Background: A preceptor is an experienced nurse who teaches and provides feedback to a new orientee on their professional practice for a designated time. The preceptor is the key educator for new nurs..
Background: A preceptor is an experienced nurse who teaches and provides feedback to a new orientee on their professional practice for a designated time. The preceptor is the key educator for new nurses in their learning process. Continuing education for the nurse preceptor is necessary to foster the professional development of this complex role. Aims: The purpose of this study is to determine if nurse preceptors perceive non traditional education as effective as in person instruction for preceptor professional development. Methods: This descriptive study used a convenient sample. An educational journal was created covering a variety of topics that aide in the growth and development of the nurse preceptor. The education was sent electronically to nurse preceptors in a critical care setting. Preceptors were required to read the journal and complete a post test. Once completed, nurse preceptors were invited to participate in the study. A 25 item questionnaire, using a 5 point Likert scale, was sent via email. Nurse preceptors were given one month to voluntarily participate in the study. Responses to the survey were scored and averaged. Findings: There were a total of 14 participants. Not all items were answered by each participant. Eighty six percent were BSN prepared, 14% were MSN prepared. The majority of participants (71%, n= 10) have been preceptors for 2 or more years in their current practice setting. Some participants did not attend the previous in person preceptor education (4 out of 14). All participants completed the non traditional (journal) education. Nearly all participants (92%, n=12 out of 13) believed that the non traditional educational journal had high impact. When responding to educational preferences, 61.5% preferred to receive preceptor education in a non traditional format while 38% preferred to receive education in both non traditional and traditional formats. The study results provide a better understating of the educational preferences of the nurse preceptor. This information is vital for the development for future preceptor education programs. Tailoring education to the learners preferred methods can make education more impactful. Providing meaningful education to preceptors will improve their practice, further benefiting the experience of the newly hired/transferred nurses. The study may be applicable to other practice areas and/or organizations.