Facilitators and Barriers for Clinical Preceptors in Midwifery Education: A Scoping Review of the Published Literature

Facilitators and Barriers for Clinical Preceptors in Midwifery Education: A Scoping Review of the Published Literature


Deepali Upadhyaya, PhD, MS, RM, CNM, Sofia Maruschak-Love, Tanya Beran, PhD, Tracey Clancy PhD(c), MN, CCNE, RN, and Elizabeth Oddone Paolucci, PhD




Objective: This scoping review aims to broadly scope published literature regarding midwifery clinical preceptorship and the facilitators and barriers to that role, with the goal of making recommendations to stakeholders.

Introduction: Midwifery education relies on the teaching capacity of clinical preceptors for a significant proportion of the curriculum. It is relevant to explore publications on the facilitators and barriers for midwifery educators in clinical settings to inform education and practice.

Eligibility Criteria: Articles were included if published in English and involved the facilitators and barriers for and/or perspectives of clinical preceptors of student midwives. Publications on non-midwifery clinical educators and supervision of newly qualified or practicing midwives were excluded.

Methods: A scoping review of publications on preceptorship in midwifery education was conducted based on the Joanna Briggs Institute Scoping Review Framework, and five databases were searched: Academic Search Complete (ASC), the Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature (CINAHL), Embase, MEDLINE, and the Education Resources Information Center (ERIC). The search yielded 2,650 citation titles and abstracts that were independently and blindly screened by reviewers. Two hundred and ninety-eight articles were screened for full-text review, and 131 were extracted for this scoping review.

Results: The United Kingdom, the United States, and Australia published a majority of the articles included in this scoping review. Most publications provided a narrative description regarding midwifery preceptorship and did not investigate primary data. Training or aiding preceptors was infrequently researched in the studies that did apply a quantitative, qualitative, or mixed methods design. This review reveals that more themes were found on barriers than facilitators for the midwifery preceptor role.

Conclusions: The gaps in evidence suggest that researchers further investigate midwifery preceptorship in general and the internal and external influences affecting the position. It is warranted to explore evidence-informed means on approaches that positively contribute to the midwifery preceptor role, including but not limited to training.


This article has been peer reviewed.


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