A Collaborative Preceptor Model for Senior Clinical Experiences: It's a Win-Win-Win!

Monday, 7 July 2008: 3:55 PM
Wendy J. Waldspurger Robb, PhD, RN, CNE , Nursing Department, Cedar Crest College, Allentown, PA
Laurie Murray, DSN, RN , Nursing Department, Cedar Crest College, Allentown, PA
Patricia Karo, BSN, MSEd, RN, BC , Divison of Educaiton, Lehigh Valley Hospital and Health Network, Allentown, PA

Learning Objective 1: identify three positive outcomes of a collaborative preceptor model.

Learning Objective 2: describe the impact of the collaborative preceptor model on the service agency and nursing program’s workforce.

The Clinical Associate Program is a collaborative preceptor model designed to meet the needs of students, service agencies, and schools of nursing. In this creative model service agencies and clinical faculty team up to provide clinical instruction to senior nursing students in a complex health care course.

Exceptional RNs who meet selective criteria are oriented to the course objectives and instruction of students in the clinical setting by the Program Directors. Each RN is matched with two students. Students complete all clinical hours with the RN, under the supervision of the clinical instructor.

Evaluative data indicated the program has been successful for students, the service agency, and nursing program. Students have experienced a unique acceptance among team members on the clinical unit. They have shared positive feelings of professional growth and an opportunity to relax without the scrutiny of “the clinical instructor lurking about”.

The service agency has experienced recruitment of students who felt a deeper connection to the institution and its staff and chose to proceed with employment. The RNs had an opportunity to experiment with the educator role in the safe environment of their clinical unit without drastic job transitions. Valuable clinical floor space was made available for other clinical groups.

The nursing program has accommodated additional clinical groups at less cost per faculty member. Students not placed with an RN received more individualized instruction with lower group numbers and increased clinical instructor contact.

Representatives from a participating service agency and faculty will describe in more detail the outcomes of the first year experience, the benefits of a collaborative preceptor model, learnings from the process, and plans for expansion of the program.