Chesterfield Royal Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

Implementing Preceptorship via Legacy Mentoring

What interventions or actions did you put in place to support nurses or midwives?
  • Supported newly qualified nurses within the clinical areas to help increase retention. Retained staff by giving them the chance to have flexible working and dual roles within clinical areas as well as educational posts.
  • Increased support in the clinical environment at point of care from professional development educators.
  • Appointment of experienced Emergency Department Sister whose role is to check-in with newly registered nurses at point of care, who also remains in practice within the Emergency Department.
  • Appointment of experienced ITU nurse who also remains in practice within the ITU department.
  • Regular check-ins/catch ups with a professional development educator at point of care.
  • Appointment of part-time hours for the role to maintain clinical working alongside supporting newly registered nurses, forming more flexible working. This option was thought to be better and more resilient than appointing a full-time clinical educator.
  • Appointment of an experienced retired and return to work clinical nurse specialist, now working as an educator within our clinical areas supporting this new way of working.


Why did you decide this was important?

The National Preceptorship Framework played a part in the changes that were made to the role. Although we had a robust preceptorship programme, we found that there was little evidence to support the development conversations which were taking place. These had become more verbal plans since Covid-19, and we needed to re-establish the documented progression and personal action plans. Newly registered practitioners will now have received robust development plans which in turn will lead to a quicker more skilled, confident, and efficient workforce.


DSC04095 Enhanced NR
How did you go about it?

As preceptorship has a blended programme of support from the Professional Development Team as well as support from the clinical areas through preceptors, several measures were analysed. The first stage was to measure a baseline of the evidence available to show preceptorship is taking place. The most recent figures were chosen, with a range from March 2021 to April 2022.

It became apparent when looking at previous figures, the evidence has fallen drastically. This may be due to the pandemic, reduced number of newly qualified nurses or that there has been no focus on preceptorship. The role of the clinical education team was reviewed, and aspects of this role were subsequently changed. Part of the professional development educator’s role was to catch up with all newly registered nurses across the trust.  The educators now meet with our new recruits in practice at point of care. During this time, any learning needs are identified, gaps with training, pastoral guidance, awareness of resources made available. Sometimes the need for further support is identified and clinical working alongside newly registered practitioners will be arranged.


How do you know it has been sucessful in supporting colleague's to continue their NHS Career and not leave the NHS?

We have appointed a retired clinical nurse specialist who was going to retire fully into the post as a clinical educator to support this staff group. She has returned on reduced hours with the focus on supporting newly registered nurses within the clinical areas. She shares her extensive skills and knowledge not only with newly registered nurses but also with our more junior preceptors and senior staff new to the responsibility of supporting these members of their team.


What 3 suggestions would you make to colleagues considering implementing similar change?

1. Having educators who support remain partly within clinical areas has increased credibility and understanding.

2. Regular support within the clinical areas as well as pastoral support away from clinical shifts. Providing head space and reflection.

3. Having an organisational standardised approach with senior management support is essential to implement the preceptorship programme further.