Selection and Use of Preceptors in Undergraduate Program

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Selection and Use of Preceptors in Undergraduate Program Subsection: 6.1.3
Section 6.0 - Facilities and Resources Originating Date: October 1988
Responsible Reviewing Agency:
Undergraduate Curriculum Committee
Revised: January 1995
Revised: April 1999
Revised: September 2002
Reviewed: February 2004
Revised: October 2008
Revised: May 2012
Reviewed: November 2012
Revised: May 2015


A preceptor is an RN or other professional who has been identified as an expert with appropriate educational background and has agreed to assume negotiated responsibility for a student’s clinical/field experience.

  1. Students in all undergraduate programs may be assigned to preceptors to enhance their learning experiences.
  2. A faculty member is responsible for:
    1. Preceptor orientation and evaluation which should include:
      1. an overview of the roles and responsibilities of preceptors, faculty and students within the course
      2. specific preceptor responsibilities
      3. methods of clinical evaluation of students by faculty and preceptors
      4. goals and objectives for the clinical experience
      5. process of resolution of potential/actual problems
      6. completion of semester course evaluation forms documenting preceptor’s credentials and other required information
      7. student and faculty evaluation of preceptor
    2. Guiding the student assigned to a preceptor to include facilitating, monitoring, and evaluating the student’s learning through periodic conferences and/or site visits with the student and preceptor.
  3. Criteria for Preceptor:
    1. For all undergraduate RN students, bachelors-prepared Registered Nurses are strongly preferred. Preceptors should have at least two years of practice experience, and be identified as positive professional role models by their agency and/or faculty. On occasions, an associate degree or diploma-prepared nurse, who demonstrates strong professional, clinical leadership skills may be selected.
    2. Demonstration of leadership in nursing or health care.
    3. Ability to implement preceptor’s role of:
      1. Facilitator:
        1. Facilitates the students working with, gathering information from, and observing key people in the organization.
        2. Directs the students to opportunities for meaningful learning experiences that contribute to meeting the course objectives.
        3. Assists the student to develop objectives and to plan and evaluate experiences.
        4. Meets with student at the beginning and end of each clinical/field experience to discuss, plan and evaluate experience.
        5. Identifies experiences that will achieve course and student objectives.
      2. Role Model:
        1. Selects, jointly with the student, experiences that facilitate observations of excellent practice by self or other staff members.
        2. Discusses preceptor's perceptions of the nursing role in the specific setting.
        3. Evaluates with the student his/her observations within the agency.
        4. Guides the student in identifying a meaningful and feasible term project within the agency if required for course completion.
        5. Provides supervision of student as jointly determined by faculty and preceptor.
      3. Liaison between faculty member and student:
        1. Informs the faculty member of plans, concerns, or issues pertinent to the student’ experience.
        2. Communicates with the faculty member concerning student’s performance at designated times of evaluation (e.g. midterm and final).
        3. Provides input to faculty regarding student evaluation.


Faculty shall:

  1. Select an agency where:
    1. There is identified support from management for staff serving as preceptors.
    2. Criteria as specified in this policy are met.
  2. Validate that there is a current clinical agreement with the desired facility; if not, initiate the development process.
  3. Communicate with facility management and preceptors the student and faculty names. As appropriate, include the desired experiences, times and dates, expectations regarding supervision and evaluation by preceptor, faculty involvement and site visits, goals and objectives of the student if more specific than course objectives or if an independent study arrangement. Course/student objectives and evaluation instrument(s) should also be included.
  4. Preceptor will complete the Clinical Preceptor or Mentor Credentials Form and return it to the division/course designated person. (The form may be either an electronic form available on this link or hard copy provided by the division/course designated person).