A preceptorship programme for newly qualified nurses: a study of preceptees' perceptions

Marks-Maran, Di, Ooms, Ann, Tapping, Jen, Muir, Jenny, Phillips, Sonia and Burke, Linda (2013) A preceptorship programme for newly qualified nurses: a study of preceptees' perceptions. Nurse Education Today, 33(11), pp. 1428-1434. ISSN (print) 0260-6917


AIM: This paper presents the evaluation of a preceptorship programme for newly-qualified nurses (NQNs) to determine preceptee engagement with the preceptorship programme, and the impact, value and sustainability of the programme from the preceptees' perspectives. BACKGROUND: The literature suggests that NQNs find the transition from student to qualified nurse to be stressful and that preceptorship can reduce this stress and promote adaptation to the new role. SETTING: This study took place in one NHS Healthcare Trust in South West London, UK. PARTICIPANTS: Ninety NQNs were invited to participate in the study and the response rate was 48.9% (n=44). The study took place in 2011. METHODS: Evaluative research design was used incorporating a fourfold evaluation framework of preceptee engagement, impact, value and sustainability (Ooms et al., 2011). This was a mixed methods study. Qualitative and quantitative data were collected through questionnaires, reflective journals and through personal audio recordings made by the preceptees. Quantitative data were analysed through descriptive statistics and t-tests, and Cronbach's alpha coefficient was used to assess reliability of impact and value scales. In addition analysis of open-ended questions and qualitative data was undertaken using the Framework Method of analysis. FINDINGS: Findings show that preceptee engagement in the programme was high and preceptorship was highly valued by the majority of preceptees (85%). Preceptors played a positive role in terms of alleviating stress. Preceptorship impacted positively on preceptees in terms of development of communication skills and clinical skills, and role, personal and professional development. In addition, preceptees felt that the programme was of value despite acknowledging difficulties in making time to meet with preceptors. Preceptees also indicated that they would wish to be preceptors in the future and that they would recommend preceptorship to all nurses who are either newly qualified or new in role. Preceptees judged the preceptorship programme positively for engagement, impact, value and sustainability. CONCLUSION: The study is unique when mapped against other research studies as it explores a breadth of evaluative issues not found in other preceptorship studies, e.g. engagement, impact, value and sustainability of preceptorship. The study adds insights about sustainability of preceptorship programmes and expectations of competence of NQNs that do not appear in previous literature about preceptorship.

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