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J Clin Nurs. 2009 Apr;18(8):1217-25. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2702.2008.02662.x.

Effects of a preceptorship programme on turnover rate, cost, quality and professional development.

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Department of Cheng Hsin Rehabilitation Medical Center, School of Nursing, National Taipei College of Nursing, Taipei, Taiwan.



The purpose of the present study was to design a preceptorship programme and to evaluate its effects on turnover rate, turnover cost, quality of care and professional development.


A high turnover rate of nurses is a common global problem. How to improve nurses' willingness to stay in their jobs and reduce the high turnover rate has become a focus. Well-designed preceptorship programmes could possibly decrease turnover rates and improve professional development.


A quasi-experimental research design was used.


First, a preceptorship programme was designed to establish the role and responsibilities of preceptors in instructing new nurses. Second, a quasi-experimental design was used to evaluate the preceptorship programme. Data on new nurses' turnover rate, turnover cost, quality of nursing care, satisfaction of preceptor's teaching and preceptor's perception were measured.


After conducting the preceptorship programme, the turnover rate was 46.5% less than the previous year. The turnover cost was decreased by US$186,102. Additionally, medication error rates made by new nurses dropped from 50-0% and incident rates of adverse events and falls decreased. All new nurses were satisfied with preceptor guidance.


The preceptorship programme effectively lowered the turnover rate of new nurses, reduced turnover costs and enhanced the quality of nursing care, especially by reducing medication error incidents. Positive feedback about the programme was received from new nurses.


Study findings may offer healthcare administrators another option for retaining new nurses, controlling costs, improving quality and fostering professional development. In addition, incentives and effective support from the organisation must be considered when preceptors perform preceptorship responsibilities.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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