Support and supervision in practice: Specialist Community Practice (District 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.

Mentors are required to attend an annual update and complete a triennial review to enable them to remain live on their healthcare organisation's (HCO) register of live practice teachers/mentors. To enable you to mentor a district nursing student for the NMC recordable qualification of specialist practitioner district nursing you must be a qualified district nurse and a sign-off mentor.

Mentors play a key and vital role in the support and development of district nursing students in practice. It is important that students are supervised by qualified district nurses who are also sign-off mentors. Mentors should be positive role models who embrace the values inherent within 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, through working with a student, use your knowledge to supervise, advise and assess the district nursing students.

If you do not hold a NMC mentorship qualification you can still support the development of a district nursing student as long as you are an experienced practitioner, who is a district nurse and hold a current NMC registration.

Personal Tutor
Personal tutors within the community teaching team have been allocated to provide pastoral care to students on the course. Part of this role is to facilitate routine link visits in practice. Each student will be given the opportunity to have a meeting with their personal tutor in the practice arena once each trimester. These contacts will also provide the opportunity for students, practice teachers and mentors to discuss the student's progress with the HEI representative (usually the personal tutor).

Education Champion
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. In addition, 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 personal tutor support of their 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