Nursing

Ask the expert: Developing unit orientation for preceptees

Nurse Leader Insider, March 1, 2010

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This week, Diana Swihart,PhD, DMin, MSN, CS, RN-BC, discusses how to develop a unit-specific competency-based orientation program.

Q: A new preceptor recently joined my unit and wants to develop a unit-specific competency-based orientation program. How will this benefit the new nursing students and staff coming to my unit?

A: Orientations cover information about organization and unit culture, job descriptions or functional statements, policies and procedures, equipment operations, and initial competencies. When determining what to include in the unit-based orientation, preceptors help managers, nurse educators, and staff development specialists analyze the ongoing competency needs of new nurses and student nurses for individual units and practice settings.

The purpose of an orientation is to

  • Determine the essential functions of the job and what knowledge, skills, and abilities are required for preceptees to be successful
  • Assess what knowledge, skills, and abilities preceptees bring with them

To read more on unit-specific competency-based orientation programs and how they benefit staff and students, click here.

Editor’s note: Do you have a question for our experts? E-mail your queries to Editorial Assistant Sarah Kearns at skearns@hcpro.com and see your name in print next week! In the meantime, head over to our Web site and view a growing collection of advice from our experts.



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