Key stakeholder perspectives on expert-by-experience involvement in the values-based recruitment of student mental health nurses: A co-produced qualitative study

Fiona A. Watson*, Michelle Glascott*, Alarna Eke, Lynda Hedgecock, Michael M. Kelly, Phil Saint, Jack Singh, Victoria Small, Fiona Tasker, Georgia Walker

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background
Values-based recruitment is a mandatory process for nursing programmes within UK higher education, with the Nursing Midwifery Council expecting that experts-by-experience are engaged in these recruitment and selection processes. The wider involvement of experts-by-experience in healthcare education is gaining momentum internationally with calls for engagement in all aspects of design and delivery; however, the impact of such involvement in recruitment of nursing students has received little attention, particularly in mental health nursing.

Aim
To understand the impact of expert-by-experience involvement in the values-based recruitment of mental health nursing students from the perspective of candidates, experts-by-experience, and academic staff.

Design and methods
This qualitative approach was co-designed and implemented by a research team comprised of academics, experts-by-experience, and student mental health nurses. Focus groups and an on-line survey were used to collect data, with Burnard's thematic analysis providing a framework for data analysis.

Setting/participants
This study took place at one UK university. Participants included nurse academics, experts-by-experience, and student nurses with experience of a values-based recruitment process.

Results
Thematic analysis identified four themes: starting out, collaboration, rich assessment, and stakeholder gains. Whilst not without its challenges, the involvement of experts-by-experience in the recruitment of mental health nursing students was identified as delivering a robust recruitment process, encompassing academic abilities alongside the personal qualities required to make a ‘good nurse’. Personal benefits for experts-by-experience, candidates, and academics were also reported.

Conclusion
This study provides insights into the impact of experts-by-experience in supporting values-based recruitment. The approach is identified as enhancing the selection process by drawing from academic and lived experience perspectives and highlights to potential candidates, at the outset of their career, the value of meaningful engagement. These findings support the Nursing Midwifery Council's position that experts-by-experience should be engaged in the recruitment and selection of student nurses.
Original languageEnglish
Article number105513
JournalNurse Education Today
Volume118
Early online date16 Aug 2022
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 16 Aug 2022

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