Changing hearts and minds: examining student nurses' experiences and perceptions of a general practice placement through a 'community of practice' lens

LEWIS, Robin and KELLY, Shona (2018). Changing hearts and minds: examining student nurses' experiences and perceptions of a general practice placement through a 'community of practice' lens. BMC medical education, 18 (1), p. 67.

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The recent UK Government paper 'Five year forward view' describes the need to move much patient management from secondary to primary care, and this will require a significant increase in the numbers of General Practice Nurses (GPNs). Until recently, there has been no clear recruitment strategy to address this. There have however been a number of proposed solutions to address the impending GPN recruitment crisis and to increase the numbers of new GPNs in post. General Practitioners (GPs) working in the Advanced Training Practice Scheme (ATPS) have been commissioned by Health Education England to provide placements for student nurses. This paper reports upon the findings of a study evaluating the South Yorkshire ATPS network in relation to nursing students' perceptions of general practice as a placement and a potential career option post-graduation. Data were collected using semi-structured interviews with 18 nursing students. Qualitative data analysis used a framework approach and themes were cross-checked within the team. The research had ethical approval and anonymity and confidentiality were maintained throughout. Using the Communities of Practice (CoP) framework as a theoretical lens, two main themes emerged from the data: 'Myths and misunderstandings' outlined some of the misconceptions that abounded in the absence of an established CoP in general practice. These included perceptions of what constitutes a 'good' placement, an apparent lack of relevant content in the curriculum, and the widespread use of social media by students as a means of information gathering. 'Changing hearts and minds' referred to the need to positively influence the culture within general practice by addressing some of the longstanding myths. Through the fledgling CoP, the students' perceptions of the GPN role in particular were positively revised, as was the prospect of a career in general practice upon graduation. The CoP that is emerging through the ATPS placements appear to be gradually changing the socio-cultural landscape within general practice by enabling student nurses to experience the reality of life in general practice nursing, and to view the GPN role as a viable career option upon graduation.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: ** From PubMed via Jisc Publications Router. ** History: received 16-05-2017; accepted 27-03-2018.
Uncontrolled Keywords: Career choices, General practice, Nurse education, Placements, Workforce
Research Institute, Centre or Group - Does NOT include content added after October 2018: Centre for Health and Social Care Research
Identification Number:
Page Range: p. 67
SWORD Depositor: Margaret Boot
Depositing User: Margaret Boot
Date Deposited: 18 Apr 2018 15:16
Last Modified: 18 Mar 2021 15:18

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