Publication Details

Halcomb, E. J., Peters, K. & Mcinnes, S. (2012). Practice nurses experiences of mentoring undergraduate nursing students in Australian general practice. Nurse Education Today, 32 (5), 524-528.


Internationally, the delivery of health services has shifted from secondary to primary care, necessitating an exponential growth of the nursing workforce and expansion of the nursing role in general practice. This growth, and the subsequent need to develop this workforce, has created a need to expose undergraduate nurses to general practice nursing as a viable career option. Concurrently, universities are struggling to find sufficient clinical places for their undergraduate students to gain clinical experience. It is logical, therefore, to increase the number of undergraduate nursing student placements in general practice. Through qualitative research methods, this paper seeks to explore the experiences of practice nurses mentoring undergraduate students on clinical placements within the general practice setting. Findings are presented in the following three themes: (1) Promoting Practice Nursing: We really need to get students in, (2) Mentoring future co-workers: Patience and reassurance, and (3) Reciprocity in learning: It's a bit of a two way street, which show the benefits of such placements. Clinical placements in general practice settings can be mutually beneficial in terms of providing quality teaching and learning experiences for students. Conversely, the experience provides an impetus for practice nurses to maintain currency of their clinical skills and knowledge through mentoring student nurses.



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