How the Relational Process Shapes Rural Preceptorship

  • Author / Creator
    Jackman, Deirdre Madeline
  • Abstract How the Relational Process Shapes Rural Preceptorship In the rural setting preceptorship is purported to be an important approach to preparing safe and competent nurses. Preceptorship is the one-to-one pairing of a nursing student with a professional nurse who assumes the role of support, teacher, role model, facilitator and guide for the student in a designated practice setting, in this case the rural setting. To date limited research exists in the literature regarding the exploration of preceptorship specific to the rural setting. By understanding the social, psychological process that occurs in rural preceptorship and how that process is unique to rural nursing, the requisite preceptorship approach for the rural setting can be more effectively fostered. The purpose of this study then was to examine how preceptorship prepares nursing students specifically for the rural setting. Because preceptorship is concerned with the process of relationship development among preceptors, nursing students and faculty members, grounded theory was used. The sample was rural preceptors and nursing students placed in rural settings. Faculty facilitated their teaching/learning and were based in a large university in western Canada. While in their preceptorship placements nursing students also interacted significantly with other rural nurses therefore these team members were added as participants to the study. Findings from this study revealed that the relational process was the intrinsic connection related to all aspects of the formal teaching/learning process. This process also comprised unique personal characteristics that created a welcoming, supportive and collegial atmosphere. The formal and personal relationship existed, first and foremost, between the preceptor and nursing student but included other team members. It was found that nursing students perceived their learning to be enhanced and advanced because of their preceptor and team members’ support, which was essential in the dynamic and complex rural environment. Preceptors and other health care professionals considered the relational aspects of preceptorship to be paramount to ensuring positive and successful completion. They considered this nurturing to be an extension of the rural community ethos, namely being there for each other. Faculty members considered their role as supporting and enhancing the preceptor/student relationship and found this to be achievable because of the attitude of key members of the preceptorship, including preceptors, students and rural nurses and the community spirit they perceived to exist in rural health care settings. Nursing students indicated that the implications of receiving authentic rural preceptorship preparation in terms of strong formal teaching/learning guidance, in addition to genuine support, vis a vis unique personal nurturing, contributed to many of these nursing students staying and working in the rural setting. The implications from this study are, the implementation of salient nursing education related to rural preceptorship preparation to promote the continued success of preceptorships within this environment. Indeed, relevant education and preparation of faculty members, students, preceptors and rural nurses can serve to promote recruitment and retention of nurses who choose to stay within these setting because of the relational support afforded to them during and following rural preceptorship.  

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    Fall 2011
  • Type of Item
  • Degree
    Doctor of Philosophy
  • DOI
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.
  • Language
  • Institution
    University of Alberta
  • Degree level
  • Department
  • Supervisor / co-supervisor and their department(s)
  • Examining committee members and their departments
    • Profetto-McGrath, Joanne, Faculty of Nursing, University of Alberta
    • Yonge, Olive, Faculty of Nursing, University of Alberta
    • Epp, Roger, Augustana Faculty Campus, University of Alberta
    • Cameron, Brenda, Faculty of Nursing, University of Alberta
    • Paul, Pauline, Faculty of Nursing, University of Alberta
    • Leipert, Beverly, Nursing, Western University, Ontario