Nursing Work Life Research
New Zealand nurses’ views on preceptoring international nurses
New Zealand encourages internationally educated nurses to seek registration in New Zealand to reduce local nursing shortages. Internationally educated nurses must meet requirements of the Health Practitioners Competency Assurance Act 2003, and demonstrate competency to practise through a clinical competency assessment programme.
The purpose was to establish whether preceptors believe they are adequately prepared to assess nurses for whom English is a second language, and to determine the support and recognition received in the role.
Preceptor training, workload, understanding of ethical and legal accountability, and perceived organizational values, support and attitudes were evaluated via an anonymous internet survey.
Some preceptors do not meet Nursing Council of New Zealand standards and some work environments require nurses to preceptor international nurses. Many nurses believe the role is not valued despite the high workload requirements. Training increased preceptor confidence and preparedness for clinical assessment but additional education is required to understand ethical and legal accountability within the role. Many preceptors indicated they felt pressured into recording assessments they were uncomfortable with.
Enhancing preceptorship acceptance could be achieved through institutional recognition of the role's value via workload consideration, institutional recognition or financial means. Increased preceptorship training, particularly around ethical and legal issues, would encourage preceptor confidence.
Organizations must find ways of meeting these challenges while recognizing they are responsible for the work environment of both preceptors and internationally registered nurses for whom English is a second language. A register of preceptors could provide a platform for audit and quality assurance principles, ensuring adequate education and preparation of preceptors.
Implications for nursing and health policy
Effective preceptorship requires training, recognition and support. Successful integration of international nurses depends on organizational recognition and implementation of these factors.