To say the healthcare sector is vital to our wellbeing and the national economy is an understatement. The amazing work done by healthcare professionals is simply awesome and the industry is an economic powerhouse that is estimated to have a market size north of $800bn in 2021.

Nurses without doubt play a pivotal role in healthcare and the flow of newly qualified nurses is vital. This is where nursing preceptors come in. Preceptors are qualified nurses who help to mentor the medical professionals of tomorrow. It can for example allow a student nurse to see what the responsibilities of a certified nursing assistant are from someone working in the role.

The nursing preceptor is such an important role and one that is in great demand around the country. Wilkes online university even runs specialist programs to attract the best preceptors to mentor their students. This has paid off over time and ensured Wilkes has spent over 40 years offering the best education to students and producing the best graduates for the healthcare sector.

If you plan to become a preceptor for trainee nurses, it is wise to think carefully first. But what should you know?

The challengesof mentoring nurses

The first unique challenge is if you do not get on personally with the person you are mentoring. This can then make it tough to work with them in a clinical setting and have the patience to mentor them effectively. If this happens, it is important to simply remain professional and put any personal feelings aside.

You may also find that the trainee nurse you are mentoring has learned about new techniques or new ways of doing things that you have not come across before. Try not to let this bother you and be open to listening to them. Any role in nursing will be busy, so you might find it uniquely challenging to find time to mentor effectively or explain what needs to be done.

What are the most effective ways of getting your message across?

Effective mentoring is mainly about getting your message across in the right way.Firstly, you should remember that every person you mentor is different and will respond differently to how you teach. Try to work out which way of mentoring gets the most from each individual.

Many preceptors find that being clear and concise when teaching is crucial. This makes it easy for those you mentor to know what you want and what they need to do. It is also worthproviding constructive feedback which offers praise when possible. If the person you mentor only gets negative feedback, they might switch off from your teaching.

Mentoring new nurses can be challenging yet rewarding

Being a mentor to new nurses is a valuable role to play. While it can be challenging, it does come with some great benefits. Not only does it allow you to share your experience with the next generation, but it also allows you to deepen your knowledge as you go.