Bridget Seelinger, DUSNA Publicity Chair
In recent years, Duquesne nursing has changed their preceptorship program to better suit the needs of their students, and these changes are on par with standards across the country. But what is a preceptorship exactly?
Preceptorship programs are the cornerstone of nursing education. Schools of nursing typically utilize these programs in the senior or final year of a student’s education. Duquesne’s program places students in some of the best hospitals in the world to help combine the theory that students have been learning in class, with nursing leadership skills that are practiced everyday on nursing units across America.
Karyn Lee Boyar, a family nurse practitioner who is a clinical instructor at New York University College of Nursing says, “Students are given report on patients and paired with a registered nurse (RN) preceptor for the day. The nursing instructor guides the process and, for the most part, administers medications and treatments with the student. But make no mistake; it’s the RN whom the student looks up to as a working, professional role model.”
Boyar believes that having the nursing instructor there is essential for students.
Dean Mary Ellen Glasgow agrees, “Students will be assigned to a nurse but they will have a faculty member there. This is important for safety as well as the quality of the learning experience.”
This safety concern is echoed by other professionals in nursing education. The Virginia Board of Nursing has published extensively on rules and regulations schools of nursing need to follow in order to keep students and patients safe.
Some of the things that Virginia requires is for a member of the faculty to delegate the tasks the student will be doing and be on site, the preceptor will be a registered nurse, and groups of students under the supervision of a faculty member will not exceed ten students.
All of these safe practices are what Duquesne is moving towards. According to Glasgow, Duquesne had issues with safety in the past, but with the changes to the program, those concerns will be minimal.
“At the end of all of this, the goal is to have students pass the NCLEX and HESI, but also be competent nurses,” Glasgow says, “The goal with the preceptorship program is to have both of those things happen.”
Some of the hospitals that students have the potential to be placed at include both UPMC hospitals and Allegheny Health Network hospitals. The preceptorship program begins in the spring semester of the senior year for Duquesne nursing students.