Yvonne Botma


Purpose: Facilitating learning in the clinical context is a complex act for which preceptors should be trained. However, there is no consensus on what should be included in a training programme for preceptors. The purpose of the article is to describe the competences of a preceptor that emanated from a consensus reaching process among nurse educators in South Africa.
Methodology: Nurse educators reached consensus on the core competences of a preceptor through nominal groups. Non-probability convenient sampling was used to sample nurse educators from universities as well as public and private nursing colleges. The two nominal groups generated data that were combined to identify the content of preceptor training programme.
Results: Key findings were that preceptors should be able to facilitate learning through a variety of techniques and perform valid and reliable assessment. Preceptors should support students in finding and implementing best available evidence of care for a specific patient.
Conclusion and recommendation: It is the responsibility of nursing education institutions to produce clinically competent nurses. A competent nurse is able to think critically, reason clinically, make sound clinical judgments, and reflect on the thinking processes applied. Preceptors, therefore, should support nursing students in these thinking processes and create opportunities where they can practice under supervision to become competent nurses. The training programme should enable preceptors to facilitating learning in the clinical environment through a variety of techniques, conduct valid and reliable assessments, and support students in implementing best practice guidelines.


Preceptor; competence; outcomes; training

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