A functional healthcare system needs to be effective and efficient so, to achieve optimal healthcare, the role of a preceptor is extremely important. These preceptors help new registered nurses (RNs) through supervision and support the RNs’ development and socialization. Preceptors facilitate the advancement of nurses and allow them to adapt quickly to the ever-changing requirements of the healthcare systems. Through their guidance, the preceptees become an optimal fit within the medical field. This supervision is not only beneficial for new RNs but also allows them to easily integrate into the teams without being a hindrance (Bartlett et al., 2020). Healthcare professionals undergo training programs to take on take on the duties of a preceptor. There are many training programs like Nurse Practitioner Preceptor, Neonatal Nurse Practitioner Preceptor, Pediatric Nurse Practitioner Preceptor, etc. however this paper will focus on Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) Preceptor Training Program. This educational program is designed to help family nurse practitioners to transition from their current role as staff members into a preceptor’s role. The program employs a range of teaching strategies that promote active learning and result in the acquisition and integration of new knowledge, skills, and attitudes (Association of Surgical Technology, 2021).
Justification of the Project
The preceptors are necessary for the advancement of the RNs’ skills and knowledge. These preceptors are trained academically and made experientially qualified to become an extension of the medical staff. Their guidance to RNs is irreplaceable as it aids their progression and helps them reach their academic goals. A training program is an integral part of becoming a preceptor and the preceptors must be able to avail these training programs for their respective fields, so in the case of FNPs who are trying to advance their careers; it becomes imperative that they receive formal training in their respective field. This training program allows the preceptors to gain an understanding of their responsibilities and develops the skills required to perform the role of the preceptor effectively. An excellent training program reviews the clinical skills, offers opportunities to review the policies and procedures in the related field. It equips the potential preceptors with the ability to develop teaching strategies that they may use to train future nurse practitioners. Apart from this knowledge and skill-based training, the program is also significant in developing certain attitudes which are required to be a successful preceptor. Practicing self-evaluation helps in the identification of individual leadership styles. For this reason “Adaptive Training”, is provided to develop flexibility towards different personalities. Adaptive Training is an interactive training tool that uses machine learning and mediated resources to meet the unique learning requirement of the students. It is a great educational tool to help the trainees in completing their training effectively. Moreover, the adaptive training program is provided to develop flexibility towards different personalities as the preceptors will be training others in the future (Dingle & Avant, 2018). The preceptor training program for family nurse practitioners is important in equipping them with the appropriate knowledge, skills, and behaviors required for this mentorship role.
Purpose of the Project
The purpose of this project is to provide an educational resource that will equip the FNP Preceptors with the knowledge that will allow them to work with the RNs in their field. This will help them in understanding the responsibilities of Family Nurse Practitioners and assist them in developing the proper skills required for training the future RNs. Six modules have been developed in this effort to provide a quality training program. This will serve as formal training for the FNPs as it will be focused solely on the outcomes needed by the RNs in this field. After this training, the preceptors will be able to perform their duties skillfully as they will be equipped with relevant skills and knowledge.
The research aims to provide a clear guideline for the preceptors who are FNPs and educate them about their role in the healthcare system. It will help in developing a deep understanding of their responsibilities and utilizing the resources that might aid them in identifying the educational goals and outcomes. There are various criteria and competencies are outlined that are required to become a preceptor. Preceptors must be advanced practice registered nurses, licensed to practice in the state where the preceptorship experience may occur. Moreover, experience of at least two years as a nurse practitioner is required. This experience includes being proficient in providing patient care following the policy standards in place, fulfilling the assigned duties, and being able to safely operate the equipment. Effective and appropriate use of resources and effective verbal and written communication is also a prerequisite to becoming a preceptor.
Over the years, the number of competent and experienced nurses is decreasing which means that the number of new NPs is higher than the experienced NPs. In this case, the preceptors have become essential as their training focuses on making them highly skilled in clinical practice and it also increases their preparedness, knowledge, effectiveness, and willingness to play the role of a preceptor (Simon, 2020). The most effective training model for preceptor training is the “One-Minute Preceptor Model”, which aims to provide the preceptors with the capability to take complete advantage of the time given for teaching the students or the NPs. Although this teaching method takes more than one minute to teach, its effectiveness and efficiency make it the most optimized training model. The paper aims to utilize this method in devising the preceptor training program for family nurse practitioners that are trying to augment their skills towards preceptorship (Gatewood et al., 2020).
The training program will be developed using Barnes’ Learning Theory for adults. The theory focuses on providing a competitive learning environment for adults. Through the use of this theory, a training program can be devised that will be effective in educating adults. This theory informs the readers about the differences in the way a child learns in contrast to adults. Children’s brains are developing so it is easy for them to learn new things, however; in adulthood, people are set in their ways and it becomes difficult to learn new things. With the help of Barnes’ Learning Theory for adults, the program developed will be adaptable for each learner’s needs. Learning through the principles of this theory will allow the students to fully grasp the concepts and increase their knowledge base (TEAL, 2011).
Training the nurse practitioners to become preceptors is beneficial as the number of care physicians is decreasing. Although many preceptor training programs are provided in the United States, there is still a shortage of preceptors so developing an efficient training program and encouraging the students to participate in the program is extremely important. For this, the programs need to be centered around one core skill so that the students may choose the one that suits them best. To prove that intensive training in a specific field will make the NPs more capable, the paper is focusing solely on developing a preceptor training program for Family Nurse Practitioners (FNPs). This chapter will review the literature available in regards to this topic and use it to build an effective preceptor training program for FNPs.
