Perspectives on good preceptorship: A matter of ethics

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Background:Clinical education is an essential part of the Bachelor's program in Nursing and a keystone of professional nursing education. Through clinical experiences, the student nurses acquire nursing knowledge and essential skills for professional practice. The preceptor plays a vital role in the development of student nurses becoming professional nurses.Aim:The aim of this Nordic qualitative study was to explore the experiences of good preceptorship in relation to undergraduate student nurses in clinical education from the perspective of the preceptors themselves.Method:Data were collected by narrative interviews with 27 preceptors in Finland and Sweden and analyzed using a hermeneutical approach.Findings:A caring relationship, based on caring ethics, is seen as the foundation for learning and development. Moreover, a mutual respect is a prerequisite for fellowship and a good atmosphere. As such, encounters are characterized by reciprocity and mutuality. The preceptors have a deep sense of responsibility toward the students and the profession. Furthermore, the preceptors have an inner responsibility to guide the students into working life and to share their knowledge by acting as role models.Conclusion:The findings suggest that preceptorship should be examined through new lenses. Moreover, preceptorship is an ethical issue that should be recognized by all stakeholders.

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