Evaluating ERASMUS: learning from the student experience of placement in Europe
Warn, C. (2010) Evaluating ERASMUS: learning from the student experience of placement in Europe. In: RCN Education Forum Conference 2010, Blackpool, UK, 26-27 February 2010. Available from: http://eprints.uwe.ac.uk/11283
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A student exchange programme was established for nursing students at UWE in 2006. The processes involved in setting up Erasmus (part of the EU Lifelong Learning Programme) will be outlined. Since then several students have seized the opportunity for placement and learning in Norway or Finland as an integral part of their overall pre-qualifying programme. This exchange opportunity contributes to the development of practitioners who are culturally competent and effective (NMC 2004, UWE 2009). Through reflection in focus groups and peer presentation, the intensive and broad learning gained through the student experience has been evaluated to better understand the benefits of such an experience, inform prospective students, and direct both the development of the exchange programme and curriculum. The themes emerging from student evaluation will be explored, namely; self and professional development, confidence and competence, and intercultural skills. This process to establish Erasmus and student evaluation to date will be presented with the objective to inform others interested in developing similar opportunities or to offer comparative knowledge to those sharing similar experiences. To date the integration of Erasmus opportunities into pre-registration nursing curricula has been steady and difficult to identify as nursing activity is recorded within ‘medical sciences’ (British Council 2009). That said, these figures suggest that there is scope for greater activity when considering UK student nurse numbers. Additionally, the need to create an adaptable, more culturally conscious nurse contributes to the rationale to ensure that this opportunity exists as an integral part of UK nurse education. References: British Council (2009) Erasmus [online]. Available from:http://www.britishcouncil.org/Erasmus. [Accessed 1 September 2009]. NMC (2004) Standards of proficiency for pre-registration nursing education. London: NMC. UWE (2009) UWE Vision and Mission [online]. Available from:http://www.uwe.ac.uk/aboutUWE/strategy/vision.shtml. [Accessed 1 September 2009]. Intended Learning Outcomes: 1. To understand the process involved in establishing Erasmus within pre-registration nursing education. 2. To reflect on the outcomes of an evaluation of student experience. 3. To consider both the opportunities inherent within Erasmus for pre-registration nursing education and how these may be further developed.