The transformative impact of a Nurse Preceptorship Programme on new graduates and healthcare success

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We would like to extend a warm welcome to Donna Creighton who joined us recently on a Nurse Preceptorship Program.

Nurse Preceptorship Programs offer invaluable benefits to both new nursing graduates and the organisations that implement them. These structured mentorship initiatives provide a supportive transition for novice Nurses from academia to clinical practice. Through one-on-one guidance, preceptees gain hands-on experience, develop skills, and enhance their confidence in healthcare settings.

Undertaking a Nurse Preceptorship at Northern Healthcare

Here Donna Creighton, Registered Mental Health Nurse (RMN) shares her career path and how Northern Healthcare have supported her via the Nurse Preceptorship Programme:

“My path to a career in mental health began when I started to work in medium secure/locked rehab settings as a Bank Support Worker. I had previously completed a Psychology Degree and undertaken a Master’s in Neuroscience, however, six months into the programme I realised that it wasn’t for me. I realised I was more of a people person and the programme was mainly specialising in data analysis. I wanted to be more involved in the care planning side and wanted more involvement in helping them to get well, stay well and live a full independent life in the future.

I started to work in medium secure wards that specialised in forensics, autism and brain injury. I began to work on female wards which gave me exceptional experience and insight into borderline personality disorder, emotionally unstable personality disorder and eating disorders and interventions that work to good effect.

Following this I chose to pursue a career in mental health nursing. It’s extremely fulfilling to follow the patient’s journey from where initially they may feel that there is no hope, to see them planning their lives and making goals for their future.

What drew me to undertake a preceptorship with Northern Healthcare was the ethos which looks at the service as whole, and recognises that staff and residents’ wellbeing plays a vital role in creating a positive environment. I love the value of laughing together, getting through challenging times together and collaborating, as a team, as a family, to solve and conjure up solutions. I have strong ward-based experience, so I wanted to see how people adapt in community settings and with Northern Healthcare’s values I knew it was a place I wanted to begin my career.

As a mentor, Sophie (Mental Health Lead) will support me to build my confidence as a newly qualified Nurse and utilise my skills. Sophie is a very approachable, kind and caring RMN who takes the time to answer any questions I may have and show me anything I need to learn. She is patient and thorough which is important as a new Nurse, to understand the structure of the organisation whilst upholding The Nursing and Midwifery Council Code of Practice. Sophie will help me build a sense of team identity and a sense of belonging at Northern Healthcare.

So far at Northern Healthcare, I have learnt how the home-based treatment team help with housing and supporting the residents in their supported living arrangements. Staff can gain insight into why residents are using specific medications, I have noticed how staff can determine behaviours and interventions if residents have not taken their medication.

I feel that preceptorships are important as they help build confidence and allow time to implement the knowledge and skills learnt into practice with support. The programme creates a sense of team building and belonging and helps with an understanding of the service structure and how to operate systems efficiently. They offer close support from someone who carries a lot of experience in the field – who can provide advice and help.”

Find out more about careers at Northern Healthcare or view our current vacancies here.



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