A Clinical Teaching Blended Learning Program to Enhance Registered Nurse Preceptors' Teaching Competencies: Pretest and Posttest Study

J Med Internet Res. 2020 Apr 24;22(4):e18604. doi: 10.2196/18604.


Background: Clinical nursing education provides opportunities for students to learn in multiple patient care settings, receive appropriate guidance, and foster the development of clinical competence and professionalism. Nurse preceptors guide students to integrate theory into practice, teach clinical skills, assess clinical competencies, and enhance problem-solving and critical thinking skills. Previous research has indicated that the teaching competencies of nurse preceptors can be transferred to students' clinical learning to enhance their clinical competencies.

Objective: This study aimed to develop a clinical teaching blended learning (CTBL) program with the aid of web-based clinical pedagogy (WCP) and case-based learning for nurse preceptors and to examine the effectiveness of the CTBL program on nurse preceptors' clinical teaching competencies, self-efficacies, attitudes toward web-based learning, and blended learning outcomes.

Methods: A quasi-experimental single-group pretest and posttest design was adopted. A total of 150 nurse preceptors participated in the CTBL program, which was conducted from September 2019 to December 2019. A set of questionnaires, including the clinical teaching competence inventory, preceptor self-efficacy questionnaire, attitudes toward web-based continuing learning survey, and e-learning experience questionnaire, was used to assess the outcomes before and after the CTBL program.

Results: Compared with the baseline, the participants had significantly higher total mean scores and subdomain scores for clinical teaching competence (mean 129.95, SD 16.38; P<.001), self-efficacy (mean 70.40, SD 9.35; P<.001), attitudes toward web-based continuing learning (mean 84.68, SD 14.76; P<.001), and blended learning outcomes (mean 122.13, SD 14.86; P<.001) after the CTBL program.

Conclusions: The CTBL program provides a comprehensive coverage of clinical teaching pedagogy and assessment strategies. The combination of the WCP and case-based approach provides a variety of learning modes to fit into the diverse learning needs of the preceptors. The CTBL program allows the preceptors to receive direct feedback from the facilitators during face-to-face sessions. Preceptors also gave feedback that the web-based workload is manageable. This study provides evidence that the CTBL program increases the clinical teaching competencies and self-efficacies of the preceptors and promotes positive attitudes toward web-based learning and better blended learning outcomes. The health care organization can consider the integration of flexible learning and intellect platforms for preceptorship education.

Keywords: blended learning; case-based learning; clinical pedagogy; clinical teaching competency; nurse preceptor; web-based program.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Clinical Competence / standards*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Learning / physiology*
  • Male
  • Nursing / methods*
  • Preceptorship / organization & administration*