You are here:-, Nursing Careers and Jobs-How do I deal with a preceptor who does not like to teach new grads?

How do I deal with a preceptor who does not like to teach new grads?


Dear Donna,

I am a new graduate and would like some advice on how to deal with preceptors who does not like to teach new grads. Should I talk to my manager? Talk with the preceptor? Or should I quit the job?


Dear Donna replies:

Dear Valerie,

Talk to your preceptor first, if you think that might help. Express in respectful terms what you need that you are not getting. Are you sure she doesn’t like to teach new grads, or is she possibly just so busy with her own patient load that she barely has time for anything else? Regardless of the reason, you deserve to be well precepted and supported in your position.

If talking to your preceptor does not change anything or you don’t feel it is appropriate in this situation (for example, if the person is nasty or hostile), then speak to your nurse manager or the person (other than your preceptor) who is responsible for your orientation. You have to advocate for yourself.

Quitting is rarely a good solution. What if you encounter the same challenge in your next job? You can’t keep quitting whenever you have a problem. Most of us prefer to avoid conflict, but dealing with conflict is a very important learned skill. Read “Seven Strategies for Managing Conflict” at for more suggestions.

I urge you to read my book Your First Year as a Nurse: Making the Transition From Total Novice to Successful Professional for additional tips and advice on assimilating into your new environment, finding the help you need, working with your preceptor, and more. Information about the book is available at

My best wishes,

Donna Cardillo, RN, MA, well-known career guru, is Nursing Spectrum/NurseWeek’s “Dear Donna” and author of Your First Year as a Nurse: Making the Transition from Total Novice to Successful Professional and The ULTIMATE Career Guide for Nurses: Practical Advice for Thriving at Every Stage of Your Career. Information about the books is available at and, respectively. To ask Donna your question, go to Find a “Dear Donna” seminar near you: Call (800) 866-0919 or visit


CE Subscriptions Built for Your Convenience!

750+ ANCC-accredited courses. 2 subscription options. CE that
meets your needs.

By | 2009-02-10T00:00:00-05:00 February 10th, 2009|Categories: Blogs, Nursing Careers and Jobs|0 Comments

About the Author:


Leave A Comment