Investigating The Implementation of a Collaborative Learning in Practice Model of Nurse Education in a Community Placement Cluster: A Qualitative Study

The Open Nursing Journal 16 Apr 2020 RESEARCH ARTICLE DOI: 10.2174/1874434602014010039



Attracting new graduate nurses to work in the community is problematic, and this has contributed to shortages in this sector in the United Kingdom and internationally. This paper reports the findings of a pilot study to implement Collaborative Learning in Practice in one region of the United Kingdom, which was intended to increase placement capacity, introduce students to this sector, and accelerate their learning and development of key skills and behaviors.

Study Aim:

To investigate the views of student nurses and the staff supporting them on placement about their experiences of implementing Collaborative Learning in Practice.


We conducted four focus group interviews between winter 2018 and spring 2019, with 31 staff and students in two English counties in the South West of England. These were transcribed and analysed using the Framework Method; themes were discussed and agreed by the research team.


Three themes emerged: Peer support, which concerned the benefits of being in placement with other students; Developing and learning, which was about the acquisition of skills including leadership; and Organisation, which related to issues and concerns involved in the preparation and daily management of the collaborative learning in practice experience.


Some positive aspects were reported, particularly in relation to hospice and General Practice Nursing placements. Most clear was the supportive potential for peer learning fostered by Collaborative Learning in Practice. Less positive aspects were the potential for horizontal violence and some aspects of nursing home experiences. We believe more work needs to be done to make nursing homes an attractive option for students and new graduates, and regarding visual materials for pre-placement preparation.

Keywords: Collaborative Learning in Practice, Community nursing, Focus groups, Thematic analysis, Undergraduate nursing students, Nurse education.
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