In nursing education, it has been argued that professional socialization is facilitated by clinical experiences where students work together with precepting nurses. However, few studies found have focused on how nurses think and act as preceptors, hence providing a base for professional socialization to occur. Therefore; this study aimed to describe how preceptors mediated nursing as a profession to undergraduate nursing students during clinical practice. This was an ethnographic study guided by symbolic interactionism. A purposeful sampling of 13 precepting nurses was observed during the field work period. In addition, 16 staff nurses, purposively selected, and experienced in precepting, participated in focus group interviews. All text from field notes and interviews were read as a whole and analyzed following the ethnographic approach. Findings illustrated how nursing was mediated as the medical–technical, the administrative, and the caring role. Preceptors aimed for professionalism in their students by teaching the students to reflect on what they can do independently as nurses. Preceptors strived to verbalise their practical knowledge to make theory explicit and contextualize to student nurses. This knowledge can guide implementation of preceptor programmes focusing on the meaning and implications of professionalism.
Nurse Education Today – Elsevier
Published: Nov 1, 2010
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