I’ve precept numerous nurses over my 13 years – from student nurses, to new graduate nurses, and experienced nurses. As I reflect on my experience I’ve greatly enjoyed orientating new graduate nurses. Their various emotions on day one from nervous, semi-excited, various ranges of doubt, some timid, some confident this list could continue, but observing them evolve and emerge into confident nurses during their orientation and beyond is the absolute best feeling and such an accomplishment as a preceptor.
I’m blessed to have had an awesome preceptor 13 years ago, Pat! She was an older nurse, ready for retirement and I very much appreciated her values and preceptor style. My preceptor style has relevantly remained the same, but yet simultaneously improved. My two most memorable experiences as a preceptor were with the last three new grad nurses I oriented because I felt the most accomplished and success. I stepped out of a leadership position charge nurse to precept two new grads simultaneously. My success here was honing into concepts I’ve learned from formal preceptor training, being methodical and strategic, and most importantly being and remaining present. My last new grad nurse has remained near and dear to my heart. She has challenged me just as equally as I’ve challenged her to grow and develop. As her orientation completed she told me I was going to be her mentor this was new territory for me as I’ve not been a formal mentor and wanted to be a great mentor for her and any nurse. In a way, it sparked the creation of RNBlueprint to one day become a platform and resource for nurses alike to feel supported, inspired and motivated. It also probed me to question what, if any, distinguishes there are with being a preceptor and mentor and thus publish the article Nurse mentorships: A two-way street with the American Nurse Today Journal.
My mentee has transitioned to becoming a DON and currently in the running for the 2019 nurse of the year recognition for the company she is employed. Being a part of her recognition and most importantly her nursing journey from day one opens opportunities for me as a new leader to precept and onboard new nursing leaders and continue to be mentor!
If you’re a student nurse getting ready to graduate what qualities and traits would you like in your preceptor? If you’re an experienced nurse what are your new graduate memories? Please share your thoughts and comments below!