Tips from TSE: Choosing the right preceptors

Staff Development Weekly: Insight on Evidence-Based Practice in Education, December 5, 2008

Developing an effective preceptor program requires a varied approach, including choosing competent preceptors who can successfully orient new graduate nurses to their positions and environment. Educators must be aware of generational differences, the characteristics of good preceptors, and red flags when choosing the right candidates.

Marianne Adoryan, MA, BSN, RN-BC, clinical nurse educator at Sarasota (FL) Memorial Hospital, says you should keep the following components in mind when choosing a preceptor to participate in your program:

  • Active involvement in the facility. "This is key," said Adoryan. "You're looking at, 'Is this person someone who's seeking opportunities and wanting to help others?'"
  • High merit reviews. "Ask yourself if they're an A-player who's always stepping up and doing things for the organization," said Adoryan.
  • Certification. "We'd like to see if they've been certified in a specialty area, identifying them as an expert," said Adoryan.
  • Leadership role on the unit. Note whether the preceptor takes initiative as a leader within the unit or facility.
  • Presentation participation. "See if they've submitted an abstract to a local conference or developed a poster presentation," said Adoryan.

Editor's note: This excerpt was adapted from the December issue of The Staff Educator. Discover all the benefits of subscribing to The Staff Educator!


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