Preceptorship is one of a variety of methods of supporting newly qualified practitioners in the transition from student status to that of a registered practitioner. Although such practitioners are knowledgeable and competent, they may need additional support and guidance during this transition. Such a process of support may also be required by practitioners who are returning to practice following a career break, or to more experienced practitioners who are entering a different area of clinical practice.
Preceptorship involves a formal programme in which senior and experienced practitioners are able to support and guide new or inexperienced practitioners. One named practitioner (the preceptor) will be allocated to each preceptee and will work in the same practice area in order to provide advice, guidance, support and effective role modelling. Importantly, preceptorship is not an extension of a pre-registration programme; newly qualified practitioners are accountable for their actions and omissions as are any other registered practitioners.
The regulatory body for nursing, midwifery and health visiting, the Nursing and Midwifery Council, has stated its belief that all newly registered practitioners should have a formal period of support under the guidance of a preceptor and suggested a period of four months as an acceptable time period. The concept of preceptorship is one which is supported by senior nurses, midwives and health visitors within the Isle of Man, both as a quality initiative and also as an example of known best practice in maximising the potential of all practitioners working within this environment. Locally, preceptorship has been endorsed by the Island's Nursing and Midwifery Advisory Council (NMAC) which has representatives from all sectors of nursing, midwifery and health visiting practice in both the public and private sectors of health care.
For further information about preceptorship, please contact David Neilan on 01624 650670.