Question Sharon Jobson Health

Preceptorship of a band five nurse

How does preceptorship relate to the organisation and management of patient care as a band five nurse. How does this link in to the NMC 2015?

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Answer Expert #25269

Preceptorship is defined by the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC, 2008: 10) as 'a period to guide and support all newly qualified practitioners to make the transition from student to develop their practice further'. This should therefore be a key aim of health care organisations in fostering a culture of safe and high quality patient care, supporting newly qualified nurses in demonstrating the knowledge and skills outlined within the NMC (2015) code of conduct.

The NMC (2015) code lays out the professional capabilities, knowledge and skills that are expected of all newly qualified nurses, to maintain professional accountability, professionalism and to ensure the delivery of high standards of patient care. The NMC (2008a) states that all newly registered band 5 nurses should engage in a period of preceptorship when commencing their new employment, as policy (Department of Health, 2008) recommends that this can support nurses in their journey from novice to expert. Research evidences that nurses in new health care settings can experience reality shock as they make the transition from student to qualified nurse, due to the organisational demands and managers' expectations placed upon them (Scully, 2011; Kramer, 1974).

Preceptorship ensures that newly qualified nurses receive essential support from more experienced nurses and management staff to facilitate effective learning contexts in which new knowledge and skills can be furthered - enhancing professional competency, confidence and ensuring safe patient care (NMC, 2008b). As Benner (1984) states, this can facilitate band 5 nurses in successfully negotiating the transition to practice whilst providing a solid foundation for continuing professional development.


Benner, P. (1984) From novice to expert. Excellence and power in clinical nursing practice. CA: Addison-Wesley Publishing.

Department of Health (2008) High quality care for all: Next stage review. London: DoH.

Kramer, M. (1974). Reality shock; why nurses leave nursing. St Louis: Mosby.

Nursing and Midwifery Council (2008a) Developing new standards for nursing education in the UK. London: NMC.

Nursing and Midwifery Council (2008b) Standards to support learning and assessment in practice: NMC standards for mentors, practice teachers (2nd ed.) London: NMC.

Nursing and Midwifery Council (2015), The Code: Standards of conduct, performances and ethics for Nurses and Midwives, London: NMC.

Scully, N.J. (2011). The theory-practice gap and skill acquisition: An issue for nursing education. Collegian, 18(2), 93-98.