Critical exploration of the role of the nurse lecturer in practice situated within an existing Higher Education Institution and NHS partnership

Research output: Working paper


The concepts and constructs of partnership and collaboration are increasingly becoming embedded critical success factors which influence the education of nurses from within the practice setting. Adopting a partnership and collaborative approach is congruent with professional and political policy whereby the symbolic message is that working together is essential; and that there is an expectation of interdependency rather than autonomy when developing the nurse workforce and nursing. The aim of this thesis is to critically explore the role of the nurse lecturer in practice situated within a HEI and NHS (practice-education) partnership. The thesis is structured in two sequential phases. Phase One combines into a unique conceptual framework the key role, partnership and collaboration concepts and constructs required to effectively situate the nurse lecturers practice role within the practiceeducation partnership. Phase Two adopts the single and embedded case study approach to examine the nurse lecturer role operating within an existing HEI and NHS partnership (one School of Nursing and a sample of its partner practice healthcare organisations) and examines the application of the conceptual framework to practice. The case study is located in a qualitative-interpretive paradigm, with the researcher capitalising on the concept of insider research due to the conduction of the study within her own School of Nursing. A blend of theoretical, purposive and typical case sampling techniques combined with stakeholder analysis and influence mapping provides an opportunity to examine the nurse lecturer roles from the multiple perspectives of key stakeholders (i.e. nurse lecturer, student, education manager, mentor, and practice education facilitator. Adopting an inductive content analysis approach to data collection and analysis ensures that coding categories are derived directly from the qualitative data. The following four themes are reported on: clarity, compelling reasons and defining role expectations; right people and role conformity; communication; and leadership, review and role development. The thesis concludes with the firm understanding that exposure to clinical practice is a fundamental requirement to the overall existence of the nurse lecturer's role. The evidence in support of this statement is generated from the multi- stakeholder perspectives at the case study site, contemporary professional requirements, evidence generated from undertaking the literature reviews and reviewing historical background evidence. However, new frameworks and models are required to effectively situate the nurse lecturer's role within the practice-education partnership and provide a platform for any subsequent role negotiation. Application of the role, partnership and collaboration conceptual framework to the existing practice-education partnership provides the evidence of the best partnership and collaboration processes and conditions. This enables the nurse lecturer to engage more effectively within the practice setting and best contribute towards the aims and compelling reasons for the partnership. Best partnership conditions include: ? Utilising the aims and compelling reasons for the partnership as the catalyst to define the emergent practice role and then negotiate the role to be performed with key stakeholders from within the partnership ? Promote the development of relationships, strong leadership skills and communication and use as the vehicle to bridge the gap between the current purpose of the role and any future role expectations identified by the range of key stakeholders ? Implement strategies to contest the traditional expectations of the role and instead favour non-conformity to deal with role strain and to introduce a state that promotes role creativity and flexibility ? Develop the communication that compliments the aims and compelling reasons for the partnership ? Develop robust leadership structures to lead the development of the practice role Policy and practice recommendations include the need to retain the healthcare setting as a compulsory component of the nurse lecturer's role. The role should be partnership specific, not determined by a prescriptive and restrictive nationally generated role, but a scenario where the nurse lecturer has role clarity and is provided with regular feedback given in a structured manner, and the role monitored and measured against identified success criteria.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherUniversity of Salford
Publication statusPublished - 30 Jul 2012


  • Thesis


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