Practice Education

The purpose of this Guideline is to provide evidence-based recommendations that promote and sustain the undergraduate nursing student’s application of knowledge to practice in a variety of clinical learning environments. The Guideline explores the relationships among and between students and nursing educators, nursing staff, preceptors, and diverse health-care team members, and it considers their influence on the quality of practice education, professional socialization, and nursing excellence. The recommendations will help nurse educators, preceptors, staff nurses, and other members of the interprofessional health-care team better understand how to foster and support effective teaching and learning strategies in a variety of practice settings, as well as how they can advocate for change. The context of the Guideline is framed within the system of interaction amongst educational institutions, service agencies and policy-makers, with specific recommendations for each entity. However, educational institutions and service agencies involved in implementing this Guideline will find that many of the recommendations are applicable to both entities and require collaborative efforts between the two.

This Guideline has been developed to identify and describe best practices in practice education for the undergraduate nursing student in order to ensure that nurses entering practice meet competencies related to safe, ethical and effective practice (Canadian Nurses Association, 2004). While the term undergraduate nursing student is used throughout the recommendations, this Guideline will also be applicable for practice education planning and implementation in college programs for registered practical nurses. The scope of this Guideline, however, excludes the following topic areas:

specific practice education curricula within educational programs and how it influences readiness to practise,
graduate or doctoral-level nursing students,
accreditation standards,
classroom theory, and
specific recommendations for how to develop programs for students with academic accommodation needs.
These areas have been excluded because they tend to include their own unique framework and guiding principles that require specific considerations beyond the scope of this Guideline.

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