Application of a Needs Reassessment Model to Nurse Preceptor Training at a Military Treatment Facility

Angela R. Healy, Old Dominion University


The purpose of this study was to utilize the CODE system (Tessmer, et. al, 1999) to perform a needs reassessment of a nurse preceptor training course currently offered at a military medical center. In addition to ascertaining the extent to which the curriculum is currently meeting the needs of preceptors, other aims included identifying the training topics that practicing preceptors felt were the most important, and determining if a relationship was evident between the importance of the topics and the different levels of experience of the preceptors. A convenience sample of 39 preceptors participated in a cross-sectional survey which collected data on four different attributes (topic importance, opportunity to apply on the job, difficulty of learning, and extent of training emphasis) of 28 different instructional topics. The CODE system methodology was modified to compensate for non-variable nature of difficulty data resulting in a two-phase scatterplot analysis using the collected attribute data for importance, opportunity, and emphasis. The resulting distribution patterns classified six topics as training matches with an additional eight topics with sufficient opportunity to apply on the job to mitigate a deficiency of training time in the local course. Of the 14 remaining training topics, six were found to have training deficiencies partially mitigated by opportunity to apply on the job, and seven were evaluated to represent full training deficiencies. Independent analysis of importance ratings was also completed. Seven topics were identified as either 'Very' or 'Extremely' important by greater than 90% of participants in this study. Additionally, statistically significant differences were identified in the perceived importance of five topics when study participants were grouped based on different measures of experience.