Everything You Should Know About Becoming A Nurse Preceptor

Did you have a nurse preceptor when you first started out as a nurse? A nurse preceptor is a knowledgeable and experienced staff nurse who assists newly hired staff nurses or new graduate nurses. This post will provide you with more information about how to become a nursing preceptor.

Becoming A Nurse Preceptor
Becoming A Nurse Preceptor

What is a Nurse Preceptor?

Preceptors are a cross between educational instructors and professional mentors. The preceptor, who serves as a role model, evaluator, influencer, and confidante to the apprentice nurse, has a one-on-one engagement with the apprentice nurse. An ideal preceptor will assist the new nurse in making connections between nursing theory and clinical practice in a professional context.

Nurse preceptors are typically the ones that introduce nursing students, new nurses, and experienced nurses to new clinical situations. However, preceptors must also familiarize their preceptors with unit culture, organizational culture, and hospital protocols. Their skill sets, on the other hand, can be applied to a number of unit transformation difficulties.

Preceptor Roles in Nursing

  • Role Model

The preceptor’s function as a role model entails safeguarding, educating, evaluating, and socializing novice nurses while employing evidence-based procedures. Preceptors must be able to lead well and have clinical knowledge.

  • Coach and teacher

New nurses work with preceptors to develop new skills and knowledge, whether they are new to the profession or to the hospital unit. Preceptors should be familiar with both the science and the art of teaching. In addition to teaching, preceptors provide coaching, which involves assisting the learner in understanding when and how to use a new skill.

  • Evaluator

The preceptor and student have a formal opportunity to discuss expectations and share feedback during the evaluation. The process of evaluation should be continuing in order to improve the educational experience.

Preceptor Roles in Nursing
Preceptor Roles in Nursing

How to become a nurse preceptor

Taking on the role of the preceptor is an excellent approach to advance the nursing profession and encourage the future generation of nurses. It’s also a crucial leadership position. Education lays the groundwork for becoming a self-assured and competent leader.

The Nurse Preceptor Academy is a well-established preceptor program (NPA). It was designed to give nurse preceptors the tools they need to help new graduate nurses and newly hired seasoned RNs grow into competent and valuable members of the healthcare team. The mission of the NPA is to train qualified staff nurses to serve as preceptors with the goal of boosting retention. The total curriculum equips preceptors with important information and abilities, as well as continuing assistance.

Working as a Nurse Preceptor

When studying how to be a successful nursing preceptor, many skills are required. The top preceptors, according to healthcare authorities, have the following characteristics:

  • Clinical care expertise at a high level
  • Teaching novice nurses with zeal
  • Communication abilities that are strong
  • An attitude of concern

Preceptors assist with some students as they finish their clinical obligations, in addition to recently graduating nurses. Nursing professors and graduate students rely on preceptors’ knowledge and clinical experience to guide and direct them as they learn new clinical roles. Healthcare organizations, meanwhile, rely on advanced practice education programs to train the next generation of nurse practitioners and advanced clinicians.

Working as a Nurse Preceptor
Working as a Nurse Preceptor

Approaches to preceptor development

There are several types of preceptor development programs that teach preceptors how to help new nurses transition to hospital practice. It is frequently taught in a classroom environment over the course of one or two days. However, there is a scarcity of knowledge on how to prepare preceptors specifically for pre-licensed nursing students.

Preceptor education classes offered online are also a convenient and effective way to prepare for preceptors. Similar teaching models can be implemented to help your preceptors incorporate other change abilities once fundamental preceptor skills have been achieved. Principles of change management, strategic perspectives, conflict resolution, persuasion methods, and the ability to inspire others are just a few examples.

Final thought

Young nurses may feel overwhelmed by the skills and information they must acquire and put into practice as healthcare becomes increasingly complex. And that’s where you can help by serving as a preceptor to a rookie nurse or a more seasoned nurse. Furthermore, being a nurse educator or preceptor may be one of the reasons why RNs pursuing career progression should get a master’s degree in nursing. I hope that this post has provided you with additional knowledge on how to become a nursing preceptor.