Supporting our junior colleagues to thrive not just survive
At ULHT, we provide every newly-qualified nurse, nursing associate, international nurse and return to practice nurse a place on our Preceptorship Programme. This 12-month programme is specifically designed to meet the needs of the new or returning Nursing and Midwifery Council registrant as they move from student to autonomous professional.
This period of transition can be a challenging time, where junior staff must bring together theoretical knowledge, clinical skills and their own behaviours and attitudes to become the nursing professional they aspire to be. Our Preceptorship Programme aims to provide Trust-specific knowledge in regard to our policies and procedures, opportunity to practice clinical skills and time to discuss how you are developing as a professional.
Led by the Clinical Education Team, you are allocated multiple study days at the start of your employment to provide you with a grounding of knowledge and skills to enable you to start working competently and confidently. Over the next 11 months, you will return to additional study days based on developing your skills in caring for the deteriorating patient, managing the complexities of patients requiring palliative and end-of-life care, demonstrating leadership and appropriate delegation. Your final course is the Standards for Student Supervision and Assessment course, to enable you to support pre-registration nursing students and provide them with a great learning experience.
The programme requires completion of a portfolio which has been specifically designed not to be additional work during your Preceptorship year. It is a place to collate the vast array of learning experiences that you will already be undertaking and to give you some structure to your Preceptorship journey. It is a place to reflect on just how far you have come and to provide a record of how much you have already achieved.
Finally, the whole course is underpinned by support. Support from the Clinical Education Team but also a designated Preceptor in your working area. A Preceptor is an existing member of nursing staff in your ward or department who has been trained to provide practical and emotional support to you during your first year of registration. They will meet with you, formally, every three months to review your progress, signpost you to further resources and guide you in your next steps. They will also be someone who you can turn to for advice, in addition to your new friends and colleagues in your team.
While a programme of education and support cannot remove all of the practical and emotional challenges a new registrant will face, the Clinical Education Team hope that our Preceptorship Programme will provide clinical information, opportunities for learning and time for reflection to help you move through this time as smoothly as possible. We want to help our new staff to become the best they can be, for the benefit of our patients and their own professional development, creating a strong foundation for the nursing team of the future.