The role of Peer Educator: A Classic Concept Revisited.

Dianne Burns, Monica Haggart, Philip Keeley, Steven Pryjmachuk, Patricia Wood

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review


Peer education could be considered to be an old concept but has often been identified as a valuable and effective strategy to assist student nurses with their learning, particularly within clinical settings. Furthermore, there is evidence to suggest that the use of peer support can increase self-confidence, independence, role-modelling ability, and appreciation of peer expertise and support amongst students.Indeed, in recent years, higher education has formally embraced the use of peers in undergraduate education - not just in the pastoral role of mentors but as peer educators. Peer-assisted educational schemes such as ‘PASS’ (peer-assisted study sessions) and peer mentoring are now an established part of the student experience in some areas. This paper reports on the findings from one small qualitative evaluative study funded by the Learn Higher Centre for Excellence in Teaching and Learning (£5,000) which sought to identify and explore the student nurse experience of peer education from the peer educator and student recipient perspective.The principal findings of the study were that:
The peer educator role made a considerable positive impact on the life and learning of many student nurses, enhancing the student experience despite having a relatively low level of resource.
Peer-assisted learning demonstrated benefits for students and tutors/lecturers alike.
Peer educators were considered a credible source of information by other students as they share similar experiences and social norms and were therefore considered well placed to provide relevant, meaningful, explicit and honest information.
Peer educators perceived that they had increased their own ‘employability’, utilised additional opportunities for skills development, increased confidence and leadership skills with a value added effect in practice areas.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication22nd International Networking for Education in Healthcare Conference
Subtitle of host publicationAbstract Papers
Place of PublicationCambridge UK
Publication statusPublished - 8 Sept 2011


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