Why New Nurses Were Afraid for Their Preceptors?: Listening to What New Nurses Said

Tuesday, 13 July 2010: 4:05 PM

Chung-Hui Lin, MSc
Nursing Department, Chia-Yi Christian Hospital, Chia-Yi, Taiwan

Learning Objective 1: learn from new nurses' voices about what type of preceptors are unprofessionl and why these are helpful during their transition into a new environment

Learning Objective 2: creat a more helpful preseptor-preceptee relationship so that new nurse can smoothly adujust themself into the new work setting

Purpose: The aims of the study were to explore new nurses’ perceptions about what types of preceptors that new nurses were afraid to working with and why interacting with these types of preceptors was considered as stressful. Methods: We conducted two focus groups (N = 19) among a group of newly employed nurse staff during the time of their transition into a regional teaching hospital in Taiwan. By using purposive sampling, 19 new nurses of the hospital participated in the focus group study. The focus group discussions were audio-taped and transcribed verbatim. Each focus group lasted about 105 minutes to 120 minutes. Content analysis was used to analysis the qualitative data. The primary categories, subcategories, and the extracted quotations were translated into English and validated by an English-native speaker who teaches English for years to maintain the accuracy and representativeness of the categories and quotations. Results: Seven themes were identified: lacking of consistency among preceptors , questioning new nurse staff as giving an electric shock feeling, having impractical expectations to new nurses, developing preceptorship in a hierarchical tradition, speaking ill of the preceptee behind the preceptee’s back, linking other senior staff to fight against the new nurse, and working with the torpedo style preceptor. Conclusion: Most participants felt stressful during transition into a new hospital setting. Especially, they felt that managing the relationship with their colleagues, especially preceptors, was difficult. Importantly, the study results provide a clear picture about what types of a preceptor were perceived as stressful one and why the new nurses identified these types of preceptors as one stressor. By looking at the findings, preceptors, nursing administrators, and nursing educators will be able to understand and self-examine how to prevent from these unhelpful and unprofessional behaviors when helping newly hired nurses transition into a hospital setting.