Aim: The recruitment and retention of preceptors to mentor health professional students and apprentices in their clinical studies are not easy. The aim of this study was to investigate factors that hindered the implementation of an intervention intended to improve the working conditions for preceptors in nursing homes. The preceptorship was related to clinical studies for health professional students and apprentices.
Design: A qualitative, explorative design was applied.
Methods: Qualitative data were collected in September 2014 by means of focus groups with preceptors and key informant interviews. The data were prepared by thematic analysis and interpreted in the light of institutional theory.
Results: The intervention to improve the working conditions for preceptors was hampered by institutional traits involving rule-like perceptions of "want to," "ought to" and "have to." Precepting was preserved as an individual task of the preceptors and was not considered a daily activity in nursing homes.
Conclusions: To improve the working conditions for preceptors in nursing homes and thus improve recruitment and retention among preceptors, the nursing home leaders should address institutional traits related to preceptorship.
Keywords: clinical studies; institutional theory; intervention; nursing home; organizational change; preceptorship; qualitative study.