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Preceptors…working wonders every day.
"The gift of an exceptional orientation by an inspiring preceptor can never be understated."
– Kristin Strand, RN
Our nursing department’s preceptors work wonders every day. They make all the difference to our new staff and nursing students. Precepting is an incredibly important role and responsibility. Not only do preceptors teach, but they are mentors and role models who consistently demonstrate a passion and commitment to excellence. They are experts in the areas of clinical practices, adult learning styles and organizational, prioritization and time management skills, and they possess exceptional interpersonal skills. Our preceptors provide the support needed to help people successfully transition into their new role and to be the best nurses and nursing team members they can be.
Becoming a nurse preceptor
Each nursing area identifies specific nurses and other nursing staff members to be the preceptors for their clinical area of practice. Interested nursing staff must complete an application and discuss precepting with their manager; once they are approved, additional and specific preceptor training must be completed. During Nurses Week/Hospital Week, six preceptors are selected by the Nursing Recruitment, Retention and Recognition Shared Governance Council as our “Preceptors of the Year.”
Left to right, front row: Isaac A.; Chris B., vice president, Patient Care Services; and Alicia V. Left to right, back row: Gayle A.; Sue T.; Tom S. and Heather D.
Debbie M., RN, Labor and Delivery W1
“Nursing was single handedly the best thing I’ve ever done in my life.”
Debbie has been a preceptor for 14 years in labor and delivery. She is a member of AWHONN and is certified in inpatient obstetrical nursing. “I love to teach and am a learner at heart. I believe the nurses I help to precept teach me in return. To be able to impact a new nurse and help launch her career is a privilege.” Debbie has also been an active mentor to nursing students from the University of Minnesota. “My goal is continue to teach new nurses and help them achieve expertise and provide our patients with the best birth experience they can have!”
Comments from coworkers:
- “Deb is spirited and fun to work with, keeping the work arena light while still putting the patient in the center.”
- “Deb brings out the best in new learners. She builds upon their strengths and nudges them to stretch beyond their comfort zone, yet she is always available for support and care.”
- “It is a privilege to work with her.”
Adam B., RN, Mental Health NE7
Adam has an associate’s degree in nursing for St. Catherine’s University. He is a preceptor to new nursing staff and nursing students in the mental health department. “I appreciate being able to be one of the first people to meet new staff and assisting them in their transition to becoming a member of our core team.”
Comments from coworkers:
- “He is very knowledgeable about mental health, legal processes, diagnosis and unit protocols. He kindly explains to staff and is never judgmental.”
- “He represents the utmost skill and integrity as a psychiatric nurse and Regions employee.”
- “My development as an employee at Regions has significantly improved with Adam’s guidance and insight.”
Isaac A., RN, Orthopaedics S9
“Becoming a nurse was the best decision of my life. It has changed my life from ordinary to extraordinary.”
When Isaac was in nursing school at Bethel University, he discovered his love for teaching and began tutoring other students. When asked to precept new nurses at Regions, he jumped at the chance. “What I appreciate about precepting is sharing the knowledge I have gained and the feeling of giving back to the profession. It gladdens my heart to see those I have precepted evolve from being novice to becoming proficient in their new role.” Isaac is described as having an eternal smile; he is very passionate about being a nurse. “As a nurse, I am able to make a difference every day in the health of my patients by educating and listening. It is a great feeling to be able to leave my job at the end of the day, with a satisfaction that I have truly made a difference in someone’s life.” Isaac is currently completing his Master’s degree in Nursing Education at Grand Canyon University and is a member of Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing.
- “I aspire to grow into the caring, well-rounded nurse that Isaac has taught me to be and one day carrying on his legacy by being a preceptor.”
- “I’ve seen Isaac appreciate the diversity of our team, he has a way of helping people see joy in their job.”
- “He continues to be a pivotal piece in my success with patients.”
