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Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)



Thesis Committee Chairperson

Lisa Ball, PhD, RN, FNP-BC

Second Reader

Janeen Bass, MSN, RN


preceptors, new nurses, action research


Nursing preceptors are used by many institutions to orient new nurses and provide bedside teaching and evaluation of these nurses. The role of the nursing preceptor can be complex. Strict budgets and advances in technology can lead to decreased staff. Patient safety and satisfaction are used as gauges for reimbursements which add to the challenges that nurses face. Also, many nursing preceptors have had little or no background in adult learning techniques. Design. The purpose of this phase 1 action research study was to identify perceived barriers and facilitators of nursing preceptors while precepting new nurses. In addition, an action plan to address the barriers and optimized the facilitators was devised. A review of the literature related to nursing preceptors was conducted to identify current knowledge. A purposive sample of four registered nurses who had precepted new nurses were interviewed at an acute care hospital in Northeastern US. Participation was voluntary and confidential. Conclusions: Barriers found included lack of support from colleagues, preset orientation time, competing demands, and the individual characteristics of the new nurse and the preceptor. Facilitators included support, organizational strategy and nurse educators. The action plan identified goals to address the barriers and included actions necessary to meet the goals identified. This plan utilized the literature, facilitators and participant suggestions. Finally, implications for practice and recommendations for further research were discussed.