Preceptorship and nurse practitioner education: navigating the liminal space

  • Author / Creator
    Billay, Diane B.
  • Preceptorship is a teaching-learning approach in which learners are individually assigned to expert practitioners in the practice setting. The purpose is to provide them with daily experience on a one-to-one basis with a role model and resource person who is immediately available to them. Currently, the literature is replete with research on various aspects of preceptorship, including the preceptor role, the evaluation process, professional socialization, the promotion of clinical competence, and the fostering of critical thinking in undergraduate and graduate education, to name a few. To date, however, no studies have specifically explored the process involved in promoting the education of nurse practitioner students in preceptorship. The purpose of this grounded theory study was to explore the process used in preceptorship to prepare nurse practitioner students for their future role in professional practice. To that end, the process in which preceptors, nurse practitioner students, and faculty engage was explored. The sample comprised nurse practitioner students, preceptors and faculty from a large university in western Canada. Findings from this study revealed that as students proceeded through the preceptorship program they worked through or navigated what could be described as the liminal space or an in-between place. As a result of the findings of this study, several crucial points have been recognized that have implications for the nurse practitioner student who engages in preceptorship. First, upon acceptance into an advanced practice nursing program it is important for students who are themselves experienced professionals in their own right, to understand the preceptorship process of transition, found in this study to be the liminal space, intrinsic to which are adjustments from the role of nurse, to that of student and finally to that of the nurse practitioner. Second, to adequately prepare students for their transition, faculty need to develop curricula that address the challenges involved with this phenomenon, specifically knowledge related to threshold concepts and troublesome knowledge. Third, support for these students from faculty, preceptors and fellow students was found to directly affect the ability of these learners to successfully navigate their transitional process in preceptorship.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
  • 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
    • Faculty of Nursing
  • Supervisor / co-supervisor and their department(s)
    • Dr. Florence Myrick (Faculty of Nursing)
  • Examining committee members and their departments
    • Dr. Marion Allen (Faculty of Nursing)
    • Dr. Carroll Iwasiw (Faculty of Nursing, University of Western Ontario)
    • Dr. Olive Yonge (Faculty of Nursing)
    • Dr. Judith Lupart (Educational Psychology)
    • Dr. Pauline Paul (Faculty of Nursing)