Original Research

The term preceptor: its interpretation in South African nursing colleges and international nursing literature

H.I.L. Brink
Curationis | Vol 12, No 3/4 | a253 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/curationis.v12i3/4.253 | © 1989 H.I.L. Brink | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 26 September 1989 | Published: 26 September 1989

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Abstract

The purpose o f this study was two-fold, namely: I) to obtain clarity on the meaning o f the term preceptor, and 2) to establish how the term preceptor is interpreted in the nursing colleges o f the RSA and to ascertain whether this interpretation is consistent with the general connotation o f the term in contemporary nursing literature. Dictionaries and relevant contemporary nursing literature formed the unit o f analysis fo r obtaining clarity on the meaning o f the term preceptor, while the unit o f analysis fo r the second section o f the study comprised responses o f nursing college principals to a questionnaire. The data obtained in the investigation indicate that the term has acquired a specific connotation within the international nursing context and that specific defined attributes distinguishes it from the broad and general definition found in standard dictionaries. Within the South African nursing context the term preceptor has not yet acquired a specific connotation, but appears to mean different things to different people.

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