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Aetna’s Preceptor Program: The Proof Is in the Program

Do preceptors and preceptees benefit by moving from an
ad-hoc preceptoring program to a formal one?

Lorri Freifeld, editor-in-chief at Training: The Source for Professional Development, recently reported some exciting findings from a formal nurse preceptor program initiated by Aetna, Inc.

Following a 6-month pilot, Aetna launched a formal nurse preceptor program in January 2013. At its outset, the formal program provided 65% of new hires with preceptors, incorporated beefed-up workshop offerings, instituted weekly progress reports between preceptors and their supervisors, increased communication of best practices, created a community calendar of training events, and implemented on-demand training and follow-up with recently preceptored new hires.

The result after three months?

  • 53% of new hires were managing a full caseload
  • 100% of preceptors said soft skills training was sufficient (up from 0%!)
  • 97% of preceptors felt the tools and resources were effective
  • 67% of new hires reported having adequate time with their preceptors

And after six months?

  • Turnover was down 50%
  • 100% of new hires had a preceptor
  • 150 new preceptor volunteers had joined the program

Pretty impressive and immediate results from a new program. Kudos to Aetna for committing to a professional approach in this most important phase of a new hire’s experience.

To read the full article, click here.

To see related HCPro offerings, including The Preceptor Program Builder, click here.

Do you have a compelling idea for a nursing book?

As a leading publisher of nursing and other healthcare products—including books, newsletters, webinars, and online training—HCPro is a great place to publish. If you have an idea for a book or other product that will benefit the profession of nursing, we would like to hear from you.

At HCPro, we value our expert authors as the foundation of our business and strive to build long-term relationships with them. We collaborate with our authors—a diverse and knowledgeable group of people focused on creating a personally satisfying and improved healthcare workplace for themselves and their colleagues. The nurses, nurse educators, and nurse managers who read our books appreciate our focus on quality, from project inception through collaborative development, publication, and distribution.

Whether you want to write a book, blog post, or article, or create a webinar, we’ll provide you with the feedback and tools you need to be successful. Contact us for more information.

Some topics we’re interested in: Managing intergenerational teams, delegation and supervision across the care continuum, charge nurse insights, creating a culture of safety, effective communications.

Anti-bullying bill in Massachusetts legislature

Boston is widely recognized as the vanguard of New England healthcare, employing tens of thousands of nursing professionals who care for hundreds of thousands of patients each year. Now Massachusetts is taking on one of the scourges of the nursing profession: Horizontal hostility.

Currently in a third attempt to pass the Massachusetts legislature, the Healthy Workplace Bill is aimed directly at creating procedures and penalties for bullying by co-workers and managers.  If the bill is passed during the current legislative session, Massachusetts will earn bragging rights as the first state in the nation to enact a comprehensive workplace-bullying bill.

For an in-depth look at Bella English’s Boston Globe feature on bullying and this landmark bill, read it here.

You can also download an exclusive excerpt from the second edition of Ending Nurse-to-Nurse Hostility. In the excerpt we prepared for Nurses’ Week, Kathleen Bartholomew, RN, MN, discusses the faces of horizontal hostility and bullying in nursing school and offers positive ways that students can be supported and mentored as they begin their nursing careers. Download the excerpt here.

HCPro seeks part-time Lead Nurse Planner

HCPro, a division of BLR, is seeking a Lead Nurse Planner to assist with planning Continuing Nursing Education (CNE) activities and to ensure all HCPro CNE activities comply with current American Nurses Credentialing Center’s (ANCC) Commission on Accreditation (COA) criteria. The lead nurse planner may be located anywhere in the country as participation in the planning of these activities will be conducted through phone calls, conference calls, and emails.

The right candidate will be a currently registered RN with a master’s degree or higher, and with either the baccalaureate or graduate degree in nursing. Additionally, the Lead Nurse Planner must have education or experience in the field of education or adult learning.

To find out more about the position, visit Interested candidates can submit resumes to

CDC backs down on MERS threat: What does it mean?

