Instituting a preceptor training program: stage 1: needs assessment, stage 2: implementation
New graduate orientation programs have been developed in order to support and transition new graduate nurses (NGNs) into the nursing profession. These programs rely heavily on competent and prepared preceptors. Preceptors need to be educated and trained in this new role in order to properly facilitate this transition. A small medical center located in rural western Montana without a formal preceptor training program began a two stage process to implement a preceptor training program. Stage 1, the 'Needs Assessment' gathered data by surveying past NGNs in their new graduate orientation program and the incoming preceptors for the next session of NGNs to identify nine priorities to guide Stage 2, 'Implementation' of an effective preceptor program. The implementation of the preceptor training program utilized a blended training approach (online modules as well as a two hour face-to-face session) to meet the nine priorities. After the implementation of the training program, preceptors on average scored themselves higher on all questions of the post survey. There were notable benefits to the preceptors after participating in the training program. Results indicated it would benefit future preceptors to participate in a formal preceptor training program to increase competence and preparedness to better meet the needs of NGNs promoting a positive transition and purposeful retention for the future.