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  The Value of Preceptorship Program in Nursing Realm


   Fernand Jacolbe, BSN, RN

   Neuroscience Center, Baptist Hospital of Miami


Nursing is a noble profession. It is a profession that entails a whole lot of responsibilities. It is a profession that needs to be taken by heart, and performed at one’s utmost ability. Reminiscing my time upon entering the profession as a new graduate nurse, brings me back to having feelings of both excitement, and fear. Excitement to start as a “true” Registered Nurse (RN) after enduring the grind of nursing school; and at the same time, having the feeling of fear not knowing what to expect, most especially encountering inaccuracy at the bedside.

The Preceptorship Program at my organization made a significant influence in my transition as a new graduate nurse to function as a confident and competent nurse. The program was designed to shape a new nurse, with fundamentals that drives a novice nurse to feel confident in developing his/her critical thinking skills, and equips him/her clinical judgment to work with ease. It is a fact that in the nursing profession, it takes time and experience for things to come with ease. As nurses, it is very important to note that nothing should be taken for granted at any given time to ensure patient safety.

Nursing possesses a lot of challenges. Prioritization, time management, safety and quality nursing care are some of the things that really need much attention in nursing. The preceptorship program had the blueprint for effective transition of a new graduate nurse to perform safely, competently, with confidence to practice independently at the bedside. A structured onboarding is necessary for the novice nurses to learn and be guided as they enter the realm of professional practice; hence, the crucial role of preceptors. 

As I continue with my practice as a nurse preceptor, it also humbles me to be a recipient of an award for “Outstanding Nurse Preceptor of the Year” for Baptist Health South Florida. To be recognized for something that you love doing is more than enough. I am in this profession because it is something that I really want to do. The transition from being a new graduate nurse under the preceptorship program, has been aground for me to evolve as a preceptor with immeasurable value. As I continue to be a committed preceptor for the new graduate nurses, experienced nurses new to the unit or organization, nursing students, and nurse scholar partners, I pay it forward to them. Being a committed preceptor gives me satisfaction in the work that I do not only addressing the needs of my patients but to my colleagues as well. I look at it as having an opportunity to share with them what I had gleaned from my preceptors and work experiences. 

My experience as an outstanding preceptor empowered me as a role model, leader, educator, evaluator, socializer, and protector. I am a firm believer in leading by example. By doing so, one does not only leave a mark to the nurse receiving guidance for safe transition to practice but might eventually influence somebody in a positive way. Leaving a positive lasting impression on somebody who could use it in his/her nursing career is the best feeling ever. 

Nursing is a collaborative effort. Things get done better when working as a team. And the way I see it, from being a new graduate nurse to becoming a preceptor, the preceptorship program made all these happen. My last parting words is dedicated to all my preceptors, “thank you for taking time to mold me into the nurse I am today. I am very grateful.”