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Keywords

Advanced practice nursing, education, nurse practitioners, preceptor, preceptorship

 

Authors

  1. Boyce, Delaney J. DNP, AGACNP-BC, CCRN (Nurse Practitioner)

ABSTRACT

Background: Advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) and physician assistants (PAs) are integral to health care delivery in the United States. However, the cultivation of APRNs and PAs relies heavily on the model of precepting. Advanced practice registered nurses and PAs frequently precept students or new hires, yet limited data are available to describe the motivations, incentives, and barriers associated with precepting.

 

Purpose: The purpose of this mixed-method, cross-sectional study was to better understand APRN and PA preceptors' perceived levels of support during precepting, facilitating factors, and barriers to the precepting process.

 

Methods: An electronic survey was distributed via REDCap to a convenience sample of APRN and PA preceptors at an academic medical center. Data collected from the survey were analyzed using both descriptive statistics and qualitative thematic analysis.

 

Results: One hundred fifty-four participants completed the survey. Motivating factors for precepting included "giving back" to the profession, and barriers included inadequate time to precept while in the clinical role. Participants indicated that financial incentives, heightened communication, protected teaching time, preceptor training, meaningful recognition, and organizational support could enhance the precepting process.

 

Conclusion: This study demonstrated that altruistic intentions frequently motivate APRN and PA preceptors, however, navigating multiple clinical responsibilities while precepting serves as a barrier to the precepting process. Preceptor training, ongoing education, dedicated time for precepting, enhanced communication, and organizational or professional incentives may optimize the APRN and PA precepting process.

 

Implications: Further research should focus on how to optimally incorporate education, professional development, support, and incentives into the APRN and PA preceptor role.