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Nursing Research and Practice
Volume 2012, Article ID 572510, 10 pages
Research Article

Preceptorship and Affirmation in the Intergenerational World of Nursing Practice

1School of Nursing, University of Prince Edward Island, 550 University Avenue, Charlottetown, PE, Canada C1A 4P3
2Faculty of Nursing, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB, Canada T6G 1C9

Received 7 January 2012; Accepted 4 March 2012

Academic Editor: Florence Luhanga

Copyright © 2012 Vicki Foley et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Research has shown that while preceptorship offers a reality-oriented learning environment and facilitates competence of students, there are inherent rewards and stressors associated with the experience. Students and preceptors can be from different generations, and as such, they may often come to the learning space with differing values and expectations. The nature of the preceptorship experience in this intergenerational context was explored in a recent phenomenological study with seven preceptors and seven nursing students in an undergraduate nursing program in Eastern Canada. Overall the experience was found to be inclusive of three main themes: being affirmed, being challenged, and being on a pedagogical journey. In this paper we explore the first of these themes, being affirmed. Highlighting the positive aspects of the preceptorship experience in the intergenerational context is necessary to promote a culture of openness and respect for generational differences within clinical nursing practice settings and to improving the overall quality of the educational experience.