Transition to SCPHN: The effects of returning to student status on autonomous practitioners

Diana Hughes-Morris, Debbie Roberts

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (journal)peer-review


Qualified nurses returning to student status is not well researched within nursing. The aim of the study is to ascertain the effect that returning to student status has on autonomous practitioners embarking on the Specialist Community Public Health Nursing programme. Enabling participants to voice their opinions and be heard aims to provide a greater understanding of the effect that such transition has on individuals. With such insight, those engaged in the preparation of such practitioners, namely lecturers and practice teachers will have a greater appreciation of the impact that returning to student status has—equipping them with heightened awareness for future transition.
A total of 16 participants consisting of school nurses and health visitors took part in this study. The study was designed in two phases, consisting of a demographic questionnaire and a non-directive interview.
Six key themes emerged: initial feelings, effects from academia, effects from clinical, support provision, personal effects and exit feelings. The student title created such a strong feeling of loss highlighting a clear need to retain identity, status and credibility. Coupled with the effects of relinquishing autonomy, one questions and would encourage change in practice when introducing forthcoming students while utilising previous knowledge and skills as a platform for learning.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)234-243
Number of pages10
JournalBritish Journal of School Nursing
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 14 Jun 2017


  • Transition
  • School nursing
  • Career change
  • Student
  • Clinical competence
  • Professional development


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