Nursing leaders at Spring Harbor Hospital consider ourselves extremely fortunate to have been able to take advantage of the Lunder-Dineen Nursing Preceptor Education Program. We are all too familiar with the high turnover rate and shortage of nurses that continue to beleaguer the nursing profession. In addition, research on attitudes of undergraduate nursing students towards psychiatric nursing has consistently shown that mental health is one of the least preferred areas of nursing for a potential career. It is essential that nursing students are exposed to positive role models and a nurturing environment starting at the time of their introduction to psychiatric nursing as students. We need to help promote a more appealing view of mental health nursing at the earliest opportunity.
It is also essential to ensure that all newly hired nurses to our hospital receive the highest quality and most effective on-boarding and precepting experiences we can offer. This is much more likely to happen when there are well-trained and highly competent nurse preceptors that support and guide these nurses as they transition into their new role within our free-standing, 100-bed psychiatric hospital. We sent several nurses to the preceptor program and they overwhelmingly felt like they received very useful education and fully understood the pivotal role of a nurse preceptor. Likewise they gained better awareness of the many hats a preceptor must wear including teacher, coach, socializer, role model, advocate and evaluator. Their enthusiasm has spread to their nursing colleagues, who have become more appreciative of the important role the preceptors fulfill. We witnessed a positive synergy where everyone is more engaged in doing their part to create a welcoming, patient centered and team oriented environment.;
KAROLE JOHNSON, MSN, RN
Director Adults/ACT & ACNO
Spring Harbor Hospital
This program is very well received by nurses in our three-region health care system.
Nurses across our system who are precepting or assuming the preceptor role can attend and benefit from the program. Participants say the blended learning approach meets their needs. The on-demand online modules were engaging and fit their busy, individual schedules and the live workshop provides an opportunity to then apply the module content with peers from across the state. It would be very difficult for most organizations to fully develop and maintain a well-researched program like the Maine Nursing Preceptor Education Program. Utilizing it allows us to use our limited resources on other important demands. This program is sure to have a ripple effect—promoting a learning culture by preparing and supporting preceptors who will then pass the knowledge and skills to those nurses they precept.
Regional Director, Education
LincolnHealth, Pen Bay Medical Center, Waldo County General Hospital
I am benefiting from the education that my preceptor received. Coming together is a beginning, keeping together is progress, working together is success. As my preceptor, Charlotte and I meet in the morning and plan our journey for the day. We tackle the needs of our patients as a team. We look forward to our next journey together.
Lisa Gashlin, RN
I’ve found that using the tools we received from the Maine Nursing Preceptor Education Program has enhanced the experience for me and my preceptees. It was helpful to learn to take the time to communicate with my preceptees; to explore their strengths and those areas needing improvement and to determine what they would like to work on. This information is used to devise a plan for my preceptees. Frequently checking in with them and getting feedback is an important part of the learning process for both of us! I am continuously considering what they need from me and how I can improve their experience.
Charlotte Jeannotte, RN
Mount Desert Island Hospital
Our experienced long term care nurses who have attended the Maine Nurse Preceptor Program have become even more valuable members of our team. They are able to train our new nurses in a very comprehensive way that takes into account the uniqueness of every nurse. Strengths and challenges are identified much more quickly and our new nurses benefit from a preceptor who “gets” them. This program has really changed the lens through which our nurse preceptors view our new team members.
If I had to mention one thing that I noticed following our nurses completing the program with the day-long workshop is the fire it lit in them. They were given tools and empowered to be change agents; our nurses took our preexisting long term care orientation program and rebuilt it into something puts the focus on the individual nurse learning and less on checking boxes.
Allyson Miller, RN
Long Term Care
Maine Veterans’ Homes