Preceptorship in Nursing: Preceptors' and Preceptees' Experiences of Working in Partnership
This research is about preceptorship in nursing. There is considerable emphasis placed on health care organisations to support newly appointed graduate nurses, and preceptorship is a recommended model. Despite this emphasis, little is known about how preceptorship partnerships work in practice. The primary focus of this exploratory descriptive qualitative study was to explore the perspectives that preceptors and preceptees, who had worked in partnership, had about how they established and sustained their respective roles. Three sets of registered nurses who had recently completed a preceptorship experience were interviewed about their partnership. Content and thematic analysis of this descriptive data revealed four main themes. The preceptorship relationship grows out of respect for each another and develops as a result of honest and open communication. Preceptees who have an initial positive experience into their new work area settle quickly and efficiently into their new role. Preceptees appreciate preceptors who are welcoming, supportive and willing to undertake the role, while preceptors are happy to undertake the role if the graduate displays an interest in learning and are willing to be guided. The preceptee learns what it means to be a registered nurse in the particular working context, while the preceptor learns how to support learning processes and evidence-based practices. Further exploration and investigation of these themes and of the relationships that evolve during preceptorship partnerships is needed. By understanding these findings, organisations can prepare both the preceptor and preceptee as they begin to undertake their role to ensure future partnerships will be successful.