The link lecturer role: inconsistent and incongruent realities

Teresa MacIntosh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


The United Kingdom (UK) Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) suggest that the link lecturer role which is intended to support student nurse practice-based learning should account for 20% of the university-based nurse lecturer's remit. Meantime, a long-standing academic discussion indicates that this role lacks clarity.

Nurse lecturer (provider) and final year undergraduate student nurse (intended beneficiary) experiences and perceptions of the link lecturer role were explored and compared.

Data from four focus groups with nurse lecturers and four with student nurses were thematically analysed. These groups were carried out in a Scottish university where link lecturers visit student nurses in clinical placements.

Three themes were identified from a multitude of perceived link lecturer responsibilities; information, advice and support, professional development and partnership working. The link lecturer role was experienced as ad hoc and varied, while dialogue about its purpose, objective and contribution to learning revealed inconsistencies and incongruence at an individual level and within and across the homogenous participant groups.

Narrowing the inconsistent and incongruent realities highlighted firstly in participant dialogue, and secondly in relation to policy directive versus practical application is important for reducing the confusion that surrounds the link lecturer role. Formalising the role in terms of a universally recognised and workable model of practice has potential to reduce future debate.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e8-e13
Number of pages6
JournalNurse Education Today
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2015


  • clinical placement visits
  • link lecturer
  • nurse education
  • practice-based learning
  • student nurse
  • thematic analysis


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