Preceptorship in the Ghanaian context: “Coaching for a winning team”

Mary Asor Asirifi, Judy E. Mill, Florence A. Myrick, George Richardson


Background: Preceptorship is an approach to teaching and learning in the clinical setting. It is purported to facilitate the connection between nursing education and clinical practice, foster an ethos for critical thinking, and contribute to professional development. As part of nursing education in Ghana, preceptors collaborate with educational institutions to enhance the supervision of students in the clinical settings. However, working relations between the hospitals and the health training institutions in many regions in Ghana are challenging, with hospitals only passively involved in the education of students.

Purpose: The purpose of the current study was to explore the perceptions of Ghanaian nursing students, preceptors and nurse educators regarding their preceptorship experience.

Methods: A focused ethnographic approach guided the study. Purposive sampling was used to recruit 26 nurse educators, nursing students, and preceptors from a regional hospital and a diploma level nursing educational institution in a small city in Ghana. Eight nurse educators and nine nursing students participated from the educational institution and nine preceptors participated from the hospital.

Results: Findings from this study indicated that: a) preceptorship in Ghana was not well established and was in the developmental stage; and b) clinical teaching and learning were influenced by the stakeholders involved in nursing education in Ghana.

Conclusions: Although preceptors were used in Ghana, the clinical teaching approach did not reflect the concept of preceptorship. Stakeholders in nursing education from both within and outside the clinical settings influenced the clinical teaching environment. Findings from the study present baseline data for stakeholders in nursing education to promote effective preceptorship programs in Ghana.

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Journal of Nursing Education and Practice

ISSN 1925-4040 (Print)   ISSN 1925-4059 (Online)

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