Mentors and Preceptors in the Nursing Profession – Care Example

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"Mentors and Preceptors in the Nursing Profession" is a perfect example of a paper on care. It is important for a nursing student to identify well-qualified and experienced clinical or practice experts in order for achieving his/her learning objectives. The course tutor can only assist a student to improve his academic knowledge. However, a student cannot achieve his learning objectives completely unless he is able to apply his theoretical knowledge to real-life experiences. Since a clinical or practice expert daily interacts with various types of clients every day, he can greatly assist a nursing student to achieve his learning objectives like quality care delivery and patient safety.

It must be noted that the chosen practice expert must be qualified and experienced enough to guide the student properly. Hence, an improper selection of clinical experts would probably limit the student’ s ability to achieve his learning objectives.         Differences between mentor and a preceptor Health care delivery in the United States is a complex and challenging task. A mentor or preceptor can assist a nurse to adapt to the worksite environment and understand how various health care processes relate to one another.

A mentor is a senior or experienced individual in an organization who assists his/her junior colleagues by giving proper guidance and training whereas a preceptor is a specialist in the healthcare profession who gives practical training to the novice. Generally, a mentor is identified as a wise and trusted teacher while the preceptor is considered as a professional specialist. One of the major differences between a mentor and a preceptor is that “ the mentor is chosen by the junior colleague and agrees to serve in that role” whereas “ a preceptor is assigned the role as part of his or her employment responsibilities” (Whitehouse & Gale, 2009, p.

32). Another difference is that the mentor-student relationship is not restricted to a particular task or time period and it may last over a period of several years. In contrast, the preceptor-student relationship may or may not continue once the period of preceptorship is expired. As Madison, Watson, and Knight (1994) say, preceptors are expected to play the roles of educator, role models, friend, and confidant while mentors have several other roles with the new hire including coaches, advisors, and counselors.

Preceptors demonstrate various skills, assist the new nurse to acquire these skills, and evaluate how effectively the nurse has achieved these skills. In contrast to this, mentors generally do not train the nurse to develop particular position-related skills.                 Personal experiences Admittedly, both my mentor and my preceptor have assisted me to build my nursing career. My mentor is my good friend and she discusses various matters with me even what makes her feel upset. Furthermore, the mentor is my role model in carrying out my duties and responsibilities in a way quality care is ensured.

Since my mentor is very open to me, I can freely share my thoughts and worries that I do not feel comfortable discussing with anyone else. In contrast, my preceptor helps me to develop my practical caregiving skills and thereby improve my efficiency in delivering care and patient safety.


Madison, J., Watson., K & Knight, B. A. (1994). Mentors and preceptors in the nursing profession. Contemporary Nurse, 3(3), 121-126.

Whitehouse, D. M & Gale, D. D. (2009). Foreign- educated health care professionals in the United States health care system. In B. L. Nichols & C. R. Davis (Eds), The Official Guide for Foreign-Educated Allied Health Professionals: Health Care and the Allied Health Professions in the United States. USA: Springer Publishing Company.

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