Care provider puts first nurse through preceptorship accredited by Royal College of Nursing

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Tatjana Dare-Karge, centre, with a resident’s care file in the nurses’ station at Colten Care’s Kingfishers care home in New Milton, Hampshire. The provider’s ‘All About Me’ policy guides all aspects of care delivery for residents, including medication, documentation and audit. With Tatjana are Sally Smith, Nursing Learning and Development Manager, left, and the home’s Clinical Lead Zoe Mills.

An independent care home provider has put its first nurse through a new preceptorship accredited by the Royal College of Nursing.

Tatjana Dare-Karge is the first Colten Care nurse to complete the three-to-six month support programme designed for newly qualified nurses, those returning to work, or those new to the UK.

The aim is to provide a structured period of transition to full nursing responsibilities with senior colleagues supervising and assessing practice and offering guidance.

Tatjana, who works at Colten Care’s Outstanding-rated Kingfishers care home in New Milton, Hampshire, said she would recommend the programme to any new nurse.

“I remember finishing my nursing apprenticeship in Germany many years ago and being thrown straight in,” she said. “Your first experience as a nurse can be hard and ideally you want to have as much support around you as possible. The same goes for coming to the UK. It can be challenging and even overwhelming to start work in a new country with a different language and system of care.”

When she started at Kingfishers earlier this year, Tatjana accepted an invitation to become Colten Care’s first RCN-accredited preceptee.

Over the following three months, she was supervised in a structured programme by Senior Nurse Jeanette Hendon and Care Co-ordinator Kim Gritt with her practice assessed by the home’s Clinical Lead Zoe Mills.

Tatjana said: “It was very good to have this longer introduction to the role, with the time and space to have things fully explained and my questions answered. I was taken through all our policies, company values and individual care plans of residents. I feel the experience has given me the chance to get to know residents much better before moving up to be a nurse in charge. I feel very well supported and much more confident.”

Tatjana’s preceptorship also represents a major achievement for Colten Care’s group-wide Nurse Learning and Development Manager, Sally Smith.

Among her tasks when she started at the provider in 2017 was to get an accredited preceptorship up and running.

Sally said: “A quality preceptorship is all about instilling the confidence, values and behaviours to provide effective resident-centred care. It has been a steep learning curve for us to devise and implement a programme that is sufficiently robust for RCN endorsement. We were absolutely thrilled to have it accredited and it is so exciting to see Tatjana become our first graduate. We look forward to seeing more of our students and returning nurses take up a preceptorship across our family of homes for the direct benefit of our residents and their families.”

Family-owned Colten Care has 21 care homes in Hampshire, Dorset, Wiltshire and Sussex, five of which are rated Outstanding by the Care Quality Commission. The others to have been inspected are all rated Good.

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