Preceptor Manual Guidelines
Posted by Afandi on December 20, 2008
The Nursing Program has a preceptor manual that helps guide students, preceptors, and faculty in the practicum experience.
1. I. Introduction
2. II. BSN Program Aims
3. III. The Practicum Experience
4. IV. Description of Preceptorship
5. V. Roles and Responsibilities
1. The Role of the Preceptor
2. The Role of the Student
3. The Role of the Faculty Member
4. The Role of the Agency
6. VI. Evaluation
7. Selected Bibliography
The Nursing Faculty at UNBC believe that preceptorship experiences are vital for nursing students’ effective learning. Preceptorships provide opportunities for students to experience direct nursing practice with expert guidance and support. Preceptorships can help students examine and apply theory in practice settings, increase personal and professional growth, promote quality nursing care, and ease the transition from student to graduate or from one field of nursing practice to another. Preceptorships can also allow for formal recognition of the clinical competence of the preceptor and strengthen relationships between education and service. Preceptors contribute to the nursing profession through collegial sharing of knowledge and ideas with the preceptee.
This manual discusses preceptorship as it is interpreted by UNBC Nursing programme faculty. The manual also proposes a plan for the orientation and support of preceptors. In addition, suggestions will be made regarding the roles and responsibilities of the preceptor, preceptee, nursing education, and nursing service agencies.
II. BSN Program Aims
The BSN programme aims to enhance the opportunities for nursing students to expand and enhance their knowledge and skills so that they will:
* practice with cultural sensitivity and an awareness of the particular health needs of northern populations
* practice assessment and promotion of holistic health for individuals, families, and communities
* make clinical judgements that reflect application of current nursing research
* participate in activities that reflect the appraisal of population health needs and implement the appropriate interventions to meet those needs
* practice in a broad range of health care settings with an emphasis on northern communities
* influence health services to bring about policy development that meets the health needs of northern populations
* contribute effectively to interdisciplinary health activities
* meet the professional practice requirements as identified in the Standards for Nursing Practice in British Columbia.
III. The Practicum Experience
To achieve the aims of the BSN programme, students require extended clinical experiences in northern communities in addition to theory components of the program. In the fourth and final year of the programme, each student selects an area of clinical concentration or focus. Examples are rural nursing, Aboriginal health and nursing, acute care, or community health nursing. Each practicum experience will vary according to the focus area chosen, the learning needs of the student, and the learning objectives set out by the professor.
Each faculty member will provide specific criteria for the experience students need with each agency. These criteria will usually include the course objectives, the purposes and objectives of the preceptorship, time frames and criteria for supervision, assignments, feedback expected, and time frames and criteria for evaluation. Other information may include a general update on courses the student has studied to date; the student’s experience with certain cultures, client groups, or nursing settings; or the student’s particular area of interest within the practicum setting. In addition, faculty will provide his/her office and home telephone numbers and a schedule for site visits, on-going contact with students and preceptors, and evaluation times.
Because each area of focus and setting of practice is unique, it is important that each faculty member and each agency work closely together to plan and implement effective preceptorship experiences.
IV. Description of Preceptorship
Preceptorship is a one – to – one relationship between an experienced nurse and a nursing student in order to learn the roles and responsibilities of clinical nursing in a particular area of practice. This learning occurs as the nursing student practices alongside the expert nurse.
Benefits to the student include increased confidence and competence in the practice setting; in-depth understanding of the role through exposure to everyday practice, with its satisfactions and frustrations; increased ability to problem solve; and a feeling of satisfaction as a result of professional nurturance (Goldenberg, 1987/88). The role transition to an area nursing practice can be made less traumatic and more effective for students through a supportive preceptor experience.
Preceptors can benefit from the opportunity to share knowledge and facilitate the growth of an enthusiastic learner (Goldenberg, 1987/88). Preceptors may find that the preceptor role brings status, recognition of expert practice, increased job satisfaction, increased learning, and advancement of their practice.
V. Roles and Responsibilities
It is crucial to the success of our preceptorship program at UNBC that nursing faculty be available and accessible to preceptors and the health care agencies. Every effort is made to ensure that the preceptorship experience is positive for all those involved. Faculty will support preceptors and facilitate positive preceptorships through the following activities:
1. Clear guidelines and expectations will be communicated between faculty, students and preceptors. A collaborative process will be carried out regarding specific student experiences and evaluation criteria.
2. Faculty will maintain frequent – usually weekly – telephone contact with students and preceptors, and they, in turn, are encouraged to contact faculty members as often as needed.
3. Faculty members will usually visit clinical sites. The frequency of these visits will be determined by the needs of the student, preceptor, agency, and faculty. Distance, time, and cost factors are considered in the determination of site visits.
4. Other methods of communication and support will be used as needed, such as facsimile or email contact.
a) The Role of the Preceptor
The nurse preceptor is expected to:
1. have clinical expertise in the defined area of nursing practice
2. be willing to act as a role model and be interested in the student’s learning
3. be familiar with the roles of the preceptor, faculty, and student in the preceptorship experience
4. discuss the experience expectations with the student prior to the clinical practicum
5. orient student to the clinical area and expectations of nursing care standards
6. plan clinical learning experiences with the student that facilitate progressive independence in the clinical setting
7. demonstrate required skills, supervise student performance, and assist the student in clinical activities
8. assist in the socialization of the student into the nursing role through a collaborative collegial relationship
9. provide the student with ongoing constructive feedback that relates performance standards to student performance
10. assist the student to integrate theoretical knowledge into realistic nursing situations and appropriate nursing action
11. inform clients of the student’s participation in nursing care
12. utilize others, including colleagues, nursing administrators, and faculty as resources for problem solving, support, and guidance
13. not feel responsible to help students with written assignments
14. communicate ongoing student progress to the student and faculty member, and contribute to the student’s summative evaluation
15. assist in evaluation of the course.
