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Review of Models of Employment for Nursing Roles which Bridge Practice and Education:A Report for NHS Education for\ud Scotland

By James Buchan, Fiona O'May and L Little


This review was conducted for NHS Education for Scotland. It investigates the literature pertaining to different models of contractual employment for nurses that ‘bridge’ practice and education in order to identify the evidence base and current practice in other countries. The specific context for the review was the development of clinical education career pathways in Scotland as part of Modernising Nursing Careers (MNC) initiative. The objectives were to review the literature on evaluation, and on reported strengths and weakness of different models of employment/deployment of nurses in practice/education roles, to provide a typology of the key characteristics of these different roles – where possible to include job\ud descriptions, types of contractual employment (e.g. fixed term, open ended, joint appointment, sessional etc.); employment status; work location(s) etc. and to highlight examples of such roles in different health systems.\ud Areas explored in the review included models of employment, career structure, and role content of nurses in these roles. In practice the review of published material highlighted that the literature did not enable all the\ud objectives to be met in detail- in particular there is little published evidence on types of employment contracts etc. This may be because much of the publicly available literature is written from an educational delivery perspective rather than from a workforce/HR perspective. Supplemental information on this issue was obtained from contacts in other countries- notably Canada and New\ud Zealand- to provide relevant background information.\ud The Practice Education Facilitator (PEF) is one recent NHS Scotland role which aims to support mentors and mentorship in the clinical areas, helping develop and promote those areas as learning environments (NES, 2007). The\ud PEF is just one type of role that bridges between practice and education. The types and roles of personnel used to bridge the ‘practice-education gap’, or ‘practice-theory gap’, their places of practice, and conditions of employment\ud vary widely throughout the world. This review examines some of these roles, with the objective of examining strengths and weaknesses associated with different models of employment/deployment, with a view to informing NHS\ud Education for Scotland (NES)

Publisher: NHS Scotland
Year: 2009
OAI identifier:

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