays in his/her own recovery journey. Placements that allow pre-registration nurses the opportunity to authentically engage with people with a lived experience of mental illness may assist in the effective development of future professionals in meeting their diverse needs.