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Hallmarks of Unsafe Practice: What Preceptors Know

Luhanga, Florence PhD, RN; Yonge, Olive PhD, RN; Myrick, Florence PhD, RN

Journal for Nurses in Professional Development: November-December 2008 - Volume 24 - Issue 6 - p 257-264
doi: 10.1097/

During a preceptorship experience, certain students do not progress in their learning at the same rate as others and may engage in unsafe practice. Twenty-two preceptors working with fourth year baccalaureate nursing students for 340 hours in a final practicum were interviewed. This study reaffirmed that early identification and intervention of unsafe practice are critical and consist of red flags regarding knowledge, attitudes, skills, and professionalism.

The authors report a study affirming that early identification of unsafe practice of new graduates by preceptorships is critical to ensure timely and effective intervention.

Florence Luhanga, PhD, RN, is Assistant Professor, School of Nursing, Laurentian University, Ontario, Canada.

Olive Yonge, PhD, RN, is Professor and Vice-Provost Academics, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.

Florence Myrick, PhD, RN, is Associate Professor, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.

The authors have disclosed that they have no significant relationships with, or financial interest in, any commercial companies pertaining to this educational activity.

ADDRESS FOR CORRESPONDENCE: Olive Yonge, PhD, RN, University of Alberta, 3rd Floor Clinical Science Building, Edmonton, Alberta Canada T6G 2G3 (e-mail:

© 2008 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.