Editor’s note: This column was first published on HCPro’s OSHA Healthcare Advisor blog on May 30, 2014.

By: John Palmer

By now, you’ve likely heard that the CDC backed down yesterday on its official number of U.S. cases of confirmed MERS patients. This may confuse a lot of people in the healthcare world—especially those in the smaller medical clinics who are concerned that they may be on the front lines in dealing with any future victims of this mysterious new respiratory illness from the Middle East.

The CDC now officially says there are only two confirmed cases, down from three last week. The third was a man who was a business associate of the first patient, a healthcare worker who fell ill in Indiana after traveling from the Middle East. This third patient apparently had a two-hour business meeting with the first guy, but he never got sick. He was tested preliminarily, and after more tests he never got sick, and that’s why they backed down on the case count.

Here’s a link to the official CDC press release regarding the MERS situation:

I had a lengthy phone call yesterday with Dr. J. Todd Weber, a chief of prevention and response at the CDC, and he gave me their official stance on what’s going on and what healthcare providers should be doing to prepare.

MERS is a coronavirus that originated in camels and over the last two years has somehow made the jump to humans. For the time being, the worst of it seems to be isolated to the Arabian Peninsula and it seems to be affecting mainly healthcare workers who are dealing with patients.

That’s the good news. The bad news is that it reportedly kills about 30% of its victims. Hardly a common cold. A high death count like that brings back memories of the 1918 flu epidemic, the Swine flu and Bird flu, and the big SARS outbreak that devastated Toronto.

The even more good news, Weber told me, is that this is not the flu. I am no virologist here, but Dr. Weber says a Coronavirus lacks the genetic ability to mutate the way the Influenza virus does – which explains why the flu can make a jump so quickly from animals to humans.

What does all this mean for you, the healthcare provider? Do what you always do. Be on the lookout for patients who present with both fever and upper respiratory infections. And make sure you play detective and ask questions. Did the patient travel to the Middle East within the last 14 days, or have contact with someone who did?

And as always—practice good infection control measures. Isolate those who are sick, disinfect your surfaces, and wear your PPE such as masks and gloves.

Dr. Weber stopped short of saying we are out of the woods—a good doctor never does that. There’s always a chance this will find a way to mutate quicker, and as we have seen, the virus can travel on airplanes to other places in the world. But panic never helps, and the CDC did the right thing by backing down their previous warnings.

Live webcast: Build Nurse Engagement Through Coaching and Mentoring

Studies show only 30% of your nurses are actively engaged, which can negatively impact patient satisfaction, safety, and nurse turnover. Join us on May 28 at 1 p.m. to discover how to engage the rest of your staff.

Join experienced nurse and leadership specialist Patty Kubus, RN, MBA, PhD, for a 90-minute webcast to learn how to build a culture of nurse engagement.

Don’t miss the chance to improve nurse satisfaction, increase your nursing staff’s commitment to the organization, and raise the level of patient care.

This webcast will discuss how to build a culture of nurse engagement, which leads to the following benefits:

  • Higher productivity
  • Higher patient satisfaction scores
  • Lower turnover
  • Lower absenteeism
  • Fewer safety incidences

For more information, or to register, visit

Nurses Week giveaway: Free excerpt from Ending Nurse-To-Nurse Hostility and a chance to win a copy!

HCPro has celebrated nurses all week long with special giveaways, prizes, and promotions.

We are giving away an exclusive excerpt from the brand-new edition of Ending Nurse-to-Nurse Hostility!

In this excerpt, Kathleen Bartholomew, RN, MN, is shining a light on horizontal hostility in nursing school. Read about the effect of horizontal hostility and bullying in nursing school and the positive ways nursing students can be supported and mentored as they begin their nursing career.

Download the excerpt here.

Plus you can also enter to win a free copy of the book!

We are giving away five copies of Ending Nurse-to-Nurse Hostility. Be among the first to read the newly updated book from nursing communication expert Kathleen Bartholomew, RN, MN.

Almost 50% of former nurses cite horizontal hostility as their reason for leaving the profession. Beat the statistics! Read this groundbreaking book and discover all-new strategies and solutions to improve the nursing culture at your organization.

