Support and supervision in practice: nursing

As an NMC mentor, you are a nurse or midwife who holds a current registration and has successfully completed an NMC approved Mentor Preparation Programme.

This is a key role in the support and development of students in training. It is important that students are supervised by mentors who are positive role models and who embrace the values of the NHS constitution. The quality of mentorship will very often determine the quality of a student's placement experience. It is your role to maintain professional credibility and to ensure you are working with your students for 40% of their placement time. You will also oversee students' development through continual feedback and support.

Sign Off Mentor
Sign off mentors are identified by management within the Healthcare Organisation/Independent sector and supported by Anglia Ruskin University. Sign-off mentors are responsible for the final period of assessment in practice before a student from any field can be put forward to register with the NMC. All Return to Practice nurses, on an ARU course approved by the NMC, must also be supervised by a Sign Off mentor who will confirm the Return to Practice student can be put forward for readmission to the NMC register. In order to become a sign off mentor there are key criteria that must be followed. Sign-off mentors need to go through an internal review within their own employer to ensure that they are on the local live mentor register, have been updated by attending a Mentor Update session and have been supervised while mentoring a final year student on 3 occasions by an existing sign-off mentor or Practice Teacher.

Sign-off mentors will be given protected time by their employer, a minimum of 1 hour per week, to review specific practice documentation and see where, and how, students have progressed on their course in relation to practice based competencies. Only sign-off mentors who are on the same part of the NMC Register and in the same field of practice as the student can confirm whether a student is fit for practice and can be put forward for a recordable qualification on the NMC Register.

Education Champions and the link team
Education Champions are Anglia Ruskin University academics who play a key role in establishing and maintaining effective communication links between the University, the clinical provider and other stakeholders such as Health Education East of England. Education champions are supported in their role by a team of link tutors, who are academics from the University supporting the pre-registration nursing course.

Each Trust/Organisation has an Education Champion who is the key point of contact between that Trust/Organisation and the University to ensure the quality of the student practice learning experience. In addition, with support from the link tutors, they co-ordinate the educational audit process and chair the Practice Education Committee meetings every two months with the key education leads from your organisation. These meetings follow a standard agenda and include a review of student and mentor evaluations as well as external reviews such as the CQC.

Education Champions work closely with the Healthcare Organisation/Independent Sector Education Lead to provide support such as drop-in surgeries, student forums and oversee the link tutor support of students in the practice area. Their contact details can be found at the top of this page.

Director of Health and Social Care Practice
The Director of Health and Social Care Practice is a senior academic who works with all stakeholders and commissioning bodies to support, maintain and further develop high quality practice learning opportunities for students.

Practice Team
The role of the Practice team is to manage and co-ordinate student placements for Anglia Ruskin University and the University of Essex. They play a vital role which includes:

  • Allocating students to the relevant audited clinical areas applicable to the stage of the programme
  • Disseminating student nurse allocation information to a designated member of staff within the clinical areas
  • Collating ward returns and monitoring student attendance including sickness and absence
  • Working in partnership with Mentors, Clinical Managers, Education Champions, Personal/Link Tutors, Trust/Healthcare Organisation Education Lead regarding placement issues