The Institute is keen to ensure that its pre-registration nursing students are able to participate in preventative interventions that support their mental wellbeing. Increasing mental health awareness in the student population is seen as key for students to recognise its importance to both individuals and teams. Some students were unclear about the opportunities available to them and the underpinning knowledge of why these resources may be useful. There was also an intention to reduce student non-continuation as a result of health and wellbeing-related matters.
Key actions taken:
- Creating a visual wellbeing route map
- Devising a developmental wellbeing module to be taught across the 3-year programme
- Developing and implementing a staff wellbeing charter so students can see the Institute team are role modelling good practice
- Creating a wellbeing resource box
- Delivering mental health and wellbeing training to occupational health staff
- Cascading student wellbeing updates to teaching staff/academic support staff
- Implementing a student welfare contact sheet
The wellbeing route map is a visual representation of sources of help available to students. This includes personal tutors, GPs, occupational health, and online resources. It acts as a signpost for students whoever they are. The ‘Promoting resilience and wellbeing’ module includes specific lessons on a range of topics, including self-care, perfectionism, emotional labour, and values-based relationships in the workplace. The module is focused not only on supporting students through their programmes to registration, but also on giving them the skills and tools to be resilient in the workplace.
These interventions were led by colleagues at the Institute who had delivered wellbeing services in the community. The wellbeing route map was co-produced with students. Its initial development was based on research with previous students. Continuing students who had completed year 1 of the wellbeing route map module have been involved in the evaluation of its content and the design of year 2 content. Senior management were also supportive of these initiatives, which promote the wellbeing of both students and staff.
The students who have completed their first year of the ‘Promoting resilience and wellbeing’ module have all reported an improvement in their wellbeing via the Robertson Cooper resilience test. All students who undertook the first year module have stated that they want it to continue into future programme years. Student non-completion and absence data for year 1 also improved after these wellbeing interventions were introduced.
Other areas the module is likely to look at in the final year of the programme is sleep hygiene, work-life balance, and conflict in teams. This unit is now a mandatory part of the nursing programme and has contributed to ongoing peer discussions outside of programme hours to the benefit of students. Staff satisfaction with the staff wellbeing charter is also evident in its evaluation data.