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6th World Nursing and Healthcare Conference

London, UK

Donovan Jones

Donovan Jones

The University of Newcastle, Australia

Title: Supporting student success through connecting and belonging by using “Link Lecturers”


Biography: Donovan Jones


The importance of developing and sustaining welcoming and supportive academic and clinical environments for students undertaking health care programs is not new (Carolan-Olah & Kruger, 2014). However, the ways in which these environments interrelate and impact on student retention rates, academic success and engender professional belongingness is unclear. This study is exploring the student experience of nursing and midwifery students from the University of Newcastle. Bridging the theory practice gap using the concept of link lecturers (linking the academic context and knowledge with the clinical context and skills) may positively impact on nursing and midwifery students’ academic connectedness, professional belongingness and academic outcomes. Exploring nursing and midwifery students’ sense of connectedness to the academic environment and learning activities as well as the development of a sense of professional belongingness within different models of clinical placement and linked academic support. The study objectives include identification of: • Clinical placement models that best support a sense of professional belonging • Academic practices that best support student learning in the clinical environment • Academic practices that best support student success in the academic environment Improving students’ sense of professional belongingness and student connectedness with their academic environment has the potential to increase student retention rates and success. Clinical placements provide opportunities for professional socialisation and experiential learning; there is evidence of a pivotal relationship between the extent to which students’ experience belongingness and their capacity and motivation to learn when undertaking clinical placements (Levett-Jones & Lathlean, 2008). The use of a link lecturer may afford a practical way to strengthen the connection and belonging of nursing and midwifery students.