Assistant grade nurses and nursing students: a diary study

Mark Gillespie, Ian Rivers

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Little is known about the role of the assistant grade nurse in the clinical development of pre-registration nursing students during their practice placements; even less is known about this relationship in the mental health field.
To explore the relationship between assistant grade nurses and mental health nursing students.
Using a phenomenological approach, diaries of nine participants – three nursing students, three assistant grade nurses and three mentors – helped to inform semi-structured interviews. The data were analysed using interpretative phenomenological analysis.
Students recognised that a substantial percentage of their practice was supervised by assistant grade nurses. There was also a clear connection between assistant grade nurse supervision and the delivery of direct care.
This study has confirmed the existence of a more extensive educational relationship between assistant grade nurses and mental health nursing students than had previously been recognised.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)21-25
Number of pages5
JournalMental Health Practice
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 9 Nov 2017


  • nurse
  • clinical development
  • placement
  • mental health

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