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An examination of children's nurse mentor experiences of undertaking assessment at sign-off stage

Flynn, AS


AS Flynn


T Williamson


The thesis presents an examination of children’s nurse mentor experience of undertaking assessments at sign-off stage. There is a need to determine student nurse competence and competencies throughout preparatory training and pre-registration nursing students are supported by mentors or other suitably prepared supervisors (NMC, 2006; 2008a). Sign-off mentors (SOMs) were introduced by the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) in order to strengthen mentorship. In the nursing profession, SOMs support and assess students who are undertaking their final practice learning experience to confirm the student nurse as either having achieved, or not, the practice requirements necessary in order to enter the professional register (NMC, 2008a, 2010a; 2010b).
The area of nurse SOM experiences in the assessment of pre-registration students at the end of the nurse training programme has received little attention. Using an interpretivist, qualitative, case study research approach the experiences of twelve children’s nurse sign-off mentors in the North West of England have been explored and analysed. Data was collected from individual and focus group interviews and analysed using thematic analysis.

The study identified six key themes which were: professional responsibility and development; expectations of students undertaking their final practice learning experience; previous mentor decisions; the need for sign-off mentor support following difficult decisions; experiences of passing and failing students and the physical impact of undertaking the sign-off mentor role. Findings from this study provide new insight and understanding of children’s nurse SOM experiences. There was no evidence children’s nurse sign-off mentors were failing to fail students.

This study is important to those interested in the assessment of student competency including: mentors and sign-off mentors, employers, educators, patients, policy makers and researchers.


Flynn, A. An examination of children's nurse mentor experiences of undertaking assessment at sign-off stage. (Thesis). University of Salford

Thesis Type Thesis
Deposit Date Jun 5, 2017
Publicly Available Date Jun 5, 2017


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