Enter here for your chance to win.

Nurses Week giveaway of preceptor and preceptee handbooks

HCPro is celebrating and recognizing nurses all week long with special giveaways, prizes, and promotions.

We are giving away FREE copies of The Effective Preceptor Handbook for Nurses and The Essential Preceptee Handbook!

Transform your preceptor/preceptee program with these cutting-edge resources. Enter to win five copies of each handbook!

The Effective Preceptor Handbook for Nurses provides new preceptors with the evidence-based skills they need to build supportive one-on-one teaching and learning relationships with new nurses.

The Essential Preceptee Handbook provides new staff members with the guidance they need to build supportive relationships with their preceptors and acclimate to the work environment and culture.

Click here to enter to win!

National Nurse Recognition Day: Do you feel recognized?

Happy Nurses Week! Today kicks off the annual celebrations and May 6 is officially National Nurse Recognition Day.

Do you feel recognized? Have you been celebrated by the organization where you work? Share your experiences in the comment section below.

A few years ago, I wrote a story for HealthLeaders Media (a sister company of HCPro) about the annual celebration of Nurses Week. I titled the article “Do we still need Nurses Week?” and used the question as a way to examine whether nurses receive the recognition they deserve all year long.

“[E]ach year, health systems make a big deal out of Nurses Week. Nurses are thanked, exalted, and much is made of the touchy-feely aspect of nursing. There’s a guilt complex at work here-one-week recognition permits nurses to be ignored and under-valued for the remaining 51 weeks.”

As we give gifts, enjoy celebrations, and feast on platters of cookies this week, let’s also make sure we take time to discuss the crucial role nurses play in patient safety. If you’re a manager, take time to talk about not only the caring side of your staff’s work, but their highly skilled, critical thinking professionalism.

“Let’s frame this year’s Nurse Week festivities less in the context of nurses as angelic heroes (they are) and celebrate the highly-skilled professionals who possess critical-thinking, problem-solving, and care coordination skills that ensure patient safety every day.”

Editor’s note: HCPro is celebrating and recognizing nurses all week long with special giveaways, prizes, and promotions. To kick off the celebrations, all of our nursing products are 20% off! Starting May 6, use discount code NRSWK2014 at checkout to receive 20% off any product.

HCPro prepares to celebrate Nurses Week

As preparations ramp up for this year’s Nurses Week, it’s not too late to purchase gifts for your nurses! Consider showing your appreciation for your nurses by giving them some cutting-edge resources devoted to professional development.

The Preceptor Program Builder

The Preceptor Program Builder provides professional development staff the keys to creating successful preceptor programs in the healthcare environment.

The book provides a core design for developing preceptors that can be applied to any program and discipline where preceptors orient or transition new employees, students, or persons transitioning into a new role or position. This work invites all groups, disciplines, and professions to create a framework built on practical tools, definitions, principles, and concepts for training preceptors and building formal preceptorships.

Click here for more information.

Effective Preceptor Handbook for Nurses (10 Pack)

The Effective Preceptor Handbook for Nurses provides new preceptors with the evidence-based skills they need to build supportive one-on-one teaching and learning relationships with new nurses.

Nurse preceptors in training will learn how to access adult learning styles, validate competencies, develop critical feedback and evaluation skills, and gain confidence to successfully onboard and launch their preceptees. Preceptors will also be introduced to the idea of portfolio-building as a way to prepare for certification.

Click here for more information.

The Essential Preceptee Handbook (10 Pack)

The Essential Preceptee Handbook provides new members of staff with the guidance and support they need to build supportive one-on-one relationships with their preceptors and helps them acclimate to the work environment and culture.

In this invaluable and compact handbook, preceptees will evaluate how they learn and how to improve critical thinking, gain confidence in receiving and giving feedback, and develop the skills they need to successfully transition to service. This handbook is an essential part of any onboarding experience for new employees.

Click here for more information.

Discounts are available for bulk purchases. Contact customer service at 800-650-6787 for more information.