An Evaluation of Preceptors' Perceptions of Educational Preparation and Organizational Support for Their Role

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abstractBackgroundThis longitudinal, descriptive study evaluated nurse preceptors' perceptions of a 2-day educational workshop and subsequent organizational support offered to prepare them for their roles as preceptors.MethodsThirty-six registered nurses who attended preceptor workshops and then acted as preceptors participated in focus groups or interviews 2 to 3 months and 6 to 9 months after their educational preparation to identify the usefulness of the preparation, the subsequent support by management, and the potential changes in their perceptions.ResultsRespondents identified intrinsic rewards and opportunities for growth for nurses who take on the preceptor role. However, adequate preparation and organizational support are essential to effectively perform their duties as clinicians and preceptors.ConclusionAlthough a 2-day educational preparation program was perceived as adequate, the practice setting must be reorganized to provide greater support for preceptors. Preceptors should be supported by providing continuing education, effective scheduling, and adequate time for learning and feedback in the clinical environment.

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