University of Oulu

Pohjamies, N., Haapa, T., Kääriäinen, M., & Mikkonen, K. (2022). Nurse preceptors' orientation competence and associated factors—A cross-sectional study. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 78, 4123– 4134.

Nurse preceptors’ orientation competence and associated factors : a cross-sectional study

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Author: Pohjamies, Netta1; Haapa, Toni2; Kääriäinen, Maria3;
Organizations: 1Department of Musculoskeletal and Plastic Surgery, Research Unit of Health Science and Technology, University of Helsinki and Helsinki University Hospital, University of Oulu, Helsinki, Finland
2University of Helsinki and Helsinki University Hospital, Nursing Research Center, Helsinki, Finland
3Faculty of Medicine, Research Unit of Health Science and Technology, Oulu University Hospital, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
4Faculty of Medicine, Research Unit of Health Science and Technology, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.5 MB)
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Language: English
Published: John Wiley & Sons, 2022
Publish Date: 2023-06-27


Aims: To identify distinct orientation competence profiles amongst nurse preceptors and explain the associated factors.

Design: A cross-sectional study design.

Methods: The data were collected during the winter of 2020–2021 from registered nurses (N = 8279, n = 844) at one university hospital in Finland through an online questionnaire that included a self-administered electronic version of the Preceptors’ Orientation Competence Instrument. K-means clustering was then used to identify nurse preceptor profiles. Chi-square, Fisher’s exact test, Kruskal–Wallis and Mann–Whitney tests were used to analyse factors associated with competence profiles. The results were reported as frequencies, percentages, mean and standard deviation.

Results: A total of three distinct orientation competence profiles (A, B, C) were identified. Profile A nurses evaluated their orientation competence at the highest level, whereas profile C nurses evaluated their competence at the lowest level. Sufficient clinical and theoretical experience, a motivation to work, willingness to orient new employees and participation in orientation and/or mentoring education were found to be associated with competence profiles.

Conclusion: The findings expand the current knowledge base of nurse preceptors’ orientation competence. Health care organizations should recognize different orientation competence profiles amongst the nursing staff since the selection of a preceptor should always be based on possessing the necessary orientation competence rather than availability. The results indicate that preceptors (who reported taking on various tasks and covering multiple roles) need support from co-workers to sufficiently concentrate on employee orientation tasks. The results also indicate that preceptors need further orientation education, which should—for example—outline the learning goals for new employees and how preceptors can assess employee performance.

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Series: Journal of advanced nursing
ISSN: 0309-2402
ISSN-E: 1365-2648
ISSN-L: 0309-2402
Volume: 78
Issue: 12
Pages: 4123 - 4134
DOI: 10.1111/jan.15388
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 316 Nursing
Funding: This study was partly funded by the (University of Helsinki and Helsinki University Hospital, department of Musculoskeletal and Plastic Surgery). The funder had no role in the study design, collection, analysis and interpretation of data, article writing or the decision to submit for publication.
Copyright information: © 2022 The Authors. Journal of Advanced Nursing published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.