Nursing tutoring in basic healthcare: questions of competence – an exploratory-descriptive study


Fabiana Silva Marins Nazareno Cosme1, Geilsa Soraia Cavalcanti Valente1

1Fluminense Federal University


Dissertation project for the Professional Masters in Health Education from Fluminense Federal University. Objectives: To describe the tutor’s view of his role in terms of basic healthcare in the professional education of undergraduates; to identify the competences the tutor needs to have in order to carry out his role and work effectively; to elaborate an educative instrument that includes didactical-pedagogical competences and strategies. Method: This is a qualitative, exploratory and descriptive study, under the dialectical and analytical/discussion perspective of the content based on Minayo’s theme analysis. Scenario: basic healthcare unit in the municipality of Niteroi. Subjects: 15 nurses who have been carrying out tutoring duties for at least two months. The ethical aspects will be followed according to Resolution 196/96, approved by the Ethics in Research Committee of the University, under registry #2519512.0.0000.5243/12.
Keywords: Preceptorship; Competency-Based Education; Education, Nursing; Primary Health Care



There is a process in place aimed at changing the current paradigm in the Brazilian Health System, from a curative model to the full extent of a model of social production based on health issues, according to the Brazilian Unified Health System (SUS, in Portuguese) Organic Bill 8,080/90. This Bill relates to significant changes in the actual educational models currently in existence, demanding from educational institutions and professors more active methodologies. Related to the educational scenario in Brazil, some important events have taken place, such as the introduction of the Brazilian Directives and Bases of National Education Bill (LDBEN, in Portuguese; Bill 9,394/96), and consequently, the organization of the Brazilian National Curricular Directives (DCN, in Portuguese) of the Nursing Undergraduate Program. The aim is to develop professionals who are continuously critical-reflexive about their routines. From the actions implemented since the introduction of the undergraduate program, after a situation of effective learning, there has been the development of a critical-reflexive mode of thinking(1). From the documents mentioned here, it is evident that it is the responsibility of educational institutions to produce competent professionals who can work in the process of the transformation of society. Within this perspective, it is understood that the concept of ‘extension’ is an educative and scientific process that produces knowledge of a specific kind; a knowledge that enables a transforming relationship between educational institutions and society in an interactive way(2). To enable the development of professionals with such competences, it is necessary that this sort of critical-reflexive way of thinking happens as part of the daily routine of the professionals, accompanied by a professional responsible for the delivery of the healthcare service (a tutor) together with Academia, according to Report 314/94 and later ratified by DCN/01. For such, the tutor needs to understand his important role in this context, focusing on the development and/or improvement of competencies. It is understood that competence refers to the successful learning of an ability in three areas of reasoning: technical, interpersonal and critical(3). In order to ensure the development of consonant competencies due to the daily demands placed on nurses and for the preceptor to contribute to their professional development, it is important to optimize the nurses’ abilities to solve a series of situations that are linked to cultural, professional and social conditions and to political contexts. There is a need for a combined effort on the part of the actors involved in this process (student, tutor, Academia, managers and users) for the construction of spaces and/or instruments of discussion as part of this practice. In this perspective, from my own experience of tutoring in basic healthcare two years ago, I have come to realize that the majority of the tutors do not discuss their competences and limitations. Therefore, the study is based on the idea that a great number of tutors see as their main responsibility being to teach techniques and routines without analyzing the acquisition of competences in order to critically evaluate whether or not the action performed has been effective. Thus, the object of this proposed study is to develop a tutor’s necessary competences in order for him to act as an effective preceptor.



What is the tutor’s view of his role in terms of the professional development of nursing undergraduates? What competencies does the tutor need to have and develop in order to improve the learning of nursing undergraduates? What are the didactical-pedagogical strategies used by the tutor to aid the learning of nursing undergraduates?



The objectives of this research are to describe the tutor’s view of his role in the professional development of nursing undergraduates; to identify the competences that the preceptor needs to carry out his task involving the professional development of nursing undergraduates; to analyze the strategies used by the tutor in the professional development of nursing undergraduates; to elaborate an instructive material about the competences and strategies that support the reflexive practice in the SUS tutoring of nursing undergraduates.



This is a study involving a three-way approach (qualitative, exploratory and descriptive), analyzing the data generated according to a dialectical perspective. The subjects will be 15 nurses who have been tutors for at least two months, which is the minimum to be followed by a small group of undergraduates. We will not include in our research tutors who have declared that they do not want to take part in the study. The scenario will be a basic healthcare unit of the municipality of Niteroi. The data collection techniques used will be semi-structured interviews with open questions, and a semi-structured screenplay based on a problematizing approach as part of a subsequent workshop. Within the screenplays there will be open questions and the analysis of approaches used by the tutors in order to identify them, as well as personal data, professional/professorial formation and experiences, the nursing tutor’s view of his role and competences, abilities which are pertinent to the process of teaching-learning, and the identification of possible factors that may interfere in his nursing practice. The analysis of content will be done using Minayo’s theme analysis. Ethical questions: Approved in the Ethics in Research Committee of the University, under registry #2519512.0.0000.5243/12. Opinion #31643.



1. Saraiva R, Rosas A, Rodrigues B, Domingos A, Cardoso M, Valente GSC. Intentional action of nursing education of consultation: phenomenological study. Online braz j nurs [ serial in the Internet ]. 2012 [ Cited 2012 July 1 ] 11(1): 157-66. Available from:

2. Freire P. Pedagogia da Autonomia: Saberes Necessários à Prática Educativa. 36ª ed. São Paulo: Paz e Terra; 2007.

3. Koloroutis M. Cuidado Baseado no Relacionamento: Um modelo para Transformação da Prática. São Paulo: Atheneu; 2012. 



Project Data:
Dissertation project of the Professional Masters in Health Teaching Project of Fluminense Federal University. Approved by the Ethics in Research Committee of Fluminense Federal University #2519512.0.0000.5243/12.
Tutor: Geilsa Soraia Cavalcanti Valente


Received: 16/07/2012
Approved: 11/09/2012