Nursing Preceptorship Policy
Provision of preceptorship for newly qualified nurses
This policy has been developed by the organization towards providing a commitment in supporting a period of preceptorship for the entire health professionals, including the newly qualified nurses. Provision of support for the newly qualified health professionals through preceptorship is a policy that has been widely advocated as a measure of improving patient care in assisting the new practitioners in the development of clinical skills, and ensuring encouragement on workforce retention through supporting students in their transition to registered practitioners.
Systematic Reviews on Nursing Preceptorship
The first research report that this paper looks into in relation to the review on the nursing preceptorship is the “The role of the preceptor: A guide for nurse educators, clinicians, and managers.” According to Flynn and Stack (2006), the recognition of new nurses’ need for the support was formally expressed officially in the UKCC’s 1986 proposals on a four-month post-qualification period of preceptorship. The areas of concern on the provision of preceptorship program were; the time duration the preceptorship should last, how standardized and formal should the programs be, and lastly is the concern on how to deliver the program in community and the non-NHS organizations (Department of Health (2008).
A second research report is the “Nursing preceptorship: Connecting practice and education.” In this article Myrick and Yonge (2005) illustrates a nursing evidence by presenting a study showing that most of the newly qualified nurses wanted preceptorship. Furthermore, the report showed that allocation to a preceptor was never universal and there was significant discrepancy between being allocated a preceptor and actually receiving preceptorship. The research depicted a limited evidence if those working in the non-NHS organizations were considerably less likely to receive preceptorship than those nurses and other practitioners working in the NHS.
Moreover, the report by Myrick and Yonge (2005) showed that the periods of preceptorship ranged between one month and more than six, a greater level of satisfaction was attained with the four months or longer than with the shorter periods. The findings, particularly from small scale studies confirmed that most newly qualified nurses were in need of preceptorship but that provision was not universal.
Effectiveness of preceptorship
Preceptorship has been hugely backed up by several research to have played a critical role in new nurses towards gaining competence and confidence. On the other hand, consolidating and developing clinical skills are aspects of preceptorship for which there is high but likely to be met.
Factors influencing effectiveness of preceptorship
Both the two research reports deduced that low staffing and high workloads were the most common hindering factors.
The relationships between the preceptors and preceptees were generally viewed positively by both the parties; points of difficulty only arose over interpersonal conflicts, provision ceasing through personal circumstances, and off-duty rotas not coinciding.
Comprehensive studies of preceptorship for the children’s nurses and the neonatal intensive care unit nurses showed that introducing more formalized programs improve clinical skill development but such preceptorship relationships can be weakened if there is an over focus on competency assessment.
A number of studies have shown that many of the newly qualified nurses receive preceptorship which is central to the successful transition from student to staff nurse. Therefore, there is need for organizational commitment to preceptorship as a critical ingredient for the attainment of positive aspects and ensuring address of the negative aspects. This calls for workload planning which would allow staff to provide preceptorship, programs development, appointing senior staff to be responsible for the preceptorship, undergoing training sessions, and inculcating a culture which rewards clinical expertise of preceptors on their contribution to supporting the newly qualified nurses.
Moreover, there in need to develop trust-wide preceptorship frameworks which would facilitate consistency of, and commitment to, provision. These guidelines must sufficiently flexible, even though, to meet specialty specific needs and requirements of individual nurses, relatively intangible, though less significant, aspects of preceptorship must be surpassed by an over focus on the competency assessment.
Department of Health (2008). A high quality workforce. NHS next stage review. Department of Health, London.
Flynn, J. P., & Stack, M. C. (2006). The role of the preceptor: A guide for nurse educators, clinicians, and managers. New York: Springer Pub.
Myrick, F., & Yonge, O. (2005). Nursing preceptorship: Connecting practice and education. Philadephia: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.
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