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Amnesty International: Protect the Human

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MirandaNet Fellowship is not associated with any political grouping, but we support many of the aims of organisations such as Amnesty International and urge members to look at the AUUK site and see if they agree with these aims as well.

MirandaNet Fellowship Profiles (MirandaNet Archive - as of March 2015)

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Sheila Counihan

Personal Statement


Personal Statement

I am interested in improving and developing the integration of Information Technology within nursing education at undergraduate and postgraduate levels. I currently work with undergraduate nursing students in the development of their e-learning/on-line networking skills to help them with their studies and also to facilitate the maintenance of supportive links with them during their clinical practice placements. This is done through the use of the BlackBoard Learning Management System where students are able to maintain contact with college tutors as well as each other while they are on geographically dispersed clinical placements for periods of up to nine weeks at a time.

Through the development of their networking skills in this way it is anticipated that this will also prepare them for future study at postgraduate level as we move increasingly towards the delivery of professional development programmes of educaion on a blended learning/e-learning basis.

At postgraduate level I am developing a blended learning programme in Child and Adolescent Mental Health that will respond to the need for provision of continuing professional development and education to specialist practitioners who are geographically dispersed and therefore do not have local access to the specialist education that they need.

My particular focus is on the use of networking tools with a view to creating more cohesive and supportive groups for nurses who are dispersed both geographically and professionally. In addition to practising nurses, I feel that there is also a need for nurse academics to create better networks and links to facilitate improved programme development and management both nationally and internationally. I am involved in one such network, the Problem Based Learning Special Interest Group (PBL SIG) which is part of the UK Higher Education Authority (HEA) Health Sciences and Practice Subject Centre. I am also in the process of establishing a network for mental health nursing educators, clinical and academic, in Ireland.

To date my experience is somewhat limited but I have recently registered on a taught Doctorate programme at Kings College London. My research study will explore the use of virtual learning environments and social networking tools to enhance the development of more cohesive communities of practice that are not restricted to the completion of a particular programme of study, but rather will enable individuals to maintain links to colleagues for professional and other supports throughout their careers.


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