Date of this Version


Document Type

DNP Project



CRNA preceptors have minimal exposure to adult learning principles and educational theory and have not received instruction related to precepting. The clinical experience can have a direct impact on student development in self-awareness, critical thinking skills, and professionalism. In order to educate and train students, preceptors need to be knowledgeable about the various methods of supervision and learning processes. The goal of a formalized preceptor training program is to enhance existing precepting skills of experienced providers by providing evidence-based teaching principles. This evidenced based practice project aims to answer: will a formalized preceptorship workshop increase the knowledge, perception and attitude of the CRNA preceptor on teaching and learning strategies, effective communication and a positive preceptor-preceptee relationship?

Methods/Evidence Search

The databases utilized in the search include: Pubmed, The Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature (CINAHL) and ProQuest. Inclusion criteria for the chosen studies include, studies that are written in English with full-text availability. All studies reviewed are related to a preceptorship within nursing or nurse anesthesia. Exclusion criteria includes studies greater than 20 years old and studies that are based on precepting in a different job field. The search keywords: preceptor, preceptee, preceptorship, nursing, nurse anesthesia, student registered nurse anesthesia, education and training were entered in varying combinations throughout the search process. Thirteen articles were chosen for this review based on the inclusion and exclusion criteria. The study designs of the articles are mixed methods studies, qualitative studies, and descriptive studies.

Synthesis of Literature/Results/Discussion

There are four key themes formulated from the review of the articles. The first theme assesses the preceptors’ perception of their role and their needs. Bengtsson and Carlson found that preceptors want concrete tools on effective teaching of students and an understanding of preceptorship. The second and third themes include teaching strategies and learning needs. Meyers et al evaluated the perception of new RNs and found that learning occurs from receiving feedback, having a nurturing relationship with their preceptor and a positive orientation environment. A study by Forneris and Peden-McAlpine determined that preceptors felt that their precepting skills were enhanced after the initiation of a contextual learning intervention. Effective communication is the fourth theme and was ranked by SRNAS as highly important. A preceptor should be knowledgeable in effective adult teaching strategies, have an understanding of the learning needs of students and have effective communication skills. It was found that factors that negatively effect students’ education are a disempowering preceptor-student relationship, and not utilizing teaching strategies. Whether or not a preceptor training program increases preceptors’ knowledge of teaching and learning strategies needs further explanation. Future research should focus on screening of preceptors, preparation and reward for preceptors.

Conclusion/Recommendations for Practice

The role of the preceptor is to support the student during the transition from the classroom into clinical practice through enhancement of critical thinking and problem-solving skills. Preceptors are expected to provide an effective learning environment and facilitate a constructive clinical learning experience. An effective preceptor should possess the skills to provide constructive feedback, have knowledge about various teaching and learning principles and be able to evaluate student outcomes. The themes discussed in the articles can be used in the development of a formalized preceptorship workshop to help improve the preceptorship experience and assist in the preparation of preceptors. The standardization of a preceptor program will help new and experienced preceptors effectively transfer high quality patient care and patient safety skills to SRNAs.