Our preceptorship programme

Supporting newly qualified nurses through our preceptorship programme

A student nurse

We recognise the transition from being a newly qualified nurse to becoming an experienced member of the nursing team can be hard work and a bit daunting. That’s why we developed our preceptorship programme.


What is preceptorship?

Preceptorship is a short-term relationship between a newly qualified member of staff (the preceptee) and an experienced qualified nurse, as the preceptor.

Our programme is designed for newly registered mental health or learning disability nurses who are providing patient care within a clinical setting.

Every newly qualified nurse at our Trust is assigned a preceptor who will be an experienced and knowledgeable practitioner of the same discipline.  The preceptor’s role is to guide you and offer support both professionally and personally throughout your preceptorship. They will also support your learning and development.



The aims of our preceptorship programme are to:

  • Give you a good start and ensure you are properly inducted into the working environment
  • Develop your confidence as an independent practitioner
  • Increase your job satisfaction, leading to improved patient satisfaction
  • Invest in your future and your career aspirations
  • Give you a sense of commitment to your patients, colleagues and the Trust
  • Develop your understanding of working within the nursing profession and the requirements of regulators, and
  • Develop your personal responsibility for maintaining up to date knowledge.


What’s expected of me?

Nurses at our Becklin Centre

This framework is based on an extension and expansion of the skills and competencies required of a final year student as they move into the role of a new graduate nurse. You will be expected to achieve all the required competencies and objectives within 12 months.

Over the preceptorship period you’ll be expected to demonstrate the ability to work independently, providing competent direct care to patients. Your preceptor and their clinical team will provide support, learning and development opportunities to ensure you can meet the objectives.

In addition to clinical competencies there is a range of additional assessment methods which aim to bring together the preceptorship process and demonstrate we’ve supported you in your learning. All elements of the preceptorship process must be completed before final sign off by the preceptor and team manager.

What you’ll cover

The core objectives during the preceptorship are:

  • Assessment
  • Formulation of a care plan
  • Involving patients and carers
  • The care programme approach
  • Skills and knowledge development
  • Record keeping
  • Medicines management
  • Leadership

Each month preceptees attend a half-day skills-based workshop, covering the following topics:

  • Difficult conversations*
  • Medication management
  • Professional conduct
  • Prioritisation and delegation
  • Report writing
  • Community working
  • Illicit substance misuse*
  • Physical health*
  • Care programme approach training*

* These are joint workshops delivered with allied health professional preceptees.

Receiving support from your peers is invaluable during the transition from newly qualified to experienced nurse.  Therefore you will also attend facilitated half day action learning sets.  These sessions will also include presentations from fellow preceptees as well as other key professionals within the Trust such as our Local Security Manager, our Patient Advice and Liaison Service Manager etc.


What our preceptees think

Nurses in our forensic serviceFeedback has been really positive. Survey results taken from preceptees in April 2017 have shown that:

  • 86% felt supported
  • 77% would recommend our programme to others
Comments included:

“The preceptorship programme is really helpful – they are really supportive”.

“There is great peer support”.

“Lived up to my expectations 100%”

“[The programme] has lived up to expectations. I have always wanted to work in CAMHS, this was my goal. . . ”