Preceptors support students in acquiring the knowledge, skills, abilities and judgement required to practice as an entry-level nurse practitioner. They provide ongoing feedback to the Clinical Faculty member regarding progress. All preceptors are invited to participate in an online preceptorship orientation program before being assigned a CNPP student.
Hagler, Mays, Stillwell, Kastenbaum, Brooks, Fineout-Overholt, Williamson & Jirsak, 2012 identified the following as important preceptor characteristics that enhance the learner’s experience:
- Welcomes students, is prepared and ready to mentor.
- Respectful of student’s autonomy and independence.
- Is readily available to the student.
- Is clinically competent.
- Values the importance of providing a safe non – judgmental learning environment.
- Allows and welcomes hands-on experience.
- Remembers what it is like to be a student.
- Patient, supportive and encouraging.
- Is knowledgeable, confident, and enthusiastic about continued advanced practice nursing education.
- Is energetic and enthusiastic about the nurse practitioner role as a career.
- Models’ good organization and time management.
- Has high expectations of the student.
- Has integrity and respect for all team members and demonstrates professional ethics.
The 6 min video Preceptor Key Strategies showcases important strategies preceptors can utilize to support the learner.
Preceptor responsibilities include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Orientate students to the facility, interprofessional team members, practice/site policies and procedures, and review the expectations and objectives for the student’s practice education hours.
- Assist students in the selection of appropriate patients.
- Provide timely and ongoing feedback regarding practice education performance. Advise the student of learning gaps and review what is needed to ensure safe practice. This feedback should be provided after each patient visit (preferable) or at the end of each day.
- Communicate with faculty during a scheduled midterm evaluation and final evaluation (as needed) to evaluate student progress and assist with the learning process.
- Evaluate the student’s ability to achieve the CNPP Practice Education Performance Indicators.
- Supervise, demonstrate, teach, and observe patient encounters in order to accurately evaluate and remediate identified gaps.
- Provide the opportunity for increased student independence of patient care based on the student’s knowledge, skill, abilities, and judgement.
- Instruct, demonstrate, observe, and provide feedback to students on appropriate techniques for minor procedures.
- Complete the preceptor feedback form at 40 hours, midterm, and final.
- Notify the Clinical Faculty of any student concerns.
- Notify the Clinical Faculty of any practice education concerns that may interfere with the student meeting the CNPP Practice Education Performance Indicators.