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New preceptorship program to enhance patient care

Clinical nurse educator Andrea Moffat (standing) coaches a group of nurse preceptors at a workshop in February, 2020. When their training is complete, the nurse preceptors will take on a leadership role in the orientation of new nurses at the hospital.

An exciting initiative got off the ground recently at Runnymede that will enhance knowledge sharing among clinical staff and strengthen the quality of care at the hospital.

Runnymede’s preceptorship program was developed to improve orientation for new nurses by pairing them up with a designated registered nurse or registered practical nurse preceptor to share their expertise.

Program will help reinforce best practices

The program is expected to have a positive impact on the quality of care at Runnymede. By teaching standardized care principles to new nurses through preceptors, the hospital is reinforcing the consistent use of best practices.

In addition to streamlining new nurses’ transition to Runnymede, the program is also designed to help nurses and their preceptors grow in their professions.

Prior to the program’s introduction, the mentoring process at Runnymede was less structured.

“New nurses routinely collaborated with senior members of the nursing team as part of their orientation, but their working partnerships weren’t formally defined,” said Andrea de Jong, manager of interprofessional practice, programs, education and research. “Through the preceptorship program, we will establish one-to-one relationships between new and more experienced nurses at the hospital, and they’ll follow a planned learning process.”

A win-win for patients and staff

The initiative was launched by the clinical education team in collaboration with human resources. Staff currently identified as preceptors began coaching for their new roles in workshops that started in February, 2020. The interactive four-hour sessions are taught by clinical nurse educators Gurleen Puri and Andrea Moffat. There has been a pause in the process due to COVID-19, but it will resume as soon as possible.

“The program is exciting because it represents a win-win for patients and the nursing team,” de Jong said. “Our patients will receive a higher quality of care and nurses at various stages of their careers will have an opportunity to further develop their skills.”