Health-based education in the United Kingdom requires evidencing competencies and portfolios have been integral in that process. Increasingly, online digital portfolios are being used to replace the need for legacy paper-based evidence (Peacock et al., 2011). These evolving practices are being incorporated into professional healthcare spaces; the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) requires online confirmation that the process of revalidation is complete for the three-yearly process (Nursing & Midwifery Council, 2015) and ongoing curation of evidence enables revalidating nurses and midwives to easily demonstrate engagement with the process, especially those called for audit. Whilst maintaining an ePortfolio is not mandatory in this instance, some organisations have chosen to incorporate a formal structure internally to enable registered nurses to benefit from the capability that a digital portfolio offers.
Admiral Nurses are specialist nurses who support families and individuals suffering from dementia, a progressive condition that arises from brain damage. They are bound to the same terms of revalidation and face the same pressures as their peers in the healthcare system. The charity Dementia UK recognised the positive impact an ePortfolio system would allow in the continual revalidation and annual appraisal cycle. Following an earlier evaluative project, Dementia UK now offers a structured ePortfolio to all Admiral Nurses (Dening, Holmes & Pepper, 2018).
As part of an ongoing evaluation, the nurses’ voice is key in understanding how and where the continual digital curation acts as a benefit to the Admiral Nursing community. This presentation seeks to identify how and where a structured digital space affords a more manageable workflow for the practising nurses and shows how a range of communications can be incorporated. Maintaining currency in the workplace is not specific to healthcare, but this model from Dementia UK illustrates how contemporary practices in Higher Education are being integrated into work-based learning. As time moves on, our healthcare students will be graduating with knowledge of ePortfolio as a tool for learning, reflection and evidencing; our workplaces will be better positioned to capitalise on the benefits of online and digital portfolios. Our Admiral Nurses-in-practice share their stories to illustrate how their own ePortfolio experience prepares them for revalidation in their lifelong learning journey.
Session content: evaluation and reflection
The session is based on a project that was launched over a year ago, and is now in an evaluation cycle. The presentation seeks to share the story of the Admiral Nursing Revalidation ePortfolio project funded by Dementia UK. Two thirds of the registered Admiral Nurses who started their revalidation with the ePortfolio tool have now successfully completed. This session will cover:
• the purpose for setting up the ePortfolio revalidation (sector requirements);
• the design of the project (technical factors); and
• early findings from the evaluation (user experience).
The presentation will start with the identification of an educational technology-based solution to meet a national clinical standard requirement, by first setting the clinical context (that many in the HE sector will be familiar with if associated with health programmes).
The design of the technical solution will be shared, along with an open access resource for participants to download. This section will include discussion around digital skills and technical competencies for users (Admiral Nurses) to engage with the ePortfolio tool, outside of a formal educational setting.
Progress of the live project will be described, with lessons learnt. The action research evaluation phase, currently in its infancy, will then be illustrated. User stories and early findings will be shared.
Finally, the presenters will conclude with a tentative learning design for similar scenarios.
Dening, K. H., Holmes, D., & Pepper, A. (2018). Implementation of e-portfolios for the professional development of Admiral Nurses. Nursing Standard, 32(22), 46–52.
Nursing & Midwifery Council. (2015). How to revalidate with the NMC Requirements for renewing your registration. Available at: http://www.nmc.org.uk/standards/revalidation/what-is-revalidation/ [accessed 12-03-2018].
Peacock, S., Murray, S., Scott, A., & Kelly, J. (2011). The transformative role of ePortfolios: Feedback in healthcare learning. International Journal of ePortfolio, 1(1), 33–48.
Resources for participants
A PebblePad Community resource (i.e. downloadable by all) to accompany the presentation.
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