Are newly registered nurses still ‘thrown in at the deep end’?

New survey investigates the current state of support received by new nurses, midwives and nursing associates

Nursing Times, in partnership with UNISON and the nursing charity the Florence Nightingale Foundation (FNF), is repeating a survey on preceptorship, which was first conducted two years ago.

A preceptorship is a structured programme of support that newly registered nurses, midwives and nursing associates should receive as they start their first roles in practice.

The union is encouraging members to respond and share their views.

The Nursing and Midwifery Council states that a new registrant on a preceptorship programme should have learning time protected in their first year of qualified practice and access to a preceptor with whom regular meetings are held.

Preceptorships are also, sometimes, offered to internationally educated nurses and midwives when they begin with a UK employer.

However, the original survey in 2021-22 found widespread concern that newly registered nurses were being “thrown in at the deep end” and left to “sink or swim” without adequate support.

Since then, Nursing Times, UNISON and the FNF have continued to keep a spotlight on the issue of preceptorship. And the new survey seeks to find out if the experience of, and access to, preceptorship has changed in the past two years.

The survey is open to student, newly registered and registered nurses, midwives and nursing associates practising in the UK. It closes on Friday 26 January.

Take part in the survey here