Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Health and Rehabilitation Sciences


Dr. Sandra DeLuca


Exploring Public Health Nurse Preceptors’ Experience of Learning

The preceptorship model is the leading approach to clinical teaching in undergraduate nursing programs. There is a need for community placements however a lack of preceptors. In preceptor-student relationships experienced nurses learn along with the students. This qualitative study utilized hermeneutic phenomenology to answer the questions: How do public health nurse preceptors experience learning within a preceptor-student relationship? What is the meaning of learning for public health nurse preceptors Seven public health nurse preceptors were recruited from health units in Ontario. Findings from this study reveal the tacit knowledge within experienced nurse preceptors. Preceptors learned from their preceptee, explored similarities and differences and were challenged by uncertainties in their practice. Preceptors experienced tensions between holding on and letting go, between work and home life, and within the ‘swamp’ of practice. This study reveals the experiential tacit knowledge, practical wisdom, reciprocal learning and professional development of nurses within preceptorships.



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