Gayle A., RN, Emergency Department
Since she was five years old, Gayle knew she wanted to be a nurse. She was inspired by nurses in her family. Gayle has been a preceptor in the ED since 2002. “I love to teach and talk.” In addition to teaching Gayle enjoys mentoring new staff and students and sharing her joy of being a nurse. “I love nursing and all the opportunities that comes with the field. The ability to touch someone’s life and make a difference motivates me. I care for my patients like they are my own family. To see patients (especially critical ones) I have cared for go back into their environment to enjoy life with their family and friends is priceless. A life lesson I try to live by is each day try to make someone’s day a little brighter whether at work or home.” Gayle is a member of the Emergency Nurses Association and Twin Cities AACN.
Comments from coworkers:
- “While working in the ED, Gayle has devoted countless attention to cultivating a welcoming academic environment to many nursing students and new nurses entering the profession of emergency nursing.”
- “Gayle was clear about helping me lean new procedures by having me “watch one, do one, teach one for all skills that were new to me. My skills built over time and she helped me grow from past learning experiences. Gayle gave me opportunities to process information on my own and helped guide my professional practice as a nurse.”
Sue T., RN, Surgical Services
“I love my job and I want to do what I can so that people will love it as well, not just be a job.”
Sue has been a preceptor for eight years. “The best part of being a preceptor is that I get to watch someone who may be very unsure of their abilities, working with new people and surroundings, develop into confident, well rounded staff members that can go into their job now with confidence and surety. It's awesome to see someone feel good about what they do and enjoy it.” Sue has achieved her specialty certification as a CNOR (certified nurse-operating room). She is a member of SUNA-Urology and recently became the president of the East Metro AORN (Association of Operating Room Nurses). “I love the operating room here at Regions. The staff treat each other like family, and we all work together as a team. It’s like watching a symphony when a trauma comes in. No one has to say anything because everyone works together and fills in where needed. Regions OR is truly the best place to work.”
- “She helps nurses develop critical thinking so they can successfully problem solve; this not only remedies the issue, but also builds confidence in the new nurse.”
- “Sue has pushed me to think on my own — above what I thought I could do — and problem solve.”
- “…Sue does an excellent job of not only teaching/demonstrating how, but also explaining the why.”
Tom S., RN, Observation Unit C63
Tom graduated from the University of Minnesota with a Masters in Nursing degree; he began his nursing career at Regions in April 2011. As an RN, Tom has had the opportunity to “appreciate a broader and more complex definition of health, and nursing allows me to meet people where they're at.” He has been a preceptor since 2013 and appreciates being a resource and role model for nursing students and new graduates. Tom has obtained a specialty certification in medical/surgical nursing. Tom and his wife are expecting their first child in the fall of 2014.
- “He is great with his patients and is always thinking about how we can make their experience at Regions the best.”
- “Tom goes out of his way to teach new staff the importance of hourly rounding; he is constantly checking with staff to see if they have any questions on this. He went to other units to brainstorm about ideas to improve our scores.”
Alicia V., LPN, Burn and Wound Clinic
“The best part of being a preceptor is seeing the positive impact (the students/new nursing team members) have on their patients and co-workers.”
Alicia worked in the Burn and Wound Clinic while attending Anoka Ramsey Community College.She graduated in May 2014 with her associate degree in nursing and will be working on the trauma unit. Being a nurse has given Alicia a deep appreciation for the little things, and it has taught her that a kind and caring attitude go a long way. She has been a preceptor since 2012.
- “Alicia not only precepts on the complex wound/burn care but also on how to support and show true compassion and families who are on a journey to accept a new body image and in some cases feel ‘different’ from their wounds and scars.”
- “She is routinely praised by her peer colleagues, nurse practitioners and physicians.”
Heather D., PCA, MICU, Progressive Care, Oncology S6
Heather wanted to become a preceptor years ago when she was looking for a new challenge, and she wanted to become more involved with her co-workers. Heather has oriented many of the patient care assistants she works with. She feels that because she was a preceptor to many of them, she has a closer relationship with her peers. “I really appreciate the skills that precepting has taught me; it has challenged my communication and my time management skills. I feel it has made me a better employee overall and I am very thankful for that.” Heather is currently pursuing her nursing degree and hopes to someday work in pediatrics.
- “She took me under her wing, not only as a co-worker, but as a friend.”
- “Even to this day, after a year of my employment, she takes me on ‘field trips’ and shows me different units of the hospital.”
- “On my second day she greeted me with a cup of coffee.”
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