Nursing Student Goals for Preceptorship

Nursing Student Goals for Preceptorship

As a nursing student approaching the end of your education, you may be assigned to a preceptorship. This is an invaluable opportunity to gain real-world experience under the guidance of an experienced nurse preceptor.

Setting clear nursing school goals helps you maximize this time to build confidence and hone your skills. In this article, we’ll cover what preceptors do, preceptorship goals, and tips to advocate for yourself during this transition from student to nurse.

What is a Nurse Preceptor?

A nurse preceptor is an experienced RN who is assigned to supervise, teach, and evaluate nursing students during their clinical rotations or preceptorships.

What Does a Nurse Preceptor Do?

Nurse preceptors have an important role in guiding the professional development of nursing students. Their key responsibilities include:

Supporting and providing resources during the transition  

Nurse preceptors play an invaluable role in offering guidance, training materials, and documenting organizational resources to newly hired staff or student placements navigating the challenging transition and assimilating as productive professional team members. Preceptors validate skills, share advice, responding questions, and help troubleshoot workflow issues that arise acclimating operational environments.

Creating a safe workplace 

Preceptors proactively foster optimized training spaces, ensuring new trainees obtain hands-on skills-building opportunities within safe, controlled conditions. This involves securing supervised access, performing essential activities, confirming protocols are followed, maintaining safety standards, and transparently communicating site policies around confidential, protected health information accessed during immersive learning exposures.

Facilitating nurse growth in the clinical environment

Through collaborative, side-by-side direct patient care shifts, preceptors incrementally increase student participatory roles, performing technical and assessment competencies in alignment with emerging skill levels demonstrated. This may encompass phased involvement with medication administration, patient charting, lab review discussions, and leading bedside education exchanges under looser oversight, qualifying independence.

Evaluating the proficiency level in clinical settings

Preceptors gauge competency attainments across core nursing practices using proficiency skills checklists issued from affiliated academic programs. This validates capabilities performing essential care tasks like IV catheter insertion, nasogastric tube placement, safe patient transfers and precision dosage calculations — awarding “green lights” clearing students towards patient care autonomy.

Supervising nursing care and ensuring safe practice 

While scaling student nurse autonomy as confidence and competencies solidify through applied experiences, preceptors still shoulder responsibility for supervising all patient care activities students engage in directly, ensuring safety and care standards remain upheld. This oversight scope includes intervening with corrections when warranted to prevent minor student errors from evolving into actual adverse events.

Communicating with the clinical instructor to discuss the student’s performance

Preceptors give reports with detailed progress, back to affiliated university nursing education programs summarizing strengths, opportunities, and demonstrated ability levels assessed, cataloging proficiencies attained from immersive clinical hours invested. Conferencing ensures achievement transparency while determining placement continuance or graduation readiness endorsed.

What are Nursing Preceptor Goals?

Goals provide a focus for both the preceptor and the student during the preceptorship. They should be S.M.A.R.T.:

Specific – Outline tangible skills to address

Measurable – Include metrics to evaluate progress

Achievable – Challenge yourself while setting realistic goals

Relevant – Align goals with preceptorship priorities

Time-bound Establish deadlines for completion

10 Goals for Nursing Students and Preceptors

Here are 10 common preceptorship goals for nursing students:

Enhance communication with other personnel

Improve abilities to communicate patient status updates, test results, care coordination needs, equipment requests, or medication concerns clearly to interdisciplinary team members, including physicians, pharmacy, lab, transporters, and support staff using standardized SBAR format reporting protocol or electronic medical record exchanges.

Strengthen organizational skills

Develop efficient personal systems tracking multiple patient assignment details, documentation checkpoints, lab follow-ups, medication administration record charting, and prioritization rearrangements when fluctuating patient acuity shift workloads within allotted shift durations.

Increase psychomotor ability

Refine demonstrated competencies performing essential technical and manual handling skills like wound care techniques, IV insertion, nasogastric intubations, urinary catheter insertion, and ambulation assistance through repeated guided repetitions, building automaticity executing sequential steps precisely.

Increase medical knowledge

Solidify clinical judgment, assessment capabilities, pharmaceutical recognition, lab values interpretation, medical vocabulary fluency, and procedural familiarities through intensified daily exposures guided by interacting dynamic patient case scenarios, debrief discussions, and just-in-time teaching supplementing existing baseline understandings.

Strengthen critical thinking skills

Hone analytical aptitudes solving unfolding patient presentation mysteries using deduction, previous pattern recognition, inference interpretation, abstract conceptualization connecting data points, and reasoned evidence gathering while verbalizing cognitive thinking processes with clinical preceptors awarding growing autonomy as aptitudes improve.

Develop leadership skills

Cultivate conflict resolution tact, team coordination foresight, priority diagnosis efficiencies, bedside education discernments, preventative vigilance focus, and change implementation through leading select shift initiatives like introducing infection prevention procedure proposals to peer groups while responding to rapid response emergency event activations requiring an assertive charge.

Enhance assertiveness skills

Exercise patient advocacy obligations by speaking up for caseload needs, clarifying unclear physician medication orders, confronting workplace incivility matters through proper reporting channels, and securing appropriate care resources. Each assigned individual requires using professional self-assuredness to overcome previous intimidations surrounding question-asking reluctance or self-doubt tendencies.

Provide quality patient education

Integrate discharge instructions, procedural education, home care written materials, medication regimen adherence tips, and daily health maintenance guidelines, tailoring key details towards individual learning styles with sensitivity, acknowledging literacy barriers and cultural parameter contexts, still effectively ensuring comprehensive understandings.

