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Why Are Preceptors Important?

TriStar Nurse Resident Jordan Stovall

Q&A With a Nurse Resident & Preceptor

New jobs can difficult. That’s why we pair new nurse residents with experienced preceptors to guide and mentor them through the first 12 weeks of their program.

Nurse resident, Jordan Stovall and his preceptor Larson Greenfield share their experience after the first several weeks of the Nurse Residency Program. After graduating from Belmont University, Jordan was accepted into the Nurse Residency Program in the Critical Care track. Larson Greenfield is Jordan’s preceptor in the Cardiovascular ICU (CVICU) at TriStar Centennial in Nashville. We sat down to hear from their point of view:

New Graduate Perspective

Why did you choose the HCA Nurse Residency?

JS: “I was immediately drawn to the idea of a residency program upon hearing about them in nursing school, and I was especially excited to be a part of the inaugural class at TriStar. Some people don’t like the idea of signing a contract, but that part never bothered me. For someone who wanted to get started immediately in critical care, the residency has provided me the opportunity to do just that.”

Talk about your transition into this new role.

JS: “Without the residency program, jumping into a critical care position is difficult to do as a new graduate. With the residency, however, I get a much longer orientation period of 12 weeks to make my transition as smooth and seamless as possible.”

How have you felt supported as a nurse resident?

JS: “My preceptor, Larson, has been instrumental in my development, and that’s something I am very thankful for. He’s challenged me to think critically and has encouraged me to not lose sight of the big picture when I find myself caught up in the intricacies of critical patient care."

What have you enjoyed most about the Nurse Residency Program so far?

JS: “I enjoy TriStar’s program because I get two classroom days per week and then get to apply that knowledge on two shifts on the unit per week. I’ve found that nursing school doesn’t completely prepare you for the field of nursing, and the residency program really bridges that gap for me.”

Preceptor Perspective

Why is preceptorship so important for nurse residents?

LG: “As a preceptor in the residency program, we are able to bridge the gap between nursing school and having the responsibility of critical patients where critical thinking, patient care and collaboration within the care team are crucial aspects in your patient’s outcome. The residency program allows for the new graduate to build confidence, gain knowledge and provide safe and effective care to patients with the assistance of their preceptor."

What makes your unit unique or challenging?

LG: “In the Cardiovascular ICU (CVICU), our patients require close monitoring, critical thinking and the ability to stay calm in a fast pace environment where patient status can quickly change.”

How long does it take for nurse residents to learn the ropes?

LG: “With a 12 week orientation, the new graduate nurse is able to gain new experiences and skills while having the time to learn and develop as a nurse with the guidance a preceptor can provide.”