The following article is part of The Clinical Advisor’s coverage from the 2017 National Conference of the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners in Philadelphia. Our staff will be reporting live on the latest news and clinically relevant practice information from leading NPs in many specialty areas. Check back for ongoing updates from AANP 2017. 

PHILADELPHIA – A structured advanced practice preceptor development program can improve students’ transition into the complex healthcare system, according to research presented at the American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP) 2017 National Conference.

Janet Myers, DNP, FNP/GNP-BC, CDE, BC-ADM, NE-BC, and Susan Bosworth, MSN, RN-BC, FNP, from Vanderbilt University Medical Center, created the program to focus on APRN development, based on an early 2015 needs and assessment gap analysis. The goal of the program was to provide preceptors with the skills necessary to effectively transition advanced practice students and novices into established professionals and to support recruitment and retention initiatives.

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The program coached preceptors to elicit critical thinking, demonstrate effective communication, facilitate interprofessional team building, apply conflict management skills, model professionalism, and evaluate clinical and social competence.

Researchers launched the program in late 2015. Participants completed a 16-question online self-assessment to evaluate current teaching skills. After completing online and interactive learning activities, the participants repeated the self-assessment at 3, 6, and 12 months.

The 6-month self-assessments showed improvements in setting clear expectations, giving effective feedback, organizing an effective orientation, and critiquing active listening skills.

The researchers concluded that by sharing clinical expertise and modeling professionalism, the program yields skilled advanced practice preceptors who assess learning styles and needs, demonstrate effective team communication, create quality learning experiences, support continued quality patient care, enable effective transitions to practice, and shape the future of the advanced practice workforce.

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  1. Myers J. Bosworth S. Implementing an innovative advanced practice preceptor development program: assuring quality clinical education and practice transitions. Presented at the American Association of Nurse Practitioners 2017 National Conference; June 20-25, 2017; Philadelphia.