Date of Award

Summer 7-29-2015

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Department

Nursing

First Advisor

Cynthia K. O'Sullivan, PhD, MSN, RN

Second Advisor

Mary Ellen Doherty, PhD, RN, CNM

Third Advisor

Cheryl A. Resha, EdD, RN, FNASN

Abstract

ABSTRACT

The education of nurse practitioners requires a combination of theoretical concepts learned through didactic presentations and application of these concepts through clinical tasks mastered in the practice environment. The nurse practitioner acting as the clinical preceptor is an integral part of this education, as the clinical expertise imparted is imperative to learning the advanced diagnosis and treatment modalities and professional socialization necessary for the advanced practice role. This role has very little definition regarding the ongoing need for support and integration into the academic environment.

The purpose of this study was to explore the lived experience of the nurse practitioner in the role of clinical preceptor using a phenomenological approach. This approach, primarily attributed to the work of the philosopher Edmund Husserl, was relevant, as it is rooted in the concept that the ‘lived experience” is a fundamental source of knowledge.

Purposive sampling using an initial recruitment letter, followed by the snowball method resulted in 16 participants, with data generated using three research questions and collected by confidential interviews. Data analysis incorporated the qualitative methods of Colazzi and the constant comparative techniques described by Lincoln and Guba.

Seven themes were identified, and the findings encompassed both stressors and satisfactions found in the clinical preceptor role. The predominant findings included the rationale for engaging in the preceptor role, the need for increased communication between academic faculty and clinical preceptor, and acknowledgements received by the clinical preceptors from their students and the academic faculty. This study showed significance by illuminating the challenges in the clinical preceptor role and how academic faculty can help support this role, as perceived by the clinical preceptors. Actual methods of support are presented, along with articulated stressors and satisfactions experienced while engaged in the role.

The outcome was to garner and present needed support mechanisms that would be helpful to nurse practitioner educators to secure, maintain and support this vital component of advanced practice education.

Comments

This research study was conducted with the hope that it will be of value to academic nursing faculty and clinical preceptors, who through the sharing of their expertise, are motivated to develop and support the future of the profession through the students they teach.

It is only through the sharing of knowledge that we truly demonstrate that we are professionally vested in the future and support the purpose of advanced practice nursing.

Available for download on Sunday, December 27, 2020

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