BSN Peer Tutors

Third and fourth year BSN student tutors apply a deliberate practice model to support students to achieve mastery of the psychomotor skills taught in years one, two and three of the nursing program. Two former peer tutors have conducted research on the efficacy of this program.

Project Dates: September 2016 to present
Students Hired: 10

Peer tutors present on the program at the WCHSE 2017 Conference.

Project Summary

Employed BSN peer tutors at North Island College (NIC) use a deliberate practice model to mentor student peers in the psychomotor skills taught in Learning Centre courses. Deliberate practice theory emphasizes repeated opportunities for supervised practice and immediate peer feedback. This evidence-based program offers skills retention benefits for students and tutors, leadership experience for tutors, and the potential for strengthening new grads’ confidence as they transition into the profession of nursing.

As part of their fourth year leadership project, Casey Lublinkhof and Benedict Leonard conducted research to formalize feedback results from NIC faculty and students, with the goal of sharing research findings with BSN programs at other colleges and universities. Casey and Benedict received ethics approval from the NIC REB to survey students and faculty, and disseminated preliminary study findings at the 2018 Western North-Western Region Canadian Association of Schools of Nursing (WNRCASN) conference in Edmonton. Benedict and Casey are in the process of writing a report on the study for publication in a peer reviewed academic journal.

The BSN program receives funding for these positions from the NIC Student Employment Program. We are currently employing our: fourth group of BSN tutors and hope to expand the program in future years.

Research Team

Martha Russell
Martha Russell, Lead Faculty
Martha is Learning Centre Coordinator and nursing instructor in the Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program at North Island College. A graduate of the BSN program at NIC, she practiced as an RN in the maternal/child unit of St. Joseph’s Hospital in Comox before coming to work for NIC in the fall of 2010. Martha's academic interests include psychomotor skills learning in BSN students, the role of simulation in nursing education, and supporting scholarly writing in nursing students.
Benedict Leonard
Benedict Leonard, BSN Class of 2018, Co-lead Researcher, co-presenter
Casey Lublinkhof
Casey Lublinkhof, BSN Class of 2018, Co-lead Researcher, co-presenter
Elise Harkies
Elise Harkies, BSN Class of 2017, Co-presenter, conference presentation

Project Outcomes

  • WNRCASN Conference in Calgary (Western Northwestern Regional Canadian Association of Schools of Nursing) presentation, February, 2018: Benedict Leonard and Casey Lublinkhof. Title: BSN Peer Tutors Using a Deliberate Practice Model to Support Skills Mastery
  • WCHSE Conference 2017 in Parksville (Western Canada Health Sciences Educators) presentation, May 2017. Benedict Leonard, Casey Lublinkhof, Elise Harkies, Martha Russell. Title: BSN Peer Tutors: Supporting skills mastery using a deliberate practice approach
  • REB approval obtained and initial research completed on program evaluation. Casey and Benedict are collaborating on an academic paper for submission to a peer reviewed nursing education journal.
  • Ongoing implementation of this evidence-based intervention.


Martha Russell
Martha Russell, Lead Faculty