Participate in organized learning experiences

Fulfill collaborative learning contracts by issuing dedicated time investigating evidence-based practice topics, establishing nursing policy improvement projects, conducting staff in-service teaching presentations, or compiling patient case study submissions towards fulfilling graduate degree clinical hour mandates within supportive peer group learning cohorts led by clinical preceptors or nurse managers invested in nurturing their replacement’s ascending journey succeeding beyond bedside too!

Be a role model of nursing values

Conduct all patient/peer interactions genuinely embracing principled pillars like therapeutic compassion ethics, egalitarian service standards, restorative dignity considerations, invitational community belonging cultivation, and unconditional positive self-care regarding role modeling esteemed foundations still anchoring storied global Florence Nightingale nursing legacies hundreds of years later!

How to Make the Most From Your Nursing Preceptorship

Here are tips for students to maximize the value gained during nursing preceptorship clinical experiences:

  1. Starting your preceptorship, set goals for nursing students to achieve across the dedicated term fostering development.
  2. Discuss nursing student assistance needs and time management strategies with the preceptor daily and ask other students about effective systems.
  3. Observe closely, then ask your preceptor how to demonstrate unfamiliar protocols performed I may replicate improving.
  4. Survey fellow students what they have learned discovering undisclosed insights into workflows coming only through direct immersive experiences.
  5. Politely request your preceptor to help intercede, facilitating hands-on practice IV insertion opportunities and building your confidence until success.
  6. Ask my preceptor to allow observing specialized treatments like casting, suturing, or tube placements broadening exposures available learning.
  7. Watch my preceptor closely first when difficult conversations arise with angry family members to model empathetic de-escalations successfully applied.
  8. Invite and embrace feedback from my preceptor about documentation and care coordination completion rates tracking tangible competency attainment.
  9. Observe how my preceptor navigates high-stress trauma resuscitations, managing emotions/focus while delivering high-quality chest compressions effectively.
  10. Always verify with my preceptor the correct way medical equipment operates or medication administration procedures are executed, preventing catastrophic errors later alone.
  11. Invest dedicated time getting to know my preceptor’s style, vision, and journey into nursing, hearing experiences enriching case perspectives profoundly.
  12. To track patient information, also use flow sheets, noting hourly vitals, lab results, and meal intake percentages, steadily plotting clinical progress.
  13. Learn to use flow sheets to help me stay organized consistently, especially when rotating units/preceptors are altering the previous systems I created.
  14. Use flow sheets to help me keep track of patient information related to potential discharge goals my hospital nursing program sets helping pace improvement trajectories appropriately.
  15. For the first few times, request tips on prioritizing and show me tools to use on time management from my preceptor when feeling behind juggling serious caseloads.
  16. Tell my preceptor I aim to provide excellent care for your patients the way you demonstrate through lead-by-example consistency.
  17. Target mastering high-quality documentation daily and asking for feedback, finding corrections to my documentation early, and habituating thoroughness.
  18. Knowing handoff reports run long, take an extra 5 minutes before shift change to organize details they pass onto the next caregivers accurately.
  19. When I observe my preceptor using tools effectively, I’ll see if i can use them also and try to incorporate one tip per day building my repertoire resourcefully.
  20. Treat my preceptor as my best source of information to advance skills by the end of the term through attentiveness cultivated earnestly.
  21. Ask my preceptor for advice on time management when lagging behind admission piles, knowing they navigate similar volumes victoriously.
  22. I want to make a visible improvement in my time management capacities as the weeks progress by deliberately applying provided strategies for optimizations.
  23. Admit feelings nervous about delegating assignments unsure the correct way to hand out tasks properly, so please remind rights of delegation each time i delegate a task.
  24. Have a list of things that must be in the notes along with ones that i can add if it is appropriate given the patient’s situation at hand.
  25. Review documentation format to ensure a complete note covering vital patient content areas thoroughly for constructive feedback.
  26. To improve my skills, I ask my preceptor if I can give all the injections possible when appropriate while they directly observe the techniques applied.
  27. Approach my preceptor’s input with a teachable humble attitude so i learn efficiently without repeating deficiencies through receptiveness cultivated.
  28. Set goals to incorporate one tip per day so i don’t overwhelm my preceptor with too many urgent requests bombarding simultaneously.
  29. Make a list of questions to ask my preceptor everyday as i know they represent the best source of information on succeeding as a critical care nurse ahead.
  30. Ask to review my notes about documentation daily desiring to see progress and make any appropriate corrections to my documentation early before unsafe habits solidify.
  31. By the end of the first week, feel comfortable delegating assignments and speaking up through empowerment. The preceptorship is built persistently by walking the patient care journeys together.

How to Advocate for Yourself as a New Nurse

Transitioning from student to novice nurse can be challenging. How can you speak up to get the experience you need?

  • Have the confidence to voice your goals proactively to your preceptor and manager
  • Express which specialty areas interest you for patient assignments
  • Ask to observe procedures you haven’t performed yourself under supervision
  • Request to attend conferences or in-services for continued learning
  • Seek out a mentorship network within the healthcare facility
  • Convey your strengths and weaknesses honestly so leaders can guide your growth

Communication Tips for New Nurses

Communication is key for new nurses. Remember to:

  • Introduce yourself to patients and fellow staff
  • Ask questions—no question is foolish if it enhances your competency
  • Clarify instructions rather than assuming
  • Share concerns with your preceptor in a non-accusatory way
  • Provide clear hand-off reports when transferring care of patients
  • Update patients and families frequently within the scope of practice
  • Document detailed care notes per facility protocol
  • Report critical patient changes immediately—don’t delay
  • Debrief with supportive peers who understand your experience

Precepting as a New Nurse

A nursing career preceptorship allows you to sharpen your clinical skills under the wing of a seasoned nurse. Setting S.M.A.R.T. goals, being proactive with your learning, and advocating for your needs will help ensure you get the most from this invaluable opportunity. 

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