b) The Role of the Student
In preceptorship the student will:
1. develop knowledge and skills in the defined area of nursing practice
2. use problem solving and critical thinking to adapt scientific knowledge to the clinical practice area
3. understand the roles of preceptor, faculty, and student in the preceptorship experience
4. contact the preceptor and negotiate, according to agency policies and experiences available, possible learning experiences and work schedules
5. articulate clear learning objectives
6. identify and communicate learning needs to the preceptor to facilitate selection of learning strategies
7. seek appropriate learning opportunities throughout the clinical experience
8. work with the preceptor to develop clinical competence in progressive ways
9. request instruction, supervision, and assistance when required
10. demonstrate responsible, accountable, and ethical behaviours
11. practice clinical skills under supervision of the preceptor assuming progressive independence as clinical competence increases
12. perform only those actions that the student is competent in and that are within the student’s scope of practice
13. seek feedback from the preceptor when necessary
14. complete critical self-evaluation
15. communicate with the preceptor throughout an experience to ensure that clinical objectives are attained
16. adhere to agency policies and procedures
17. use the preceptor as an immediate resource in the clinical area
18. consult the faculty member as a resource and problem solver
19. develop collaborative professional relationships with clients, the preceptor, agency personnel, and other health care professionals
20. complete clinical assignments and course requirements
21. participate in the evaluation of the course.
c) The Role of the Faculty Member
The role of the faculty member is to:
1. obtain information about the nature of the agency and clinical placement
2. make initial contact with the clinical agency
3. obtain the names of the preceptor and the nature of the clinical arrangement
4. provide the student with the preceptor’s name and information regarding the clinical arrangement
5. understand and articulate the roles of the preceptor, faculty, and student in the preceptorship experience
6. assist with the orientation of the preceptor and student as to roles and functions of involved parties and course requirements
7. supply the preceptors with written materials related to the intent of the clinical placements. This information will include the curriculum outline, specific course outline and objectives, student and experience evaluation forms, and contact telephone numbers
8. review and approve the student’s objectives
9. ensure that the student’s clinical placement will promote the attainment of learning goals and objectives
10. be available for weekly consultations with the preceptor and student by telephone or visitation
11. act as a resource for the student and preceptor
12. support and guide the preceptor and student in attaining learning objectives throughout the experience
13. assist in solving problems
14. assist the preceptor with student evaluation as needed
15. evaluate written assignments and other course requirements
16. if possible meet with the preceptor at the end of the clinical experience to discuss the learning objectives attained, student growth, preceptor experiences, and the effectiveness of the experience
17. provide the preceptor with feedback on preceptor performance if requested
18. provide the preceptor with written acknowledgement for her/his role in the student’s learning experience
19. complete the summative evaluation of student achievement after consulting with preceptor and students
20. assist in course evaluation.
d) The Role of the Agency
In facilitating preceptorship experiences, the agency should:
1. assist faculty in the selection of appropriate preceptors for the preceptorship experience.
2. actively support the preceptor and student during the preceptorship, for example with adequate time, facilities, and experiences as possible
3. act as a liaison between preceptors and faculty.
4. participate in the evaluation of the preceptorship experience.
Nursing faculty need to have preceptors and students evaluate the program, the process, and the outcomes. These evaluations are carried out as follows:
Evaluation of the student
* informal evaluation of student performance by the preceptor will occur during the experience
* formal evaluation of the student’s performance will occur during and at the conclusion of the preceptorship. The content and process of this evaluation will vary according to faculty and preceptorship requirements. Each faculty member will discuss these requirements with preceptors – see Appendix A for the Clinical Evaluation Guide
Evaluation of the preceptorship
* the preceptor will complete an evaluation form – see Appendix B (not available on-line)
* the student will complete an evaluation form – see Appendix C (not available on-line)
This manual is a draft of policies and practices regarding preceptorship program at UNBC. It will continue to evolve as students, faculty, and agencies have experience with the preceptorship program. We welcome your input iat any time.
Ammon-Gaberson, K. (1987). Adult learning principles: Applications for preceptor programs. AORN Journal, 45 (4), 961-963.
Brehaut, C., & Turik, L. (1994). The clinical assistant: A collaborative model for public health nursing education. Journal of Nursing Education, 33 (3), 139-141.
Canadian Nurses Association. (1994). Preceptorship resource guide (draft #3). Ottawa: Author.
Chickerella, B., & Lutz, W. (1981). Professional nurturance: Preceptorships for undergraduate nursing students. American Journal of Nursing, January, 107-109.
Davis, L., & Barham, P. (1989). Get the most from your preceptorship program. Nursing Outlook, 37 (4), 167-171.
Goldenberg, D. (1987/88). Preceptorship: A one-to-one relationship with a triple “P” rating (preceptor, preceptee, patient). Nursing Forum, 23 (1), 10-15.
Lewis, K. (1986). What is takes to be a preceptor. The Canadian Nurse, 82 (11), 18-19.
Piemme, J., Tack, B., Kramer, W., & Evans, J. (1986). Developing the nurse preceptor. The Journal of Continuing Education in Nursing, 17 (6), 186-189.
Turnbull, E. (1983). Rewards in nursing: The case of nurse preceptors. The Journal of Nursing Administration, 13 (1), 10-13.
University of Saskatchewan College of Nursing. (1994). Guidelines for preceptorship (Draft August 1994). Saskatoon: Author