The USF College of Nursing (CON) Clinical Collaborative Preceptor Partnership model aims to employ the best characteristics of traditional education combined with the breadth of the university education.
This model, launched by the CON in 2001 in partnership with 15 health care hospitals/systems, facilitates practice collaboration among health care facilities in the Tampa Bay area and provides clinical training preparation of undergraduate nursing students to:
1) Streamline the process of providing nursing students with a wide range of clinical experience;
2) Limit the need to provide student supervision across a broad geographic area; and
3) Provide area hospitals with the opportunity to fill vacancies with nursing graduates who are familiar with their procedures and require little or no post-graduate orientation
It enables students to learn essential nursing skills under the guidance of an experienced nurse preceptor at a partner health care organization facility from the outset first day of clinical experience. It is the only model used at the USF CON for undergraduate clinical teaching. A unique feature that distinguishes this model from other traditional models is that students are required to complete their entire student experience at a single health care organization or team of hospitals. Of the 15 hospitals in the USF Clinical Collaborative, five provide the entire clinical experience at their facility as they are full service hospitals. The others have teamed with another hospital (or two) to comprise a hospital team. Further, the model is extended to community, lab, and simulation rotations, and is not limited to hospital experiences.
The innovative model process begins with a new cohort of students admitted and assigned to a hospital team, led by a CON academic faculty Team Coordinator (TC). The students attend the hospital orientation program, and become acculturated into the nursing service of the hospital. The TC collaborates with CON academic clinical faculty and hospital-based faculty (HBF) to assign unit-based preceptors to each student in their first semester of clinical, and every semester thereafter. To avoid undue burden on the units cadre of preceptors, no more than two students are assigned to a clinical nursing unit. The preceptor to student ratio is 1:1. The students learn at the side of their preceptor, and the clinical faculty supports the preceptors by continually rounding on the dyads. The preceptor serves as a role model for professional nursing practice, engages students in aspects of patient care management appropriate to their level of study, and reinforces the needed psychomotor skills. The clinical faculty (CON or HBF) ensure the students are applying didactic content and concepts by focusing on clinical reasoning and critical thinking. The CON academic faculty evaluates student performance with input from both the preceptors and clinical faculty. Students advance through their program of study as a cohort in a single hospital team, establishing a bond with each other, their preceptors, and their health care system
The Clinical Collaborative Preceptor Partnership model has formed a network that bridges traditional institutional boundaries and enlists cooperation among the chief nursing officers and vice presidents of nursing services of area hospitals and the CON. Generating cooperative educational opportunities, the Clinical Collaborative has increased and enhanced the professional nurse experiences throughout the Tampa Bay area.