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Work-Based Learning as a means of developing and assessing nursing competence


Jean Flanaga The School of Healthcare Studies, University of Leeds, Baines Wing, PO Box 214, Leeds LS2 9UT, UK (e-mail:


• Work-Based Learning is the bringing together of self-knowledge, expertise at work and formal knowledge. It takes a structured and learner-managed approach to maximizing opportunities for learning and professional development in the workplace.

• The development and assessment of nursing competence can be facilitated through Work-Based Learning, although this may require pedagogic and structural changes within nurse education.

• There are a number of conditions which must accompany effective participative learning, and these are discussed in the paper in relation to examples of nursing programmes.

• This method of learning and assessment has potential to bridge the gap between theory and practice, and as such it can only be achieved through commitment and partnership between the individual practitioner, clinical services and universities.

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