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Student Nurse Stress in the Preceptorship Experience

Yonge, Olive PhD, Cpsych, RN; Myrick, Florence PhD, RN; Haase, Mary BScN, RN


Student nurses appear to experience significantly more stress during their academic preparation than they do during the first year of employment. Preceptorship is among the most stressful of student experiences. It is within the context of a challenging and at times daunting work environment that two complete strangers (preceptor and student) strive to accommodate one another within a professional capacity. If the relationship between preceptor and student is less than successful, not only can it be frustrating and disheartening, but it can result in student stress and disillusionment about nursing and an inability to integrate and learn. Using a hypothetical case, the authors discuss the importance of student assessment, close communication between faculty and preceptors, and quick responses to student stress as a means by which to circumvent the serious potential of student burnout in the practice setting.

Author affiliation: University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada (Dr Yonge and Ms Haase); Faculty of Nursing, University of Calgary, Alberta, Canada (Dr Myrick).

Corresponding author: Olive J. Yonge, PhD, CPsych, RN, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, T6G 2G3, Canada (

© 2002 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.