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Br J Nurs. 2013 Feb 28-Mar 13;22(4):223-7.

Role modelling and students' professional development.

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  • 1Department of Nursing and Applied Clinical Studies, Canterbury Christ Church University, Kent, UK.


Patients expect to be cared for by nurses who are not only competent but also behave professionally, so students must be educated to develop professional qualities. The Nursing and Midwifery Council stipulates that professional values must underpin education as well as practice (NMC, 2010a). Much has been written on the qualities of an effective role model and the potential barriers to becoming one. This article focuses on preregistration adult nursing education and role modelling, with a slant towards the development of professionalism, as opposed to skills competence. Attention is paid to the identity of students' role models and strategies for role modelling linked to teaching and the curriculum. Practice and academic staff have an equal stake in nurse education; for them to be seen equally as role models, there has to be a partnership approach to that education. Both practice and academic staff are able to exemplify behaviours and attitudes that directly influence the development of professionalism. This article is intended to stimulate discussion within and between nurse educators and practice-based staff about the impact their role modelling has on the development of adult nursing students' professional practice.

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