1. Belcik, Kim PhD, RN-BC, CNE

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After experiencing partnership agreements with Heinrich1 and witnessing their ability to support and tend nurse-colleague relationships, I was curious about using them with nursing students. I transformed her step-by-step process into weekly, postconference activities with 10 students in a medical-surgical practicum course. The entire process evolves over the first 5 weeks of a 15-week semester. During the first postconference meeting, I introduce partnership agreements and invite the students to cocreate one with me as a clinical group. If agreed, our homework is to consider our wishes, fears, and concerns about working together. Week 2, we share our wishes, fears, and concerns, and I act as the scribe and capture the dialogue. Later, I share the work-in-progress.Our homework for the following week is to consider our contract (who doeswhatwhen) and our covenant (how we treat each other). Week 3, we discuss our contract and covenant, and as homework I share the partnership agreement with the contract and covenant added. Week 4, we edit the partnership agreement, and in week 5, I share a copy of it that everyone signs. I reiterate that the agreement is awork-in-progress that can be negotiated by anyone at any time during the semester. That statement is included in the agreement. Finally, a signed copy is shared with all. Students comment that the partnership agreement creates trust within the clinical group andwithme as their teacher. As nurse educators, we should seek ways to embrace opportunities to create partnerships with students.




Heinrich KT. Take the civility challenge: how partnership practices can turn toxic workplaces terrific. Nurse Educ. 2011;36(5):224-227. [Context Link]