Are Registered Nurses who act as preceptors to students in the Kimberley receiving adequate support for their role?


Background: Anecdotal evidence suggests that Registered Nurses (RNs) who act as preceptors in the Kimberley take on the role with minimal support The literature identifies that the preceptor plays a pivotal role in the quality of the clinical experience for students when on practicum. As well, it is identified that the preceptor is fundamental to the development of capable and competent health professionals. Thus, adequate support mechanisms need to be in place to ensure that RNs who undertake the role of preceptors are prepared adequately for their role.

The study: Initially a literature review was undertaken to identify the elements of a best practice model of preceptor support. A survey was then developed for completion by the different health sites in the Kimberley to allow comparison between current practice and best practice in terms of preceptor supports and preparation. Finally recommendations were developed that could be included in the development of an effective model of preceptor support for use in the Kimberley.

Discussion: This paper will report the findings of the study including the current supports and the unique challenges which inhibit the preparation of preceptors for their role in the Kimberley. An overview of the recommendations that were developed to inform a new model will also be presented.