Challenges and strategies for building and maintaining effective preceptor-preceptee relationships among nurses

Gerald A. Matua*, Vidya Seshan, Raman Savithri, Dennis C. Fronda

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives: This study aimed to determine the challenges encountered and strategies used by nurse preceptors to build efective professional relationships during the preceptorship of fnal year nursing students.

Methods: This study was conducted in November 2012 at the College of Nursing in Sultan Qaboos University, Muscat, Oman. A qualitative research design consisting of focus group discussions was used to investigate the challenges that preceptors encounter and the strategies that they use to build effective relationships with preceptees. A total of 21 preceptors from Sultan Qaboos University Hospital participated in the study as part of a training workshop for nurse preceptors. Te interviews were audio recorded, transcribed verbatim and thematically analysed.

Results: Te main challenges faced by preceptors included discrepancies in applying theory to practice; lack of trust; lack of time, and perceived lack of knowledge. Te effective strategies identified by the preceptors to be used in building a healthy preceptor-preceptee relationship were proper orientation; effective communication; preparation for complex situations; appreciation and acknowledgment; positive feedback; assurance of support; spending time together; knowing preceptors personally; giving breaks, and encouraging self-commitment.

Conclusion: Preceptors should be encouraged to identify challenges that hinder the building of efective relationships with preceptees early during their preceptorship. Te incorporation of appropriate and evidenced-based strategies, such as those identified in this study, can transform the preceptorship experience into one that is fulfilling for both preceptors and preceptees. This may lead to greater job satisfaction, personal and professional growth as well as higher self-esteem levels for preceptors and the realisation of clinical objectives for preceptees.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e530-e536
JournalSultan Qaboos University Medical Journal
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Nov 1 2014


  • Communication barriers
  • Mentorship
  • Nursing students
  • Oman
  • Preceptorship
  • Socialization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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