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How effective is a nurse preceptor at closing the gap between nursing theory and practice?

Wednesday May 22, 2013
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Dear Donna,

How effective is a nurse preceptor at closing the gap between nursing theory and practice?

Seeking Answers

Dear Donna replies:

Dear Seeking Answers,

This almost sounds like a college class essay. If you’re looking for evidence-based research sources on this you'll have to do the legwork on that yourself. Check with your college librarian or healthcare facility librarian for help.

I will tell you that a preceptor is only one part of helping a new nurse bridge the gap between theory and practice. And since preceptors vary — some are very effective in their role and some are not — a structured facility-based orientation program also contributes as well as formal nurse residency programs. Likewise, the new nurse needs to get immersed in the nursing community by joining and getting active in American Nurses Association (www.ana.org), the state ANA chapter and related specialty associations. In other words, it takes a village to raise a new nurse and bridge that gap.

If you enter the word "preceptor" in the search bar here at www.Nurse.com several articles about precepting that you may find helpful or interesting will come up.

Best wishes,

Donna Cardillo, RN, MA, well-known career guru, is Nurse.com’s “Dear Donna” and author of “Your First Year as a Nurse: Making the Transition from Total Novice to Successful Professional” and “The ULTIMATE Career Guide for Nurses: Practical Advice for Thriving at Every Stage of Your Career.” Information about the books is available at www.Nurse.com/CE/7010 and www.Nurse.com/CE/7250, respectively. To ask Donna your question, go to www.Nurse.com/Asktheexperts/Deardonna. Find a “Dear Donna” seminar near you: Call 800-866-0919 or visit http://Events.nursingspectrum.com/Seminar.