Supporting Mentors and Students in Practice: Who's Who

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This programme is no longer running. For general information on mentoring, please visit our Mentors page.

As an NMC mentor, you are a nurse or midwife who holds a current registration and has successfully completed an NMC approved Mentor Preparation Programme.

This is a key role in the support and development of students in training. It is important that students are supervised by mentors who are positive role models and who embrace the values of the NHS constitution. The quality of mentorship will very often determine the quality of a student's placement experience. It is your role to maintain professional credibility and to ensure you are working with your students for 40% of their placement time. You will also oversee students' development through continual feedback and support.

Sign-off mentors
Sign-off mentors are identified by management within the healthcare organisation/independent sector and supported by Anglia Ruskin University.

Sign-off mentors are responsible for the final period of assessment in practice before a student from any field can be put forward to register with the NMC. In order to become a sign-off mentor, key criteria must be followed. Sign-off mentors need to go through an internal review with their own employer to ensure that they are on the local live mentor register, have been updated by attending a Mentor Update session and have been supervised while mentoring a final year student on three occasions by an existing sign-off mentor or Practice Teacher.

Sign-off mentors will be given protected time by their employer - a minimum of one hour per week - to review specific practice documentation and see where, and how, students have progressed on their course in relation to practice-based competencies. Only sign-off mentors who are on the same part of the NMC Register and in the same field of practice as the student can confirm whether a student is fit for practice and can be put forward for a recordable qualification on the NMC Register.

Education champions
Education champions are Anglia Ruskin University academics who play a key role in establishing and maintaining effective communication links between the University, the clinical provider and other stakeholders such as Health Education East of England.

Our education champions also co-ordinate the educational audit process and chair the Practice Education Committee meetings every two months with the key education leads from your organisation. These meetings follow a standard agenda and include a review of student and mentor evaluations as well as external reviews such as the CQC.

Education champions work closely with the healthcare organisation/independent sector education lead to provide support such as drop-in surgeries, student forums and oversee the personal tutor support of their students in the practice area. Their contact details can be found at the top of this page.

Director of Health and Social Care Practice
The Director of Health and Social Care Practice is a senior academic who works with all stakeholders and commissioning bodies to support, maintain and further develop high quality practice learning opportunities for students.

Personal tutors
These are overseas students' personal and academic tutors. Their name and contact details should be on the front of each student's practice assessment document.

The role of the personal tutor is vital in the progress of the students' journey on the module; the personal tutors act as academic mentors and are fully involved in any personal or disciplinary factors which may impact on students' progress on the module.

Practice Team
The role of the Practice Team is to manage and co-ordinate student placements for Anglia Ruskin University and the University of Essex. They play a vital role which includes:

  • allocating students to the relevant audited clinical areas applicable to the stage of the programme
  • disseminating student nurse allocation information to a designated member of staff within the clinical areas
  • collating ward returns and monitoring student attendance including sickness and absence
  • working in partnership with mentors, clinical managers, education champions, personal/link tutors, and Trust/healthcare organisation education leaders regarding placement issues.