To My Preceptor

As a brand new nurse, straight out of school and on a busy Med/Surg floor, I found out very quickly that the 'NCLEX world' and the 'real world' are two very different places- and that the journey to acclimation in my new world would be a long and difficult transition; especially in those first few months. Scared, clueless and internalizing the steep learning curve ahead, it didn't take long to realize that a good preceptor is not only essential in this crucial phase but completely worth their weight in gold. I am blessed to say, in this regard, I hit the jackpot! Nurses General Nursing Article

To My Preceptor

Throughout my orientation, I found not just a preceptor, but a mentor, a colleague and a friend. I am forever grateful that, for me, she provided a safe environment free of hostility and judgment - but one conducive to teaching, learning and growing. I ended my orientation with many of her pearls of wisdom, nuggets of knowledge and the confidence to know I am on my way to one day being the nurse God created me to be. I only hope she knows how truly special she is!

To my preceptor:

With your many years in nursing, I know I am just another face; just another mindless new grad - clueless, jittery and slow. Although my face will soon fade from your memory, yours will forever be present in mine. Your razor sharp intelligence, your thick gritty exterior, your invaluable experience, and warm, compassionate heart have helped mold me into the nurse God has called me to be.

The worst kept secret in nursing is the difficulty transitioning from 'student nurse' to 'real nurse'; and boy is that transition rough. No amount of schooling, studying, or clinical time will ever truly prepare you for 'real world nursing'. It much reminds me of the military. Basic training is absolutely essential in laying the foundation for a good soldier, but it will never prepare him for the gruesome reality of war. The process of such a transition is quite difficult and at times extremely painful. For this I am forever grateful for your willingness to help me weather the blustery storms that blow through the trenches of nursing. Thank you for being my battle-buddy.

Thank you for sharing your wealth of knowledge with me. Thank you for showing me how to prioritize in the real world and explaining that not everything is a crisis. Thank you for nurturing my fragile, almost non-existent confidence. Thank you for not making me feel absolutely incompetent for asking silly, mindless, and seemingly basic questions. Thank you for teaching me to pop in a piece of gum when I feel the urge to cry in front of my patients. This will hold the tears at bay until I can make it to the supply closet; with this I can hold it together and remain a strong pillar of strength for my patients in the midst of highly emotional situations. Thank you for showing me what it really means to be a patient advocate.

Thank you for forfeiting those sacred moments of 'down time' you rarely seem to find to instead graciously help me better understand those wonky tele strips. Thank you for always reassuring me and reminding me that everyone makes mistakes - even you. Thank you for reminding me that every mistake, every error, ever near miss must be taken as an opportunity to learn and to grow. Thank you for pushing me, for giving me just enough rope to feel uncomfortably independent, but not enough to hang myself. Thank you for reminding me that this unnerving phase in my nursing career is much like a jigsaw puzzle - the pieces are there, but figuring out how they fit together takes a little time. Thank you for your incredible patience with a bright eyed, bushy tailed, green-as-green-can-get new nurse.

With this I must say, you were so very right. The tears, the long hours, the doubts, the frustrations and fear are all worth it when your patient tells you that yes, you were the calming presence in a painful, scary situation. Yes, to you I am just another face, but to me, you are the physical embodiment of the confidence, focus, peace, compassion, and patience I prayed for in a preceptor every night. Although I am only a few steps out of the gate and have many, many more to go- thank you for helping this turtle come out of her shell. I only hope that someday I can provide a scared, inexperienced, doe-eyed novice the same guidance you have provided me!


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What a great Preceptor!!! Glad you had such a great experience. There are some wonderful preceptors out there.

Specializes in Nurse Scientist-Research.

Wow, How did I not know the gum thing; got to file that away under "useful information".

Great piece OP.

Thank you for sharing, bas22. Have you shared this with your preceptor?

Specializes in ninja nursing.

What a great thank you letter.

Wow. I will be starting my preceptorship in a week, and I hope to have a preceptor that would have such a positive impact to me as yours!

I'm sure you have shown your appreciation in some way, but I encourage you to share this with your preceptor. It's beautiful.

Specializes in Critical Care, Postpartum.

Thanks for sharing.

I too hit the jackpot twice with my preceptors. One was when I transitioned from student nurse to primary nurse and then from being a one-year "experience" nurse transiting into my dream specialized unit. Both amazing preceptors who never lost sight that they were once in my shoes.

Wow. So beautifully put. It souds like you had a WONDERFUL preceptor and that you did a GREAT job of optimizing your guided learning experience. Congrats!

What an awesome thank you letter! God heard your prayers. I hope someday God will provide me an awesome preceptor like yours. :)

Well written article. I hear a preceptor can make or break you. A friend once told me about her preceptor who told her she was doing well and told the unit manager something else. Needless to say my friend resigned and two years later, she is now a preceptor at her new place of work! I pray everyday for a good preceptor when the time comes.

Hello bas22

Thank you for the time and thought for this letter I only hope I will be so lucky as you in my future

being a new Nurse

Specializes in critical care, neuro.