The following article is part of conference coverage from the 2019 American Association of Nurse Practitioners Annual Meeting (AANP 2019) in Indianapolis, Indiana. Clinical Advisor’s staff will be reporting breaking news associated with research conducted by leading nurse practitioners. Check back for the latest news from AANP 2019.

 

An increased demand for preceptors coupled with barriers to attending preceptor development training such as availability and time indicate a need for innovative strategies to develop and support NP preceptors, according to research presented at the 2019 American Association of Nurse Practitioners Annual Meeting, held June 18 to 23 in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Researchers from the University of Connecticut School of Nursing conducted a survey at the 2018 American Association of Nurse Practitioners annual meeting to identify specific development/training and resource needs of preceptors who work with NP students and to determine whether preceptors use structured clinical teaching methodologies. Attendees were asked to complete the survey if they had previously acted as a preceptor for students or were interested in becoming a preceptor. Demographic data, preceptor experience, knowledge and use of various clinical teaching methods, and access to and use of various resources provided by schools of nursing and students were recorded.

A total of 204 NPs (89.7% female) completed the survey. The mean age of respondents was 47 years, and the mean number of years practicing as an NP was 10.8. The majority of respondents worked in ambulatory care (62.6%). Only 23% of respondents had received formal preceptor training. The most significant barriers to attending preceptor development training were availability (41%) and time (37%).

According to respondents, the preferred formats for preceptor development were web-based asynchronous (36%) and conference workshops (32%), and preferred topics included methods to increase critical thinking skills and clinical reasoning in students. A total of 34% responded “neutral” or “disagreed with” feeling prepared to teach students, and approximately 60% reported understanding the educational objectives of the clinical rotations.

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A total of 56% of respondents reported receiving student-generated learning goals, with the majority (88%) feeling this would help during clinical rotations. A positive correlation was found between attending preceptor development training and feeling prepared to teach NP students and having a clear understanding of the clinical objectives of NP students.

“Our findings that only 23% of NP respondents reported having formal training for the role and one-third not feeling prepared to teach students suggests a need for more accessible preceptor training programs,” the authors concluded.

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Reference

McNeil B, Jakubisin-Konicki A, Bourassa D, Alexander IM. The survey says…clinical teaching needs of NP preceptors. Presented at: 2019 American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP) Annual Meeting; June 18-23, 2019; Indianapolis, IN.