The Nurse Preceptor Toolkit

Nurse Preceptor Toolkit Cover

As the number of novice nurses entering the workforce continues to grow, preceptors must spend more time on clinical education. At the same time, care delivery is growing more complex—meaning there are more competencies and skills to teach and less time do it. Yet few organizations have updated their preceptor program to address these demands.

This toolkit has nine tools designed to help organizations update their preceptor support to more effectively teach the growing workforce entering practice in today’s complex care environment.

Download the Toolkit

Five strategies to develop and inspire preceptors

Strategy One: Evaluate your preceptor program

Not sure where to start? This tool will help you identify your preceptor program’s greatest opportunity for improvement.

Tool 1: Preceptor program diagnostic
Preceptor program diagnostic

Strategy Two: Focus on new preceptor development

While most organizations provide some type of preceptor training, it is often long, didactic, and includes too many topics. Start with Tool 2 to create or update your organization’s training for new preceptors to ensure it focuses on the most important skills. Then use Tool 3 to make the training interactive.

Tool 2: How to develop effective training for new preceptors
Preceptor training topic checklist

Tool 3: Guide to preceptor role-play
Editable participant role-play handout: Delivering actionable feedback
Editable participant role-play handout: Developing clinical reasoning in new graduate nurses
Editable participant role-play handout: Communicating preceptee performance to nurse leaders
Editable facilitator’s guide to running role-play exercises

Strategy Three: Reinforce skills with ongoing preceptor support

Few organizations provide development opportunities for preceptors beyond initial training. As a result, some preceptors find it challenging to continue developing their skills. The following three tools help provide ongoing support and development to preceptors. Each tool can be used independently. However, we recommend implementing these tools in order, starting with Tool 4, which is the simplest to implement.

Tool 4: Give preceptors teaching cheat sheets
Editable preceptor cheat sheets

Tool 5: How to select the right advanced training for experienced preceptors
Editable preceptor training survey

Tool 6: Identify expert preceptors to provide peer support
Legacy Health’s nursing preceptor rubric
Expert preceptor audit
How to run a “dots” exercise
Case profile of Legacy Health’s tiered precepting model
Case profile of Indiana University Health’s targeted skills intensive preceptor model

Strategy Four: Maximize the impact of preceptor recognition

Preceptors do not always receive the appreciation they deserve—which can contribute to burnout. The following tool helps create a meaningful preceptor recognition strategy that is feasible to implement at your organization.

Tool 7: Select the right recognition tactics for your preceptors
Editable starter list of preceptor recognition tactics
Editable preceptor recognition survey

Strategy Five: Raise the bar on preceptor recruitment

With a growing number of new-graduate nurses entering the workforce, preceptors are in high demand and many organizations struggle to recruit enough staff into the role—let alone the right staff for the role. The following two tools can help improve preceptor recruitment at your organization.

Tool 8: Help unit leaders pitch the preceptor role
Editable unit leader’s guide to recruiting effective preceptors
Editable talking points to introduce the guide to unit leaders
Editable preceptor recruitment flyer

Tool 9: Screen for high-quality preceptors with behavioral-based interviewing
Editable BBI preceptor interviewing guide

Special Resource: Nurse preceptor competency reference guide

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