A growing demand for perioperative nurses, insufficient interest in the perioperative nursing specialty, and nurse retirements have resulted in a perioperative nursing workforce shortage. Undergraduate nursing students’ limited exposure to perioperative content, along with facility hiring practices that exclude recently graduated nurses, further contribute to this shortage. To address these concerns, a large health care system in the midwestern United States partnered with a college of nursing to institute a perioperative preceptorship for baccalaureate nursing students during their final semester. After completing the preceptorship, students reported increased understanding of perioperative nursing roles and responsibilities, time management, and patient safety skills; ability to work effectively as a part of an interdisciplinary team; and independence in the perioperative setting. Future study is needed to examine rates of matriculation among program graduates into perioperative nursing positions and the program’s effect on the length of orientation for recently graduated nurses and nurse retention.
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