The Critical Role of Nursing Preceptors in Nursing Education: Bridging the Nexus Between Theory and Practice

This paper examines the critical role that nursing preceptors play in the transition from students to nurses. Preceptors live at the intersection between theoretical learning and practical application. This research which was done in 2017, investigated the correlation between active preceptors and the training of competent nurses. The paper will also identified the impact of staffing/under-staffing of nursing preceptors on nursing on both students and their nursing education.

The methodologies used involved: (i)survey of nursing students on practical rotation at various health care institutions across Jamaica to find out the average amount of preceptors needed to properly facilitate nursing students on the respective wards; (ii) surveys of samples of nursing students at the Excelsior Community College, Browns Town Community College, Montego Bay Community College, Portmore Community College and Knox Community College to ascertain the amount and perceived impact of nursing preceptors employed to the respective schools; (iii) focus group study of students to be done in all the schools to gain in-depth understanding of their clinical experience as it relates to supervision by clinical preceptors. The expected outcome of the study will provide critical analysis and information to both students and school administrations of the vital role preceptors play in the development of nurses of the future.

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