How much supervision should I give the student?

The dilemma of whether to stay with the student or let them practice independently is difficult. The CNPP encourages the preceptor to:

    • Observe the student in a variety of practice education situations to ascertain their overall abilities.
    • Observe the student with complex or new patient presentations until you have confidence in the students’ abilities.
    • Discuss with your student their overall plan for the day and when your observation is needed.
    • As an experienced practitioner, circumstances to include when deciding if student observation is required are:
      • Has the student-managed a similar situation in the past?
      • What are the risks for the student and the patient?
      • What potential errors could be made and what would be the impact to the patient, student, and yourself be?
      • Will the student ask for help when necessary or are they overconfident?
      • Does the student feel overwhelmed with this patient presentation?
      • Does the student ask relevant and pertinent questions for other patient presentations?
    • If the student is having difficulty, do not increase the caseload or preceptor observation, as this can increase student anxiety and hinder clinical confidence (Smith, 2006). Give the student extra time to feel comfortable with the current caseload and observations.


Collaborative Nurse Practitioner Program (CNPP) Preceptor Handbook Copyright © 2022 by Saskatchewan Polytechnic. All Rights Reserved.

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