Curriculum and instruction for nursing preceptors: Correlation with critical thinking disposition traits

Candace Lynn Hennessy, Marquette University

Abstract

The problem addressed in this study was the lack of a research based approach to the clinical orientation of new graduate nurses in acute care settings. The need for nurses to think critically in order to make accurate clinical judgments is well documented. How knowledge of critical thinking applies to clinical orientation had not been examined. New graduate nurses are not readily able to transfer knowledge learned in the classroom to clinical practice. Preceptors are often used to provide the clinical orientation of the new graduate nurse. The purpose of this study was to determine the criteria used to Select nursing preceptors and to identify the existing curricula and instructional method is used to teach nursing preceptors in the hospital setting, with the intent to determine correlation with the disposition to critical thinking traits. The findings indicated only one statistically significant correlation (p<.01.), between preference for the selection of a preceptor based on education or expepence and preference for a critical thinking disposition trait in selecting a preceptor. Nurses who prefer preceptors with three to five years of experience also ranked as very important the preceptor being tolerant of making decisions under conditions of uncertainty. No correlation was able to be determined between proportion of curricular time and instructional methods with critical thinking disposition traits because of the lack of existence of a true preceptor curriculum and instruction to any sizeable extent. The lack of emphasis placed on teaching preceptors to question new graduates perceptions of a patient situation was identified. Respondents did not appear to value learner's perceptions. Understanding the new graduate's perception of a patient situation is critical to ding the new graduate's perception of a patient situation is critical to developing clinical judgment and the correct patterning of information that leads to the development of experts in nursing.

Recommended Citation

Hennessy, Candace Lynn, "Curriculum and instruction for nursing preceptors: Correlation with critical thinking disposition traits" (1999). Dissertations (1962 - 2010) Access via Proquest Digital Dissertations. AAI9929160.
https://epublications.marquette.edu/dissertations/AAI9929160

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