Original Research

An investigation of the roles and functions of nurse preceptors in the clinical areas

S.C. Cele, H.A. Gumede, B.A. Kubheka
Curationis | Vol 25, No 1 | a708 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/curationis.v25i1.708 | © 2002 S.C. Cele, H.A. Gumede, B.A. Kubheka | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 27 September 2002 | Published: 27 September 2002

About the author(s)

S.C. Cele, University of Zululand, South Africa
H.A. Gumede, University of Zululand, South Africa
B.A. Kubheka, University of Zululand, South Africa

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Abstract

This article explores the confusion that exists in the clinical areas concerning proper accompaniment of student nurses. There is a feeling that professional nurses in clinical areas are not always actively involved in clinical teaching. The clinical instructors and nurse educators are unable to accompany student nurses properly because of staff shortages. Some hospitals have identified one professional nurse per unit to work as a nurse preceptor for accompaniment of student nurses. This has resulted in the need to find out if the professional nurse preceptor is solving the problem of lack of student accompaniment in clinical areas. The aim of this study therefore is to investigate the roles and functions of nurse preceptors in improving student accompaniment as compared to other professional nurses in clinical areas namely, clinical instructors, nurse educators and professional nurses working in clinical areas as viewed by student nurses themselves. A comparative descriptive study was done in one of the hospitals in KwaZulu-Natal (Region D) on a purposely selected sample of (80) 4 years comprehensive diploma student nurses, (16) nurse preceptors and (40) randomly-selected professional nurses. Open and closed-ended questions were used for collection of data. The study revealed that the most student nurses 87,5% (70) identified nurse preceptors as playing an important role in their accompaniment as compared to other professional nurses.

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