Precepted Experiences for Doctoral Student Nurses
Across many levels of nursing education, mentored experiences are an essential part of learning. To enhance understanding, learning, and comfort for those new to professional roles, experienced and skilled professionals provide motivation while teaching professional skills, demonstrating technical competence, and displaying behavior expected of a professional. Educator preparation topics such as curriculum development, evaluation, and lesson planning are not typically included in PhD programs, leaving PhD students feeling unprepared to teach (Hudacek & Carpenter, 1998; Ivey, 2007). The lack of educator pedagogy forces nurse faculty members to learn on the job (Gardner, 2014; Oermann, 2017). Preceptorships are among the faculty role development opportunities not commonplace for aspiring nurse educators; these opportunities for PhD students to observe and model nurse educators have been noted as limited (Gardner, 2014). Experts have called for more educator-focused learning experiences and preceptorship opportunities in PhD programs (National League for Nursing Board of Governors, 2002; Oermann, 2017). The purpose of this article is to describe a creative approach to introducing nurses enrolled in doctoral programs to the faculty role within the academic setting.