Sport and Health Sciences at Brighton

Soumya Sononey

How studying a PGCert is supporting my career

Soumya Sononey is in the second year of studying on our Leading Practice Education PGCert.  

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Soumya is Lead for the Nurse Preceptorship Programme at East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust, joining the Trust in 2019 as a pre-registered nurse.  

She started her current role in July 2022 and helps newly qualified nurses, newly registered international nurses, and newly qualified nursing associates to have a better and supportive experience during their transition from a supernumerary nurse to a qualified registered nurse. 

We caught up with Soumya to find out how the Leading Practice Education PGCert is supporting her role, how she’s getting on studying at Brighton and how she became a clinical educator. 

Why I chose to study the Leading Practice Education PGCert 

When I started my role as a clinical educator, I was new to higher education as an educator, so to get a deeper understanding I chose to study the PGCert.  

It was always a dream to study a course abroad. I have been a Registered Nurse (International) in the UK for 4 years and 6 months, but this was the first time that I did a full course of study and attended classroom sessions face to face along with different students all from different professions and specialities.  

Why Brighton? 

I chose the university as I did a module in 2021, and my experience with the University of Brighton has been excellent. I live in Eastbourne, so it was very easy and convenient for me to commute. 

What I have gained from my studies so far 

I have gained a lot from doing this course.  

It gave me an opportunity to network with different professionals from different backgrounds and learning spaces, who are learning to be an educator for higher education or who are already in an educator role but want to improvise their teaching learning skills.  

It immediately contributes towards my skills in lesson planning and has enhanced my teaching content. I have learnt the theories about engagement and assessment and understood the psychological importance of making the teaching session more dynamic and exciting. 

I most enjoy  

Group discussions and engagement activities – it was good to hear diverse viewpoints and learn more about other people’s experiences, even if I wouldn’t say that everyone always agreed with one other throughout the vigorous debates. 

I had a great chance to interact with other individuals who share my enthusiasm for higher education thanks to the PGCert. 

How the course is supporting my work 

This course has massively supported my current role. 

I have started making sure that my teaching is more accessible, sustainable, inclusive, holistic, authentic, and relevant. I also worked on my feedback style and personally improvised to understand and utilise different feedback models during my role as a clinical educator.  

I made changes in my practice to support my leadership skills and working on feedback styles and reevaluating the entire preceptorship programme for nurses. I collaboratively worked along with different teams towards the best interest of nurse’s professional development during their preceptorship programme and gained feedback from all the stakeholders and preceptees about the nurse’s preceptorship in the Trust. I revised and reviewed the nurse’s preceptorship programme based on the feedback I have received and revised the policy.  

I am currently working on achieving the National Preceptorship Interim Quality Mark for the Trust, that would be based on the evidence on how nurses feel supported during their preceptorship programme.  

The teaching team at Brighton 

The entire teaching team and the student advisors are very supportive, with each and every challenge, be it professional or personal life. I was provided and signposted to the right person, and I gained every support in all the aspects. 

The teaching team made sure that all the necessary information was accessible for all the students and all the questions, even the emails were answered on time. Yes, I agree that the modules are challenging but doable with support and the guidance of the lecturers, module leads and the course lead.  

Becoming a clinical educator 

I started as a pre-registered nurse (band 3) in a stroke ward and then I qualified NMC OSCE and earned my NMC pin. I started my role as staff nurse (band 5) in Nov 2019.

I was passionate about supporting the new nurses in practice purely based on my experience as a new nurse in practice. I felt that there was a need for a lot of support for the new nurses in practice, regardless of whether they’re newly qualified nurses or international nurses.

I made sure that while I was working as a staff nurse, I didn’t forget to ask the new nurses if they needed any help, and I supported new overseas nurses in my clinical area so they could adjust and adapt to the new changes in their career.

I saw a job advertisement for Clinical Facilitator for International Nurses, and I was very passionate about this new role, so I quickly applied for this post as I saw a potential for being in a supportive role to help the international nurses in their initial years of adjusting in the NHS and the life in the U.K.

As I’m an international nurse myself I could closely relate to all the changes these nurses were going through.  I worked as a Clinical Facilitator for International Nurses for a year and then I applied for a job as the Lead for Nurses Preceptorship Programme, and I started my current role from last year July 2022.

In my current role as a Clinical Educator, Lead for Nurses Preceptorship Program, I get the opportunity to help the newly qualified nurses, newly registered international nurses and newly qualified nursing associates to have a better and supportive experience during their transition from a supernumerary nurse to a qualified registered nurse.

At many instances, new nurses have expressed their first year as a newly registered nurse to be very overwhelming and challenging. I design the preceptorship program based on the feedback I get from these new nurses in practice, also keeping up with the national preceptorship framework. My goal is to bring the trust’s preceptorship program to the golden standards according to the HEE and National Preceptorship framework 2022.  

Every year I make changes in the Nurses Preceptorship Program based on the feedback I’ve received from new nurses in practice.  

I’m also planning to start workshops for preceptors in practice and create a forum for the preceptors in practice so that we can support the preceptors and then they will be able to support the preceptees (new nurses). 

What I love about my role 

As the preceptorship lead, I act as a central point of contact within the Trust. I coordinate, evaluate, and monitor the preceptorship programme.  

Preceptorship is important as it helps professionals to translate and embed their knowledge into everyday practice, grow in confidence and have the best possible start to their careers. Newly registered nurses become accountable as soon as they are registered with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) and this transition from student to accountable practitioner is known to be challenging.  

I love my role as I work to improve the quality of support for new nurses in all the departments of the trust. I love the part and feel rewarded when the nurses complete their preceptorship programme and share their feelings and emotions on how they felt supported and welcomed during their preceptorship programme.  

Soumya recently featured on the East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust website. 

Learn more about the Leading Practice Education PGCert at Brighton.  

Kerry Burnett • 05/01/2024

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