Preparing Senior BSN Nursing Students for Clinical Preceptorship Experience

Monday, 30 October 2017

Valerie C. Sauda, MSN, RN-BC, MGSF
School of Nursing, Husson University, Bangor, ME, USA

Husson University School of Nursing in Bangor, ME, USA, has a tradition of providing senior level nursing students a preceptored clinical experience (clinical course NU427) during a fourteen week semester. the preceptored experience is a transition to practice experience in which a senior level nursing student is paired with a practicing nurse in an acute or home care environment. Through faculty discussion, the diversity of hospital and home care settings available for the clinical experiences appeared to complicate and impact consistency in meeting senior level clinical learning objectives at both a student and faculty level. The faculty identified that some students were challenged in being successful in a preceptored clinical experience vs. a traditional faculty supervised experience. One area of concern which the faculty identified was that the clinical and academic preparation of a student and the readiness for the preceptored clinical experience were factors in the potential for success. Upon discussion, the faculty determined that assessment of student readiness and a review of knowledge and skill levels was needed. Using the framework developed by the United States National Councils of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN, 2015) Transitions to Practice modules, a small group of senior faculty discussed the creation of a preparation and readiness program with particular focus on communication, patient centered care, prioritization/delegation, and safety. The faculty worked collaboratively to develop a systematic program through review of prior clinical feedback, pre-partnership simulation (Fisher and King, 2013), clinical feedback (MettiÓ“inen, 2015), and the use of the regional computerized placement program. Laboratory and simulation remediation opportunities were made available to ensure that students meet basic knowledge and skills competencies prior to entering the preceptored clinical experience. Improvements in success in preceptored clinical experiences were noted and a better understanding by faculty of what knowledge, skills and behaviors required further development to inform the clinical curriculum. The program is currently being reviewed and updated ongoing to ensure additional measures for readiness and competence are considered to ensure student success.