The Importance of the Preceptor-Preceptee Relationship in Creating Well Prepared Professionals: A Make or Break Experience

  •  Tagwa Yusuf Omer    
  •  Shehnaaz Mohamed Moola    


OBJECTIVES: In this study, we explore the ‘make or break’ challenges faced in the preceptor-preceptee relationship. The preceptor-preceptee relationship needs to evolve from a teacher-student dynamic to a collegial partnership.

METHODS: This qualitative study used focus group interviews which explored challenges experienced by preceptors and preceptees. The preceptors included ten clinical teaching assistants and 14 clinical professionals. The preceptees included ten student nurses. In total, we interviewed 34 participants. The interviews were audio recorded, transcribed verbatim and thematically analyzed.

RESULTS: Both preceptors and preceptees experienced challenges in developing healthy relationships. Preceptors felt that they were committed and trained to teach, and that fulfilling an extended role was beyond their reach. Preceptees had difficulty realizing nursing practice and transitioning from a student to a professional role. Both parties identified strategies for developing healthy professional relationships. Preceptors could extend their professional role to include a mentorship facet. Preceptees could be exposed to diverse clinical environments with guided transitioning to facilitate the change from student to professional.

CONCLUSION: Student nurses need a caring environment to transition from a student role to a professional role. The relationship based care model undoubtedly influences the teaching and learning process by fostering a caring attitude and commitment to teaching and learning. Preceptees develop a sense of belonging and are motivated to accept and adapt to practical realities.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.