Boon J, Graham B, Wainwright M, Warriner S, Currer-briggs V Is preceptorship valuable?. Midwives. 2005; 8:64-6

Broad P, Walker J, Boden R, Barnes A Developing a ‘model of transition’ prior to preceptorship. Br J Nurs. 2011; 20:(20)1298-1301

Davies S, Mason J Preceptorship for newly-qualified midwives: time for a change?. British Journal of Midwifery. 2009; 17:(12)804-5

London: DH; 2008

London: DH; 2010

Dike P Student midwives: views of direct-entry programme. Midwives. 2005; 8:(7)314-7

Dike P Direct entry: equipped for competence?. Midwives. 2007; 10:(5)228-31

Green J, Thorogood NLondon: Sage Publications Ltd; 2004

Hobbs J, Green S Development of a preceptorship programme. British Journal of Midwifery. 2003; 11:(6)372-5

Huges A, Fraser D ‘Sink or Swim’ The experience of newly qualified midwives in England. Midwifery. 2011; 27:(3)382-6

Mapp T Understanding phenomenology: the lived experience. British Journal of Midwifery. 2008; 16:(5)308-11

Morgan DL Focus Groups. Annual Review of Sociology. 1996; 22:129-52

Myrick F Preceptorship and Critical Thinking in Nursing Education.Alberta: University of Alberta; 1998

Nursing and Midwifery Council. 2006. (accessed 12 May 2014)

Robinson A Phenomenology, 2nd Ed.. In: Cluett E, Bluff R (eds). London: Balliere Tindall; 2006

London: RCM; 2011

RCN wants mandatory preceptorship year. Nursing Standard. 2008; 22:(50)

Spencer L, Ritchie J, O'Connor W Analysis: Practices, Principles and Processes. In: Ritchie J, Lewis J (eds). London: Sage; 2003

The value of preceptorship for newly qualified midwives

02 June 2014
Volume 22 · Issue 6


The aim of the study was to examine the views and learning needs of student midwives at the point of registration in order to inform the development of a new preceptorship programme for newly qualified midwives using a qualitative phenomenological approach. Ten third year student midwives enrolled on an undergraduate BSc Midwifery programme were included in the study. Questionnaires and a focus group session were employed to collect data. Eight students returned the questionnaire and nine attended the focus group. Data were thematically analysed using an inductive approach.

The results suggest that preceptorship is highly valued by the students questioned and a period of preceptorship in a maternity unit they are familiar with was highlighted as being important in building confidence. It was also suggested that preceptorship programmes should focus on clinical skills enhancement, ward management and socialisation into the workplace.

Preceptorship in midwifery is a term used to describe a period of support given to newly qualified midwives to enable them to develop their knowledge and skills within their new working environment (Boon et al, 2005). Support from an experienced midwife (preceptor) enables them to consolidate experience gained as students, moving from being fit to practise at the point of registration to confident practitioners, as well as facilitating adaption to their new roles and responsibilities (Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC), 2006). In support of this, the Departmentof Health (DH) (2008) states in its report, A High Quality Workforce, that a foundation year should be adopted following midwifery registration to build confidence, suggesting that financial commitment from NHS Trusts to implement this is essential. Midwifery 2020 (DH, 2010: 36) also supports the concept of preceptorship ‘as a means of providing structured, focused support and guidance’.

Register now to continue reading

Thank you for visiting British Journal of Midwifery and reading some of our peer-reviewed resources for midwives. To read more, please register today. You’ll enjoy the following great benefits:

What's included

  • Limited access to our clinical or professional articles

  • New content and clinical newsletter updates each month