UMC Nursing Preceptor Program
"Each of us has a spark of life inside of us and our highest endeavor ought to be to set off the spark in one another."
Nursing for Nurses - Nurse Preceptors
The retirement or reduced work hours of older, experienced nurses increases an already high demand for RNs and the need for nursing faculty. One well-known process to improve retention is to educate interested and qualified nursing staff to function as nurse preceptors. The term preceptor, or teacher, has been known since 15th century England. The clinical preceptor is a skilled professional nurse who acts as a role model, clinical educator, supervisor and guide with an interest and commitment in the education of the advanced nursing student.
Knowledge is simply a personal ability when it is achieved; it becomes a community asset when it is shared. Unlike data and information, which tell us what happens and what exists, knowledge tells us what works, what matters, whom we should trust, where things go wrong and how we can fix them. Since nursing is a practiced discipline, experience is the most common method of learning.
A new nurse is not expected to perform without cues from others in the beginning. A prepared preceptor empowers new nurses to make good decisions, take effective actions and provide competent, confident, compassionate patient care. Establishing relationships between nurses and preceptors is the most time-honored tradition of knowledge transfer.
Experienced RNs who have gained from real-life experiences pass that knowledge on to a new generation of nurses with the professional satisfaction watching their professional development in an area of nursing they have long enjoyed.
Preceptors require higher quality preparation, systematic support and acknowledgement of their work. The sponsor of a Nurse Preceptor can impact a hundred nurses who each impact a thousand patients. For more information on sponsoring a Nurse Preceptor, contact Dennece Knight.
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