Nursing Studies

Exploring the experiences of student nurses working in care homes

The aim of this project is to understand the attitudes, experiences and learning needs of student nurses in relation to care home nursing and develop the Nursing Studies curriculum accordingly.

Project title: Exploring the attitudes and learning needs of student nurses in relation to care home nursing

There is a crisis in recruitment and retention of nurses in care homes. In the United Kingdom there are 450,000 care home beds, three times that of people in hospital beds; yet student nurses receive the majority of their clinical placement learning in hospitals. There is a perception that working in care homes it is a less skilled branch of nursing and a lower status career. This is despite the care home population having increasingly complex care needs relating to the combination of multimorbidity and dementia. If the future nursing workforce is to be equipped and inspired to meet the nursing needs of an ageing population, care home nursing needs to become a core part of the pre-registration curriculum and recognised as a positive career choice. 

We have conducted 8 focus group with 36 student nurses from Years 1 to 4. The intentions of this project is to use the findings to:

  • Co-produce the development of the new Bachelor of Nursing with Honours curriculum.
  • Inform the Lothian Teaching/Research-Based Care Centre of Excellence (Usher Institute).
  • Share the findings with Queen Margaret University and Edinburgh Napier; and, with relevant disciplines in the University of Edinburgh eg. Medicine and Social Work

The project team

Professor Tonks FawcettProfessor of Student Learning University of Edinburgh

Dr Julie WatsonResearch Fellow University of Edinburgh

Jo Hockley, Research Fellow University of Edinburgh

Dr Sarah J.RhynasTeaching Fellow, Lecturer University of Edinburgh