What Makes a Great Nurse Preceptor?

by | May 8, 2017 | Nurse Education | 0 comments

It is never a secret that new nurses are anxious whenever they enter the health care workplace to which they were assigned, for the first time.  All their years of studying in classrooms and spending hours as interns just fly out the window at that moment. Most of the time, they end up with their minds blank, shocked at what’s expected of them. This is when they approach the nurse preceptor’s desk apprehensively. What does the nurse preceptor do? Simple. Help the novice nurses acclimate to their department, to the staff, and to their duties.

A nurse preceptor always aims to provide learning and teaching experiences to the new nurses. They also show safe and reliable patient care using practice that is evidence-based. They are responsible for orienting new nurses who may be new to the profession or new to the department. Nurse preceptors can end up teaching nurses who already have twenty-five years of experience, but is new to that section of the hospital.

How you become a great nurse preceptor? Below are some tips on how you can become one:

  1. Express your passion for your chosen profession. As a nurse preceptor, you can teach from your personal experience as a nursing professional. You need to be authentic. You also need to build an open and positive atmosphere for communication and learning. Stress the importance of communication when you are with your new nurses. They need to feel comfortable enough to know that they can ask you or tell you anything. A pep talk here and there is also vital in building their morale.
  2. Be patient. Exercise unlimited patience. Dig up all the patience that you have and then get some more on the side. Loosen up before you go to work—take a run, drink your favorite soda or coffee, or eat your favorite slice of cake. At work, always have your favorite type of candy in your pocket, in case you need a mood booster. Your new nurses will always commit mistakes. It is your job to help them correct them as calmly as you can. Looking back to when you started as a new nurse, helps.
  3. You should know that your nurses are scared. Sometimes, being scared is good. This means that they are careful about mistakes. Is they are not scared at all, you need to be concerned. New nurses have not received their licenses in the mail yet. You should remind them of how important and critical their work truly is. They hold human lives in their hands and they should never take things lightly.

These are only some of the key things you should do to become a great nurse preceptor. You are their leader. With your help, a new batch of indispensable nurses will be helping more people in your health care department.

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