The practice of nursing preceptorship is followed around the globe, and a range of studies report positive changes in nursing education that are associated with the involvement of nurse preceptors in a working process. In clinical settings, preceptors help nurses adapt to the work in a healthcare facility, and they teach how to provide acute and continuing care services appropriately (Duteau, 2012; Kalischuk, Vandenberg, & Awosoga, 2013). However, the problem is in the fact that, in spite of supporting inexperienced nurses, preceptors often lack the required skills and resources in order to work effectively and demonstrate their potential. The cause of this problematic situation is the lack of focus on the orientation of preceptors (Sanford & Tipton, 2016).
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Although experienced nurses are usually obliged to complete certain courses or training in order to perform as supervisors or preceptors, little attention is paid to their orientation, and many facilities lack resources to provide specialists with the necessary training. Furthermore, nurses often lack time to attend specific training sessions because of their strict schedules (Shinners, Mallory, & Franqueiro, 2013). From this point, it is necessary to discuss the situation with preceptor orientation not only from the perspective of its role for preceptees but also from the point of experienced nurses, who need to participate in preceptorship programs to expand their knowledge, and from the position of authorities in healthcare facilities, who plan to retain high-class specialists.
In spite of the determined challenges and barriers, it is possible to propose the change and develop the preceptor orientation program that is most efficient in terms of the required resources and potential outcomes for preceptors and preceptees. Such preceptor orientation should be appropriate to be implemented in clinical settings where there are no opportunities to hire nurse educators or develop their roles (Ford, Fitzgerald, & Courtney-Pratt, 2013).
It is possible to identify the key features of the proposed orientation: the program should involve nurses who have experience and demonstrate the willingness to perform as a preceptor; training sessions should be integrated into the working process; and online courses should be proposed to support a practical component of the orientation. The accentuated advantages that are associated with participating in the preceptor orientation are the professional growth, the improved collaboration, and the personal satisfaction (Duteau, 2012). It is also possible to state that the role of a nurse preceptor cannot be discussed as applicable to any nurse. Therefore, it is important to emphasize the importance of preceptor orientation and propose the program that will demonstrate benefits of this procedure to preceptors, preceptees, and clinical authorities.
The proposed intervention can be discussed as accentuating the importance of preceptor orientation and as beneficial for nursing education and practice. When nurse preceptors have opportunities to participate in training sessions related to preceptor orientation without interrupting their working process, the nurses’ interest in the training can increase (Borch, Athlin, Hov, & Sörensen, 2013; Duteau, 2012). As a result, the quality of nursing education also increases. Preceptors receive more opportunities to pay attention to preceptees and demonstrate how the knowledge and learning can be related to the workplace experience and everyday practice (Ford et al., 2013). From this point, the quality of nursing education in the clinical setting can improve significantly if the effective preceptor orientation program is proposed to be integrated into healthcare facilities.
Borch, E., Athlin, E., Hov, R., & Sörensen, D. G. (2013). Group supervision to strengthen nurses in their preceptor role in the bachelor nursing education: Perceptions before and after participation. Nurse Education in Practice, 13(2), 101-105.
Duteau, J. (2012). Making a difference: The value of preceptorship programs in nursing education. The Journal of Continuing Education in Nursing, 43(1), 37-43.
Ford, K., Fitzgerald, M., & Courtney-Pratt, H. (2013). The development and evaluation of a preceptorship program using a practice development approach. Australian Journal of Advanced Nursing, 30(3), 5-13.
Kalischuk, R. G., Vandenberg, H., & Awosoga, O. (2013). Nursing preceptors speak out: An empirical study. Journal of Professional Nursing, 29(1), 30-38.
Sanford, P. G., & Tipton, P. H. (2016). Is nursing preceptor behavior changed by attending a preceptor class? Baylor University Medical Center: Proceedings, 29(3), 277-279.
Shinners, J., Mallory, C., & Franqueiro, T. (2013). Preceptorship today: Moving toward excellence. The Journal of Continuing Education in Nursing, 44(11), 482-483.