A nurse preceptor is the experienced nurse, who provides guidance, lessons, and experiences to novice nurses on their first exposure to their workplace. This knowledgeable person plays the key role in any new nurse’s transition. With the help of the nurse preceptor, the beginners can acclimate to the staff, their unit, and their roles in their new work area.
Nurse preceptors do not just deal with new nursing board passers. They may guide and train experienced nurses, who have just been transferred to the department. Because of this, nurse preceptors have different levels and types of experience as they go about their job.
A nurse preceptor can be a great one, whether that person is new or experienced. The following are pointers you should consider to become the great nurse preceptor, every institution wants to have:
- You should understand your role as preceptor. As you go about your role as nurse preceptor, remember that your position is established by your institution. The position you have is usually given to nurses who are more experienced and are more or less a mentor for others. The teaching tools, hospital protocols, and skill checklists are specific to every institution. Through the training phase, a nurse preceptor develops strong relationships with staff members and the new nurses. Take note that a nurse preceptor is considered more than a mentor or a teacher. The preceptor gives the new nurses the techniques and the resources to prepare them for any challenge. This mentor guides new nurses in adapting well to the department’s culture.
- Remember to set your responsibilities and goals. This should happen during the first meeting and half-way through the period of orientation. The nurse preceptor should find out the following from the new nurse:
- Expectations from the relationship over the next two weeks
- Nursing skills that the new nurse wants to develop during the orientation
- Fears and biggest concerns of the new nurse
- Weaknesses and strengths
- How the preceptor can best help the new nurse during the training
- Always make sure that you provide the new nurses with clear instructions and details about their responsibilities. Their tasks should be set well. You should check on your nurse midday to see that the goals are reached. The new nurses should be evaluated by the end of the day. The nurse preceptor should give the novices specific directions on how to accomplish their goals during the next orientation days.
- Communicate effectively. You are an important resource to the new nurse. As the nurse preceptor, you should always be ready to answer questions, explain tasks, and clarify certain procedures. Take note that there are no dumb questions when patient care is concerned. You should foster professional and personal growth in a supportive work environment. Here, the new nurse should end up feeling comfortable in asking any question.
- Always provide feedback. Communication is valuable between the nurse preceptor and the new nurse. It is a process that should always be clear. You should provide positive feedback. This involves encouraging words and reinforcing statements. It is always easier to express, than negative words and reprimands. Also, include ways on how to correct any negative behavior you spot. The nurse preceptor’s message should always be respectful, clear, and empathetic.
A nurse preceptor exudes professionalism and fairness. He or she sees new or novice nurses as nurses who can help the department in the future. In the end, you enable the new nurses to reach their full potential in their chosen profession. This only shows your contribution to your established institution as a great nurse preceptor.
Article provided by, Advocate Search Group – a recruiting firm focused exclusively on filling academic nursing program positions throughout the USA
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