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Nursing students spend half of their three year programme on placement with hundreds of nursing students in their first, second or third year from the University attending placements throughout the North West region. Nursing students, regardless of their year of study wear the same uniform and it is challenging for health professionals, fellow Nursing students and service users to quickly differentiate students between their first, second and third year of Nurse training.

This topic was discussed at the Student Empowerment Group (SEG) which was set up in the University’s Faculty of Health and Social Care to ensure that the student voice is listened to and acted upon to positively shape the Pre-Registration Nursing provision.

Isaac Larkin, a former Adult Nursing student who is now a qualified Nurse and working at the Countess of Chester Hospital, along with other student nurses from the SEG, raised that they felt being able to quickly identify each other while on campus and on placements would be a hugely beneficial.

Senior Lecturer Heather Ashcroft attended the group and worked closely with colleagues to make the idea come to fruition and worked on the development of colour-coded lanyards for all pre-registration Nursing students from the University of Chester.

The colour coded lanyards discreetly identify their pre-registration Nursing year and expected level of competency to those that they come into contact and work with. They are triple break-way to ensure that optimum safety for students on placement and will be recycled when students finish each year of their programme.

Isaac said:“Identifying the year of practice could help a mentor, supervisor or other staff member quickly ascertain a level of competence and knowledge that a student may possess. This colour coding system can also act as a visual aid for patients and other students that may want advice or simply someone to talk to.”

Heather said: “It was really important to see Isaac’s idea come to fruition and that it will help students to feel identified and confident about the year they belong to and for others about the level of expertise they are reaching.

“We will be evaluating this scheme once it is launched and looking to see if it would benefit other programmes in the future.”

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