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Improving Nurse Preceptor Competence with Clinical Teaching and Students Perceptions of Quality on a Dedicated Education Unit

The dedicated education unit (DEU) is an important academic-practice model used around the world to provide rich, immersive clinical practice training to nursing students.  Nursing schools rely on DEUs to mitigate nursing education shortages of clinical faculty and clinical space by relying on front-line staff nurses to teach students.  Student nurses may spend a lot of time under the supervision of nurse preceptors.  However, nurse preceptors have varying backgrounds of teaching experience and often cite insufficient preparation as a common reason for difficulties transitioning from the role of clinician to educator with up to 67% of nurse preceptors in hospital facilities citing no formal preparation for the role.  Thus, a structured preceptor training program for nurse preceptors was developed to increase nurse preceptor competence in clinical teaching, and increase nursing students’ perception of the educational quality.  Nurse preceptors received role responsibilities and online educational modules with practical teaching tips and scenarios.  Nurse preceptors and students each received surveys before and after the training and the post-intervention results were compared to pre-intervention results to assess whether there was a change in teaching competence and quality of teaching and learning.  After the training, nurses felt more competent when teaching students in the clinical setting.  Likewise, students were satisfied with the quality of teaching.  Results were comparable to earlier studies; however, nurse preceptors with more than two years of preceptor experience reported a higher level of teaching competence initially than those with less than two years of experience


Becky Good

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