Posted Wednesday 13 March 2013
The Director of Nursing from Health Education England - the new national organisation leading education, training and workforce development across the healthcare system - has visited the Faculty of Health, Social Care and Education to see some of the pioneering work being undertaken to recruit high calibre nursing students.
In his recent report into failings of care at the Mid Staffordshire NHS Trust, Robert Francis QC emphasised the need for universities to select nursing students who were intelligent, caring and had a strong desire to care for others. Dr Lisa Bayliss-Pratt visited the Faculty, run by Kingston University and St George's, University of London, last month to see how its new approach to interviewing potential students was helping identify those with the empathy, honesty and integrity needed to enter the caring profession.
Dr Bayliss-Pratt heard how candidates applying to study nursing at Kingston and St George's were invited to take part in a series of role-plays as part of the application process. Called multiple mini-interviews, the six scenarios are designed to enable recruiting lecturers to see how potential students respond in different situations. The role-plays allow candidates to exhibit their communication skills, team working ability and their potential for leadership, as well as empathy, ethical insights and integrity.
Dr Bayliss-Pratt watched a mock interview, and even had a go at assessing the potential student's performance. "I found it very helpful to learn more about how Kingston and St George's are focusing on recruiting students with the right values," she said. "This is something Health Education England will be looking to do at all levels of our own organisation, alongside developing processes for NHS employers to use to test the values and behaviours of potential employees."
As well as taking part in the mock interview, Dr Bayliss-Pratt also visited the nursing skills lab where she met first year nursing students working with lecturers and volunteer service users. This simulated learning environment gives trainee nurses the chance to put what they learn in in to practice and get feedback.
Dr Julia Gale, Head of the School of Nursing, said Dr Bayliss-Pratt's visit had given staff and students real confidence in the work they were doing. "This was a great opportunity to showcase our growing expertise in values-based recruitment and Dr Bayliss-Pratt seemed to be really impressed with what she saw," Dr Gale said. "We have used multiple mini-interviews as part of the selection process for pre-registration nursing since 2011, so it's really reassuring for staff to hear that these types of tools are increasingly being adopted as best practice across the sector."