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New Nurses Precepting Students/New Hires?

Nurses   (11,927 Views | 40 Replies)

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So the other day at work one of my co-workers (2 years out of school) was teamed with a nursing student. Now this particular nurse is still somewhat shaky about his skills- good nurse but not super confident (although he's one of managements favorites sooo you know how that goes)

 

I ask him how's it going having a student and he says it's ok (just alittle overwhelmed).

 

Why would you put a nurse with less than 3 years experience to precept?

 

Like really?

 

I feel confident in my abilities, but with just 15 months experience I will say HECK NO! to precepting. I think I know alot, but there's way more I don't know and I have no right teaching anyone else at this stage!

 

Anyway he is management's love puppy (well atleast one mangers') so I guess someone is trying to make him look good.

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Esme12 is a ASN, BSN, RN and specializes in Critical Care, ED, Cath lab, CTPAC,Trauma.

5 Followers; 4 Articles; 20,908 Posts; 147,700 Profile Views

I think it's s set up for failure. Well.....this is what happens when the lay off all the seasoned nurses because we cost too much to keep. AND you answered it yourself....they're the managers pet.

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NoviceRN10 has 5 years experience.

901 Posts; 8,898 Profile Views

I work with some new nurses (with 2 yrs experience) that can run circles around some of the veteran nurses on my unit. I see nothing wrong with a competent newer nurse precepting.

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164 Posts; 5,207 Profile Views

I was precepted by a nurse who had one year experience when I was still in nursing school. Learned a lot from her. Then I was precepted by a nurse who had 18 months experience when I got to my first nursing job. Learned a lot from him too. The way my floor is, unfortunately there just aren't that many nurses with more than 3 years experience. It's a jumping ground for most and not many people stay around very long after they get their year or two in, they are moving on to greener pastures.

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Good Morning, Gil has 3 years experience and specializes in Rehab, critical care.

607 Posts; 14,277 Profile Views

What previous posters said. In your instance, if he's shaky in his skills, he shouldn't be precepting. But, really depends on the individual nurse. You could have a nurse that's been one for 10 years not be as capable as one that's been one for 5. Just individual abilities. Not all nurses are created equal after all just as in any profession. Some people are just better at their jobs than others. I think a nurse that's been one for 2 years could precept if they're confident and have the knowledge/abilities to back it up.

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Esme12 is a ASN, BSN, RN and specializes in Critical Care, ED, Cath lab, CTPAC,Trauma.

5 Followers; 4 Articles; 20,908 Posts; 147,700 Profile Views

I work with some new nurses (with 2 yrs experience) that can run circles around some of the veteran nurses on my unit. I see nothing wrong with a competent newer nurse precepting.

While there are exceptions to every rule.....generally speaking......experienced nurses have more experience and should be precepting new nurses. Although I am now in a wheelchair and anyone can run circles around me physically......my knowledge and experience can not be compared to a nurse with 2 years experience fresh out of school.

That being said, it does depend on the nurse her/himself on whether they should be mentoring anyone.

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317 Posts; 6,482 Profile Views

My supervisor says that multiple studies have shown that nurse preceptors with less than 2 years experience get some of the best "scores", quite possibly linked to the fact that they are young and fresh, not yet jaded, excited about the opportunity to finally teach, and sympathetic to the feelings of a new or student nurse.

You don't have to be the taught by the best, you have to be taught by people who enjoy teaching. There is plenty of time to get support and help on the floor from more experienced nurses once you're out there. In fact, when I was learning, I remembered being so overwhelmed that half the stuff that went in my ear went out my other, so perhaps the best words of wisdom by the oldies is better kept for when one has gotten their feet a bit wet and are able to let it sink in and take hold :twocents:

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Esme12 is a ASN, BSN, RN and specializes in Critical Care, ED, Cath lab, CTPAC,Trauma.

5 Followers; 4 Articles; 20,908 Posts; 147,700 Profile Views

I agree, the preceptor needs to WANT to teach. If the oldie can't be nice then they shouldn't teach.

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4,412 Posts; 33,942 Profile Views

You think that's nuts. I know of a few nurses who were forced to take students as NG nurses in the middle of orientation at the hospitals they work at. Also, I know a few nurses who were oriented part of the time by nurses with under 6 mo. experience on the floor as new nurses themselves.

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RNperdiem has 14 years experience as a RN.

1 Follower; 4,244 Posts; 29,804 Profile Views

If your friend has two years experience, then he should at least have a basic level of competence.

In some workplaces, it is not unusual to have a whole shift of nurses with less than 5 years of experience.

When I worked full time, being given a student to shadow you was the beginning step in taking on the teaching role.

You would be given a student, in preparation for precepting new nurses.

Taking on a leadership role as you gained experience was a basic expectation, not any great honor, but more like jury duty. If you work, eventually you precept and get to be charge nurse sometimes.

Is two years too soon? I don't know your workplace dynamics, but often newer nurses get drafted into these roles when there are only a few experienced nurses who are overburdened and burning out fast.

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CrufflerJJ has 5 years experience as a RN and specializes in ICU.

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...You don't have to be the taught by the best, you have to be taught by people who enjoy teaching...

The only thing I'd change about your statement is "you have to be taught by people who not only enjoy teaching, but have a solid understanding of what they're teaching."

It's not good to have an unwilling skilled person FORCED to teach. Nor is it good to have an incompetent person excited about the possibility of passing along their "expertise" to a newbie. Somewhere in the middle might be optimal.

I've only been a nurse for about 3 years. Prior to going into nursing, however, I had a 22 year career as an engineer (+ 19 years volunteer EMS in my "copious free time"). In my engineering role, I recruited/trained/terminated employees. I'd like to think that my prior years gives me a better perspective on training than a total newbie with 2-3 years of nursing experience.

I LIKE to precept new members of my ICU. I'm more than willing to share "stupid CrufflerJJ" stories of my mistakes, so that my preceptee hopefully won't make the same errors.

Precepting can be challenging for both the preceptor and the preceptee. In an ideal world, I'd like to work with somebody who is smart, catches on quickly, and realizes that they don't know everything. As a preceptor, I also try to be clear about what I KNOW, versus just believe. If I'm not sure about something, I say exactly that, and do my best to find "the answer" for my preceptee. To do otherwise is a disservice to both my preceptee and myself.

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Perpetual Student has 4+ years experience and specializes in PACU.

682 Posts; 9,346 Profile Views

A nurse with a year or two of experience who is appropriately knowledgeable and skilled (for that level of experience) is totally qualified to precept a student. Whether or not (s)he is prepared to precept another nurse may require more detailed consideration.

The most important traits in a preceptor are knowledge, patience, humility, and ability to teach.

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