Award Date

2009

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing

Department

Nursing

Advisor 1

Cheryl Bowles, Committee Chair

First Committee Member

Lori Candela

Second Committee Member

Nancy York

Graduate Faculty Representative

Leann Putney

Number of Pages

115

Abstract

Preceptorship is a vital component of the transition experience of newly graduated nurses into clinical practice. Preceptors teach, supervise, and evaluate newly graduated nurses, and also help them socialize into their roles as registered nurses. In the presence of an ever-growing nursing shortage and evidence that many new nurses are leaving their first positions, it is of paramount importance that we make every attempt to ease the transition of newly graduated nurses into clinical practice. Additionally important is the need to understand the experience of all involved in the process.

The primary purpose of this study was to achieve a better understanding, from the perspective of the preceptor, of the experience of being the primary nurse preceptor for newly graduated nurses during their transition into clinical practice. A qualitative research design with a phenomenological method of inquiry guided by the work of Max van Manen and Patricia Munhall was used. Following Colaizzi's seven stages of data analysis, an overall essence, three main themes, and nine sub-themes revealed the meaning of being a primary nurse preceptor for newly graduated nurses during their transition into clinical practice, as an altruistic responsibility to the greater good of the profession.

Understanding the meaning of being the primary preceptor for newly graduated nurses during their transition into clinical practice has significant implications for hospital administrators, nursing leaders, and nurses involved in staff development roles. Organizations should pay particular attention to whether preceptors are being expected to fulfill other roles, such as that of charge nurse, while they are precepting newly graduated nurses. Also important is the need for preceptors to be involved in the entire orientation process and the use of a systematic approach to match preceptors with preceptees. Preceptors should have opportunities to share their perspectives of preceptee characteristics that both contribute to and interfere with optimal transition experiences. Finally, time should be invested in the professional development of preceptors and mechanisms should be put in place to support them in their day-to-day preceptor practice.

Keywords

Mentoring; Nurse preceptors; Orientations; Preceptorship; Primary preceptor

Disciplines

Nursing | Nursing Administration

Language

English


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