Preceptor Preparation Online Course - Advanced

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essential competencies of preceptors: a focus on working with aprn students

Module 5: Managing Learning Experiences with Culturally and Generationally Diverse Students


For centuries, the United States has incorporated diverse immigrant and cultural groups into its society and continues to attract people from around the globe. While the United States is becoming more diverse and minorities comprise 37% of the population, only 19% of registered nurses represent a minority (American Association of Colleges of Nursing, 2015a). With the commitment from nursing groups such as the American Nurses Association (ANA), National League for Nursing (NLN) and the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) to increase the percentage of minorities in schools of nursing, nursing students from minority backgrounds currently represent 30.1% of students in entry-level baccalaureate programs, 31.9% of master's students, and 29.7% of students in research-focused doctoral programs (AACN, 2015b).

The following tables show a breakdown of minority nursing enrollments in undergraduate and Master's program, as well as percentage of enrolled students over the age of 30 by program type.


Students enrolled in nursing programs, whether they are undergraduate or graduate level, differ in many ways. Some of these differences are due to ethnic heritage, nationality of family origin, age (generational cohorts), religion, sexual orientation, disability, or socioeconomic status. Nurses who serve as APRN preceptors will have the opportunity to work with students from a variety of different backgrounds and having knowledge of cultural customs can help avoid misunderstandings and enable preceptors to provide a better learning environment. Furthermore, preceptor and students alike will have different values. This includes different ways of communicating (verbal and non-verbal) and preferred methods of learning. This module addresses how to understand and modify student's experiences to positively influence learning experiences in a multi-cultural and multigenerational environment.


At the conclusion of this module, the learner will be able to:

  • Define the importance of recognizing cultural considerations affecting the teaching-learning process.
  • Describe generational characteristics that may affect the teaching-learning process.


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