1. What is the difference between a preceptor and a mentor?
As a new nurse, a person will come across many experienced nurses who will influence your professional life in different ways. Two of the most important should be your preceptor and a mentor.
The main difference is that preceptors are teachers or tutors while a mentor is a trusted counselor or guide. Although a mentor can be almost anyone on the unit, usually they are the experienced and a well-seasoned nurse. The mentor may or may not be your preceptor; it may be another really great experienced nurse. Mentors can make people on the unit feel totally at ease and comfortable asking them anything. The mentor will not judge or make the person feel silly for asking a question and will tell the new nurse that no question is silly or stupid ((http://www.stressedoutnurses.com/2008/05/preceptor-place-finding-your-way-thanks-to-mentors-and-preceptors/).
One nurse reports, for instance: "In my experience as a nurse, the preceptor gets new nurses ready and trained to work on the floor or unit. The preceptor makes sure new nurses?skills are up to par and makes sure they get a wide variety of patients so they are ready for whatever may come their way when they are on their own. The preceptor makes sure they are comfortable calling docs and know when to call the docs. The preceptor and new nurse usually form a bond, which the new nurse can turn to ...
Using nursing examples, this solution explains the difference between a mentor and preceptor.