A nursing remedy

March 7, 1997

I HAVE followed two seemingly separate issues with interest: the debate on the merits of nurse education's wholesale arrival into higher education establishments (THES, February 14) and the teaching skill or otherwise of university lecturers.

Nurse and midwifery education is by and large new to the rigours of academe and many schools of nursing were not adequately prepared for the changeover. But having arrived, most schools are rising to the challenge. Nurse educationists are qualified teachers and have had to take a recognised teaching qualification. This is registered with our professional body, the United Kingdom Central Council for nursing, Midwifery and Health Visiting.

Thus, while it is never possible to account for individuals, nurse educationists are experienced lecturers who have some considerable understanding of the pedagogical nuances in utilising quality teaching methods in an appropriate and creative mode.

Surely when collaboration is so in vogue there is a tremendous opportunity here for colleagues in neighbouring faculties to help each other develop whichever skills they most lack. Higher education establishments should look to their new nursing colleagues as not the weak link in the chain but as a body of people with expertise into which they can tap.

Patricia Osborne School of nursing and midwifery University of Glamorgan

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