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The experience of being a preceptor for nurse students in clinical practice: A cross-sectional qualitative study
Department of social and health care Novia University of Applied Sciences, Finland.
Department of social and health care VAMK, University of Applied Sciences, Finland.
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Nursing.
2011 (English)In: Learning Communities International Journal of Learning in Social Contexts Australia, ISSN 1329-1440, Vol. October, no 1, 84-99 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This study examined the experience of being a clinical preceptor. A purposive sample of 15 nurses from Västerbotten, Sweden, and 15 nurses from Ostrobothnia, Finland, served as informants. The data were collected through interviews and analysed through qualitative content analysis. Three themes were examined: supervision; reflection and critical thinking; and the connection between theory and practice.

Variations were found to exist in how the supervision was carried out and how the preceptors planned and prepared themselves for it. The students’ learning outcomes were neither clear nor considered important to most of the preceptors. They maintained that as they had too little time for supervision, the students simply had to follow the preceptors in their daily work. Feedback was, however, considered important in supporting the students’ learning process, but reflection and critical thinking were not familiar concepts to most of the preceptors. Most of them also had difficulties in combining theory and practice. The preceptors maintained that the cooperation between the faculty and the preceptors should be enhanced in order to narrow the gap between theory and practice. However, there was a willingness to be a preceptor and the informants considered themselves to be important role models. It was found that the preceptors need pedagogical support from nursing educators and the organisation. Moreover, the nursing educators should prepare the students for their clinical practice and take part in the supervision. In the future, new e-based pedagogical methods could be used to enhance the contact between the student, the preceptor and the nursing educator.


Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Darwin Australia: Darwin university, Australia , 2011. Vol. October, no 1, 84-99 p.
Keyword [en]
Preceptor, nursing education, clinical practice, experience, nursing student
National Category
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-50652OAI: diva2:467223
Available from: 2011-12-19 Created: 2011-12-19 Last updated: 2011-12-20Bibliographically approved

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Jonsén, Elisabeth
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