Challenges and Strategies for Building and Maintaining Effective Preceptor-Preceptee Relationships among Nurses

Gerald A. Matua, Vidya Seshan, Raman Savithri, Dennis C. Fronda


Objectives: This study aimed to determine the challenges encountered and strategies used by nurse preceptors to build effective professional relationships during the preceptorship of final year nursing students. Methods: This study was conducted in November 2012 at the College of Nursing in Sultan Qaboos University, Muscat, Oman. A qualitative research design consisting of focus group discussions was used to investigate the challenges that preceptors encounter and the strategies that they use to build effective relationships with preceptees. A total of 21 preceptors from Sultan Qaboos University Hospital participated in the study as part of a training workshop for nurse preceptors. The interviews were audio recorded, transcribed verbatim and thematically analysed. Results: The main challenges faced by preceptors included discrepancies in applying theory to practice; lack of trust; lack of time, and perceived lack of knowledge. The effective strategies identified by the preceptors to be used in building a healthy preceptor-preceptee relationship were proper orientation; effective communication; preparation for complex situations; appreciation and acknowledgment; positive feedback; assurance of support; spending time together; knowing preceptors personally; giving breaks, and encouraging self-commitment. Conclusion: Preceptors should be encouraged to identify challenges that hinder the building of effective relationships with preceptees early during their preceptorship. The incorporation of appropriate and evidenced-based strategies, such as those identified in this study, can transform the preceptorship experience into one that is fulfilling for both preceptors and preceptees. This may lead to greater job satisfaction, personal and professional growth as well as higher self-esteem levels for preceptors and the realisation of clinical objectives for preceptees.


Preceptorship; Nursing Students; Mentorship; Socialization; Communication Barriers; Oman.

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Sultan Qaboos University Medical Journal, College of Medicine and Health Sciences, Sultan Qaboos University, PO Box 35, Postal Code 123, Al-Khod, Muscat, Oman

ISSN (Print edition): 2075-051X ISSN (Internet edition): 2075-0528

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