Preceptors are needed to make a difference in the transition of new nurses from classroom to the clinical setting. Barker and Pittman (2010) noted that the role of mentoring new nurses is challenging and requires the preceptor to have qualities that enhance the process of turning the nursing theory into skilled clinical practice and hence align the nurses with the path of career excellence. As a result, there are essential qualities that an individual needs to have to be a preceptor.
One of the qualities is that a preceptor needs to have strong relationship skills. In the nursing profession, the new nurses face challenges such as difficult work environment and work burden, which may demoralize them early in their careers. As a result, a preceptor needs to have excellent relationship building skills. Such an association makes it easy for the new employees to share their challenges freely with the mentor and hence the preceptor can help them in overcoming the difficulties at work. In addition, organizational skills, patience, the will to help, and good leadership are paramount qualities. According to Donley et al. (2014), such qualities are the basis of good mentorship. Other qualities include communication, teaching, and conflict resolution skills.
Barker, E., & Pittman, O. (2010). Becoming a super preceptor: A practical guide in today’s clinical climate. Journal of the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners, 22(3), 144-149.
Donley, R., Flaherty, M., Sarsfield, E., Burkhard, A., O’Brien, S., & Anderson, K. (2014). Graduate clinical nurse preceptors: Implications for improved intra-professional collaboration. The Journal of Issues in Nursing, 19(3), 1-13.