1. Hautala, Kelly T. MS, MA, RN
  2. Saylor, Coleen R. PhD, RN
  3. O'Leary-Kelley, Colleen PhD, RN, CCRN


This study was undertaken to examine whether staff nurses experience stress when they are precepting, and the sources of the stress. Another purpose was to describe preceptors' perceptions of support from others, such as coworkers and managers. A convenience sample of 65 registered nurse preceptors completed an investigator-developed questionnaire asking for their views on stress and support in the preceptor role. Most respondents (89%) reported that precepting is stressful to some degree, with the most common reasons being workload, skill level of the preceptee, organizational support, and preceptor confidence. Despite the high levels of stress reported, most subjects described adequate support as preceptors from coworkers and managers. Preceptors are critical for the training and retention of new nurses. It is important that stressors related to precepting be acknowledged and strategies be employed to reduce stress. Recommendations for support and strategies are included.