Evidence-based expert: Nurses as preceptors: find the right fit

Staff Development Weekly: Insight on Evidence-Based Practice in Education, March 6, 2009

This week, Diana Swihart, PhD, DMin, MSN, CS, RN-BC, provides ways to educate managers about selecting the right nurses to be preceptors.

Q: How can I educate our managers on ways to select nurses who would make a great fit as a preceptor?

A: Not every experienced/educated/successful nurse is able to precept another. Precepting success is grounded in respectful one-to-one interpersonal interactions that encourage and facilitate the personal growth and professional development of preceptees .

When establishing criteria that nurses need to be preceptors, begin with the following:

  • A minimum of two years experience in nursing
  • Acceptable length of time and experience in the unit/area of the preceptorship
  • Acceptable performance evaluations
  • Acceptable attendance records
  • Current in all competency and annual training expectations
  • Education/advanced specialty certification expectations
  • Attendance at a preceptor workshop, if available

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