Clinical Preceptors & FacultyClinical preceptors and faculty are integral to the success of future nurses, and so a shortage of them can leave medical institutions scrambling. Core Concepts for Clinical Preceptors & Faculty, a new online course from the Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing, is designed to improve the math.

The course, free to all Maryland nurses, offers potential clinical preceptors and faculty six online modules of high-quality, highly interactive, user-friendly training to refresh and boost clinical skills and confidence. These modules are designed to develop and improve teaching and mentoring skills of clinical faculty and preceptors:

  • Foundations of precepting
  • Principles of evaluation
  • Communication
  • Clinical reasoning skills
  • Educator challenges
  • Creating a culture of caring

Three additional modules--precepting advanced practice nurses, transitions to professional practice, and clinical education partnership unit--will be added shortly. Core Concepts for Clinical Preceptors & Faculty also offers free continuing nursing education (CNE) hours.

It is the fruit of a two-year effort led by Sarah (Jodi) Shaefer, PhD, RN, and Pamela R. Jeffries, PhD, RN, FAAN, who worked with clinical and educational content experts and web designers to create an elegant interface that allows users to advance through an online module at their own pace, move back and forth within the program, receive instant feedback on their progress, and even repeat steps as desired. The interactivity is astonishing. One module, for instance, offers a look inside a patient’s room. Participants are prompted to proceed as though entering any live patient’s room. Rolling the cursor over a visible clipboard offers care notes. Rolling over a drip bag offers dosage information. More hints come from other machines and even the patient. It is up to the participant to figure out the right course of nursing action.

“This is a student-centered program that is very inviting,” says Shaefer, “and it encourages active participation.” She says candidates for the course would logically include those who are doing the job of preceptor without the title—providing orientations on a unit, perhaps—and those who have hesitated at filling these clinical roles for lack of confidence in their teaching skills.

Interested nurses can try Core Concepts for Clinical Preceptors & Faculty on for size at a wine and cheese party at the School of Nursing, 525 N. Wolfe St., Baltimore, from 4:30-6:30 p.m. November 7. Computer stations will be set up to offer attendees a walk-through of what the course looks and feels like. After November 7, Maryland nurses can sign up for the course at its website.

The course will also be available to non-Maryland nurses, with pricing to be determined.

Learn more