Previous Preceptor Training Programs for FNPs
There are many preceptor training programs for nurse practitioners (NPs), however; there is not a program that solely focuses on the preceptor training for the family nurse practitioners. This lack of specific training modules is a gap in preceptor training programs, so; research was conducted to identify the reason behind this gap. Through this research it was identified that the existing preceptor training programs focus on the training of nurse practitioners, through this training they become ready to provide specialized care to specific patients, which means they are ready to become a part of a specialized department. They can choose to FNPs or any other type of nurse practitioner. This means further preceptor training programs are not as widely available that will allow them to expand their skills and knowledge base. If more specialized training programs are provided then this will allow them to train new FNPs and help them adjust to the team seamlessly (Giddens et al., 2014).
Family Nurse Practitioners (FNPs)
FNPs are trained to assist the physicians in keeping medical records of the patients; these records include the history of diseases in the patients’ family, patients’ medical history, medication administered to a patient over the years, etc. It requires a deep knowledge of each patient and all patients have interacted with FNPs throughout their medical life. FNPs are trained to provide care to patients of every age group. They are responsible for keeping the record of the patients’ medical history and monitoring their health over the years, which helps in detecting early signs of diseases and help in prevention. FNPs are the most needed in the healthcare system but over the years there has been a shortage of family doctors which has led to an increased workload for FNPs. However; the number of FNPs is not enough to compensate for the shortage of family doctors so a preceptor training program must be provided so that new FNPs can be trained effectively in less time (SGU, 2021).
Available Preceptor Training Programs
The currently available training programs are for nurse practitioners which include Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN) Preceptor Development Education, One-Minute Preceptor Training Method, NP Concentration Preceptor Guide, FNP Preceptor Program, etc.
APRN Preceptor Development Education
This program consists of seven training and educational modules that are available online. It focuses on educating the students about their responsibilities as a preceptor, the way the students learning styles may differ from others, and teaches the preceptors to adapt to their future students’ needs, clinical teaching, facilitation of critical thinking, effective communication, and cultural awareness. The program provides simulation in which the APRNs apply the skills that they have learned during the training program (Maryland, 2020).
One-Minute Preceptor Model
Many NPs in the healthcare system are individuals of advanced age and although these NPs are highly skilled; their career is or will be coming to an end soon due to their age. With most of the nurses being seniors, there is an impending problem of shortage of nurses in coming years so it is becoming more and more necessary to have nurse preceptors. The preceptors are trained NPs that are experienced and skilled. They work directly with the nursing students, training them in clinical healthcare and enabling them to become capable in a short time. The demand for NPs is increasing due to population growth so the demand for nurse preceptors has increased as well. However; there is a deficit of nurse preceptors and with the ever-growing demand for more nurses, there is also a shortage of time required for training. To efficiently train nurse preceptors in a limited time; the “One-Minute Preceptor Training Model”, is an optimal choice (Miura et al., 2020).
NP Concentration Preceptor Guide
This training program aims to integrate NPs into the role of preceptors and make them capable of training future NPs. Through this program, the preceptors learn about their responsibilities. After this program, they become able to teach the students about different concepts, theories, and their applications. They develop the capability of advancing the skills, knowledge, and proficiency of their students. They can adapt to the learning styles of their students which is important for the growth of students. This training program is developed using “Andragogy, Knowles’ theory of adult learning”, which theorizes that adults are independent learners and employ self-direction in their learning process so the best way to educate an adult is to allow them to plan and evaluate their learning progress. So, in this training program, the teacher plays the role of a facilitator more than an educator (MSN, 2019).
FNP Preceptor Program
This training program aims to prepare the nurses for advanced practice, roles, and duties. It not only trains them to be FNP preceptors but also for nursing system administration. It builds a nursing foundation, then trains the trainees for practice in individual, group, and community settings. This training program allows them to take on a leadership role and guide other FNPs. It also serves as a foundation for doctoral study, if the practicing nurses are looking forward to advancing their careers. Similar to other programs it aims to build an advanced knowledge base, critical thinking, utilization of scientific inquiry, and leadership role (Nursing, 2018).
Development of Training Program
These training programs provide an extensive base for the development of an effective preceptor training program for the FNPs. The outcomes determined by each program are similar to the rest of the programs, so these outcomes can be adopted into the program that is being developed by the researcher. The most efficient training program is One-Minute Preceptor Training Method, as it aims to achieve the same goals as the other programs but in a short time. This method will allow in training more preceptors, in a short time that will combat the shortage of preceptors in the healthcare system.
This chapter will cover the methods employed in the development of the preceptor training program for the FNPs. The process will utilize the One-Minute Preceptor Method as the foundation of the program and explain the modules developed for it.
One Minute Preceptor
This method was developed to utilize the limited time available effectively as precepting in a clinical setting can be difficult due to the busy environment. The schedules of the nurse practitioners may serve as a hurdle for them; making them unable to participate in a formal study session. This method allows the preceptors to utilize a five-step model that helps them in precepting effectively. This approach is extremely structured as it can be easily adapted according to the needs of each learner. The steps defined in this method help the preceptor in determining the effective teaching method for each student by asking them a series of questions that can allow a deep insight into the learning behavior of the students. These steps take minimal effort and are as follows:
- Get a commitment
- Probe for supporting evidence
- Teach general rules
- Reinforce what was done right
- Correct mistakes
This model will provide the basis for the development of an intensive training program.
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