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Thursday, December 21, 2023
As a nurse preceptor, Damion Blair works specifically with new nurses and nursing staff to help them learn and grow in their roles at Oregon State Hospital.
“I really enjoy the face-to-face connection with staff and seeing them progress and grow in their confidence," said Blair, a registered nurse since 2011.
Blair was recently recognized by the Oregon Center for Nursing (OCN) as an outstanding nurse preceptor as part of its annual awards program that celebrates preceptors' impact on the nursing field. Blair is one of 24 nurse preceptors from across the state recognized by the nonprofit center that advocates for nursing workforce issues.
Like the nurses he supports, Blair began at OSH providing direct care to patients. Over the years, he's moved to supervisory positions and more recently, in October 2022 started in his current role mentoring new nursing staff, including registered nurses, licensed practical nurses and mental health therapy technicians.
Through their first year, new nursing hires receive support and check-ins weekly through their first eight weeks. The in-person visits then phase to twice a month through their first six months on the job and move to monthly check-ins through the end of their first year.
Much of the role is focused on building confidence and talking through difficult clinical scenarios that the new nurses and mental health therapy technicians encounter in their first weeks of the job.
“We're encouraging and guiding them in their new role with the license that they hold and helping them understand the importance of that," Blair said. “It's also a time to celebrate the things that have gone really well and help them recognize that making mistakes is OK. It's a matter of learning from those mistakes to help you grow."
To learn more about opportunities in nursing at OSH, visit OSHJobs.com.
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