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Nurse Educ Pract. 2013 Mar;13(2):125-31. doi: 10.1016/j.nepr.2012.08.001. Epub 2012 Sep 5.

Nursing preceptorship experiences in rural settings: "I would work here for free".

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Faculty of Nursing, University of Alberta, 3rd Floor Clinical Sciences Building, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.



The primary aim was to capture the experience of preceptorship in a rural setting, via photographic narrative. It is hoped that this narrative will highlight areas that require greater support; communicate the experience of rural preceptorship for students, educators and policymakers; and emphasize the benefits of this experience for these current and future stakeholders.


In a photovoice study, preceptors (n = 4) and students (n = 4) in rural, Western Canadian health care settings were given digital cameras and asked to provide images and commentary about the experience of preceptorship. Participants selected the photographs to be included as data, and participated in thematic data analysis, through facilitated group discussions during and following the preceptorships.


This article explores the category of teaching and learning, encompassing three themes: confidence, conscientiousness, and mutual growth. Preceptors emphasized the importance of students bringing sufficient knowledge to the rural preceptorship, pertaining not only to the nature of care but also to the predominant health care issues in the community.


The implications were generated in part by the participants, who indicated a need for more student practica in rural settings; curricular changes to incorporate knowledge about rural health care and communities; post-graduation rural mentorship programs; and site/community-specific preparation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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