Nursing Preceptors' Perceived Stress and Support, and Their Commitment: A Repeated Measures Study

Friday, 20 July 2018

Wei-Fang Wang, PhD, RN
Nursing Department & Education Center, National Cheng Kung University Hospital, Tainan, Taiwan
Chich-Hsiu Hung, PhD, RN
School of Nursing, Kaohsiung Medical University, Kaohsiung City, Taiwan


The purpose of this study was to examine changes and relationships among new nursing preceptors’ perceived role stress, organizational support, and commitment to their role within six-month period while they first assumed the preceptor role.


A longitudinal study with a single group and repeated measures were used in this study. With a convenient sampling, participants were recruited from a medical center in southern Taiwan. The study instruments included the demographic questionnaire, the Preceptor’s Perception of Stress Scale, the Preceptor’s Perception of Support Scale and the Commitment to the Preceptor Role Scale. Data were collected before a preceptor training program, and again after the training program in the second, fourth, and sixth months. Data were analyzed with generalized estimating equation to explore the trend of changes and relationships among the perceived role stress, organizational support and commitment to the preceptor role.


Nursing preceptors’ perception of organizational support gradually increased significantly during the six-month period. The participants, who were on-job education, assigned as a nursing preceptor by managers of the unit, and who participated in the faculty development classes, perceived higher stress. Participants with teaching experience perceived lower stress and participants without intention to be a preceptor had lower commitment. In addition, the study indicated that predictors of changes in organizational support involved on-job education, assigned to be a nursing preceptor by managers of the unit and educational level of trainees. Preceptors who were on-job education, who were assigned to be a nursing preceptor by managers of the unit, and whose trainees were bachelor degree or above perceived higher change in organizational support. The important predictors of preceptor’s role commitment were organizational support and motivation to be a preceptor. Preceptors with higher perception of organizational support had higher sense of role commitment. Compared with internal motivation, preceptors with external motivation had lower role commitment. Meanwhile, the change of organizational support and intention to be a preceptor were predictors of changes in role commitment. The higher organizational support perceived, the stronger sense of role commitment was found. Compared with participants who had intention to be preceptors, participants who were without intention to be preceptors had higher change in role commitment.


A positive correlation between preceptors’ sense of role commitment and perceived organizational support, as well as the positive relationship for both changes in role commitment and organizational support. Thus, persistent organizational support not only facilitates preceptor’s role commitment but also has a long-term effectiveness. The future study would explore the interactions between different factors and the trend of their changes over a period of time.