Roles and responsibilities of student nurses

The OU pre-registration nursing programme is aimed at experienced healthcare support workers. However individuals with experience working in other roles in healthcare environments have also successfully accessed the programme, for example:

  • Ward receptionist
  • Phlebotomist
  • Dental nurse
  • Medical secretary

During the time that they are students on the programme, they must be employed in a healthcare support worker role and their designated core practice-base must be in a nursing context specific to their intended field of practice, for the OU programme either adult or mental health nursing.

Student nurses are expected to:

  • Effectively manage the continual transition between their role as a health care support worker and their role as a student nurse.
    – This can be particularly challenging at the start of the programme, when both the student and work colleagues are adjusting to these changing roles
  • Effectively manage their time to ensure that they meet all the programme requirements for completion of theory hours, practice hours, theoretical and practice-based assessments
  • Negotiate and agree with their mentor and line manager those days when they will undertake theoretical learning or learning in practice as a student nurse and those days when they will work as a health care support worker.
    – Once agreed, these arrangements can only be changed through further negotiation and may not be changed at the last minute, other than in exceptional circumstances
  • Report sickness or absence to their line manager.
    – This applies whether they are on study days, learning in practice in their core practice-base or a complementary practice experience or working as a support worker
  • Keep their mentor and line manager informed about their progress through the programme
    – with particular reference to complementary experience arrangements, tutorials, and any other activities that may impact on agreed working arrangements
  • Utilise the existing skills that they have already developed as a worker in healthcare, to develop and enhance their knowledge, practice and professional behaviour as a student nurse.

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