Your Role in Supporting and Assessing Overseas Nurses

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

The mentor's responsibilities when working with learners
As a mentor, it is important to ensure that students:

  • Are supernumerary
  • Are on the duty rota for health and safety reasons
  • Actively engaged in hands on delivery of care as appropriate
  • Have a named mentor who is available for a minimum of 40% of the time

At the same time, we do acknowledge that learners have responsibilities. These are clearly stated in their practice assessment booklets.

The mentor's role in the learner assessment
The assessment process must contain the following stages:

Supporting the failing learner
Occasionally, overseas nurses do not meet the required standard and it is necessary to fail them. In this event, it is important that they know why they have not met the pass criteria and that they have been given an opportunity to improve at the formative stage. It is therefore essential to:

  • Have robust and transparent processes in place
  • Investigate why your learner may be having difficulties
  • Compile comprehensive documentation as evidence
  • Use support networks
  • Pick up problems early
  • Use Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Timely, (SMART) objectives
  • Set clear review dates
  • Make clear action plans

See below document for an example of a completed action plan

Cause for Concern
If concerns still continue following the review of an action plan, it is important to fill in a 'Cause for Concern' form which you will find in the learner's practice portfolio.

This form must not be removed from the document. For an example of this and the process to follow please see the Flow Chart document on the homepage. It is important that you have discussed your concerns with the student and supported his/her development with an action plan before completing the Cause for Concern form. Exceptions to this are when there is a serious untoward incident when the HEI must be informed immediately and a Cause for Concern form completed. Constructive feedback is essential for student development. Do not wait for formative or summative stages to inform a learner of your concerns.

It is essential that evidence is provided to support your concern when submitting a 'Cause for Concern' form to your education champion.