Facilitating Nurse Residency Facilitators


  • Specializes in Midwifery, surgical nursing.

I am an RN - MS student in a Nurse Admin Leadership Track. For my practicum, I will be helping the coordinators of a nurse residency program design and develop - hopefully - a robust facilitator curriculum based on the University HealthSystem Consortium (UHC) guidelines, with the intention of equipping facilitators of nurse residents to be effective overseers of nurse resident development. (To the uninformed, a facilitator is like a mentor or advisor, an experienced nurse who provides informal and/or structured guidance, counseling, and direction in various ways to the nurse resident.)

My first step is assessment. I would like to find out from other members on allnurses.com who have been in a nurse residency program how the facilitator role is perceived and experienced in their program, the good, the bad and the ugly about theur experiences. I have created a brief survey (http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/PJG6P2B) which is anonymous. I don't want to know which program you are or were in AT ALL, just gathering data about facilitators to try and build a great program for them.

I hope it's ok to ask for this on this forum. I have read such an abundance of great advice and tips and all sorts in allnurses, that it was the first place I thought of when I was considering the gathering if data for my practicum.

Specializes in Critical Care, Education. Has 35 years experience.

It warms my nurse educator heart - that an admin grad student is interested in a topic that is so crucial for us (educators). I have designed/created & implemented a bazillion such programs over the years in all sorts of specialty areas - for newbies, foreign grads & transitioning nurses.

It's nice that you're looking at structure, but have you settled on education theory(ies) yet? I know that nurses tend to ignore anything not created by nurses... which explains the overwhelming adulation of Benner. (while ignoring Dreyfus, who actually developed the theory which Benner adopted). But there's a lot more out there - and they may be a much better fit for you. I have some favorites - PM me if you want more info.

I would also encourage you to look at the importance of coaching when it comes to facilitation. This method incorporates Socratic and problem-oriented methodology (much more apparent in medical education). These methods foster Dewey's incidental learning outcomes of confidence and critical thinking in addition to the nursing curriculum. I have found that coaching does not come naturally to most preceptors - they tend to be more 'show and tell' oriented and shy away from providing effective critical feedback.

BTW, I looked at your survey, but did not respond since it is obviously designed for program participants rather than educators.

Best of luck to you - we need more nurse administrators who understand and support the work of educators.


32 Posts

Specializes in Midwifery, surgical nursing.

Perhaps a reason for my interest is that my choice of focus would have been education...if it was being offered. So I settled for administration as this was an area where I have had an abundance of experience. Thank you for your encouragement. I would appreciate your input on education theories, particularly any specific to this area and plan on PM-ing you in the near future.

I am in total agreement on the coaching aspect. I don't know if the word "facilitator" really describes the role as definitively as it should. I would like to see a much closer relationship established between nurse residents and their facilitators, and hope that I will be in a position in the end, through my practicum, to make recommendations along those lines.

Thanks again - I will be in touch!