There are still weaknesses in the practical skills of newly graduated nurses. There is also an escalating pressure on existing clinical placements due to increasing student numbers and structural changes in health services. Innovative educational practices and the use of tools that might support learning are sparsely researched in the field of clinical education for nursing students. This paper reports on an action research study that promoted and investigated use of The Model of Practical Skill Performance as a learning tool during nursing students’ clinical placement. Clinical supervisors and two cohorts of nursing students placed in a hospital setting shared their experiences on the use of the model in six focus group interviews. Data was also generated through the supervisors’ reflective logs. The model was viewed as highly applicable in the planning of learning situations as well as during practice, performance and formative assessment of practical skills learning. It provided a common language about practical skills and enhanced the participants’ understanding of professionalism in practical nursing skill. In conclusion, the model helped to highlight the complexity in mastering practical skills, afforded help in sequencing a learning process that supported the novice, and contributed to a more nuanced feedback by supervisors.
Nurse Education in Practice, 2012, Vol 13, Issue 3, p. 176-80