Being the preceptor of a new grad nurse is an enriching experience that requires tons of knowledge, support, and guidance. You can significantly impact your recent grad’s career by setting them up for success.
Here are some surefire ways to be a kick-ass preceptor to any new grad nurse:
1. Establish Goals Early On
It’s important to discuss expectations with your new grad early on so there aren’t any misunderstandings further down the line. Set measurable goals for your recent grad and create milestones that both you and the new grad can track progress against. That way, you can be assured that their growth is continually being worked towards from day one.
2. Make Time For Clinical and Non-Clinical Mentoring
As a preceptor, making time for clinical and non-clinical mentoring sessions with new grad nurses is essential. Create an open environment where they feel comfortable asking questions related to patient care and nursing fundamentals. This will help them become confident, independent thinkers and better prepare for their careers.
3. Provide Constructive Feedback & Praise In Equal Measure
Provide constructive feedback and praise in equal measure to your new grad nurse. Address any misbehavior professionally, then balance it with positive feedback when deserved. Motivate instead of discourage them, as this will help build their confidence and help them grow personally and professionally in their nursing career journey.
4. Teach By Example
Use each shift to discuss new protocols and explain why they are essential. Demonstrate the steps for better learning. Tell stories about your experiences as a nurse – no two patients, days, or moments are the same!
5. Work Together As A Team
Nurses who understand team dynamics are more successful. Provide clear goals and objectives for each shift and establish benchmarks so everyone works towards the same result. Ensure everyone knows their responsibilities, but don’t be too strict – collaborate and make transitions smoother!
6. Keep Communication Lines Open & Encourage Questions
Keep communication lines open and encourage questions between you and your new grad nurse. This will help avoid miscommunications and allow more learning opportunities if something isn’t clear enough. Plus, encouraging questions show that you value their ideas and foster trust, which is essential for long-term success.
7. Discuss Clinical Judgements Versus Protocols/Procedures
Discuss clinical judgments versus protocols/procedures with your new grad nurse. Explain the different scenarios when either approach could be used and why one is more suitable than the other depending on specific circumstances, such as patient histories. Giving them this understanding of nuances in decision-making provides autonomy in future cases.
8. Discuss Documentation Strategies & Tips For Efficiency
Discuss documentation strategies and tips for efficiency with your new grad nurse. Teach them how to document efficiently without sacrificing quality, so they’ll know what information needs to be recorded without wasting time searching for pieces elsewhere. This guidance will help the nurse become better organized and efficient in patient care.
9. Help Them Familiarize themselves With Technology & Policies
Help your new grad nurse become familiar with the technology and policies in their current facility. Explain the available technologies, how to use them, and the policies behind their usage. Educate them on making the most of electronic health records systems and other features to save time when looking up information while keeping data secure according to legal regulations. This will help protect confidential information shared between patients, doctors, and nurses.
10. Share Experiences With Patients and colleagues Alike!
Share experiences with patients and colleagues alike to help paint a picture. Explain different types of patients who come into the area for surgery, acute illness, general old age sickness, etc. Discuss your experiences treating these patients and the lessons learned that can be shared with other nurses. This will provide valuable insight into patient care and relationships, making everyone’s job easier.
11. Find The Right Tools & Resources To Support Your New Grad
Teaching your new grad nurse requires more than just clinical knowledge and experience; it also requires the right tools and resources to be successful. Familiarize your recent grad with available resources, such as Actriv Healthcare, to help new grads find nursing shifts to meet their availability. Download our app so you always have access to the latest nursing opportunities in your area!