South West Yorkshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, which provides mental health and learning disability services to people in Calderdale, Kirklees and Wakefield has introduced a new programme to provide more support for newly qualified nurses, helping them adjust to their new role.
The programme, known as preceptorship, is a requirement of the nursing and midwifery council (NMC) and lasts at least 6 months. It is delivered in conjunction with a staff induction and provides a period of practical training under the direction or supervision of a more experienced colleague.
The benefits of the Trust’s preceptorship programme are that it reduces the stress a newly qualified practitioner, ensures responsibilities are not delegated too soon or inappropriately, helps nurses adapt to their new role and work environment and helps them become safe and confident practitioners. It also ensures the Trust continues to maintain the highest possible standard of care for people who use services.
Newly qualified nurse Sarah Brennan who works as a Community Project Nurse at Greenhead Resource Unit in Huddersfield said, "As a newly qualified Nurse I have found the preceptorship programme essential. The most important part for me was weekly supervision and a high level of support with my case load. I also valued the support to achieve ‘work life balance’ as it is a number of years since I have worked full-time. This support has made me a more confident practitioner. I still value the support and know I can contact my clinical supervisor at anytime for support."
Knowledge and skills framework manager Liz Sutcliffe said, "The transition from student nurse to qualified nurse can often be a stressful and intense learning curve. There are new tasks to learn, responsibilities to consider and the need to integrate into a team. The preceptorship programme enables newly qualified staff to orientate themselves to their new role in a supportive environment."