There have been several literature reviews on the topic of peer tutoring/learning programmes (Secomb, 2008; McNett, 2012; Stone et al, 2013; Rees et al, 2015). Most identify the benefits of a well-structured and supported programme in developing psycho motor skills of both tutors and tutees and discuss findings around improvements in self-confidence and competence in both tutees and tutors. Many papers exploring the future of nurse education and training globally and especially in the UK with tuition fee charges and changes within the profession indicate that the power of peer teaching and learning is an untapped resource (Carr, 2008; Ousey, 2011; Burgess et al, 2014). They suggest that if well planned, structured and supervised it could enrich the development of student nurses and provide a sense of stewardship of senior students to more junior ones that is sometimes lost in the complexity of education, training and healthcare delivery (McKenzie, 2009; Stacey & Holland, 2016).
The clinical skills peer tutor programme was set up in response to student feedback. Students said they felt lost not having the intense support that they had in the first year to settle them in or anecdotally we believe this may have led to students losing focus academically and in practice with possible associated attrition.