Preceptors mentor students to help ensure that each student is prepared to enter the profession. You have the ability to have a profound influence on the future of nursing and Advanced Practice Nurses. Preceptors and students are paired within the clinical/non-clinical
environments where the preceptors are usually employed. Preceptors’ practices include private offices, clinics, county departments of health, home healthcare, hospitals, and agencies.
The preceptor provides opportunities to learn with gradually diminishing supervision over the course of the semester. Preceptors have the ability to aide us in developing competency and problem-solving abilities in students.
Preceptors can be nurse practitioners, clinical nurse specialists, physicians, physician assistants, researchers, nurse educators, or other health care clinicians.
Preceptors assist in the clinical/in-direct care role education of CU College of Nursing graduate nursing students.
Some of the roles of a preceptor include consultant, educator, mentor, resource person, and role-model.
With some of our acute-care focused programs, students may be scheduled on inter professional consultation teams in acute care/hospital settings.
Typically, the Specialty Director contacts sites/preceptors to request a
placement. Less often and in our rural sites, it might be a student or
course coordinator making the initial contact. After a clinician has
agreed to be a preceptor, the school’s Graduate Placement Office and the
Specialty Director will work with the clinic, preceptor, and student,
arranging all of the administrative details, including contracts and
Health and Safety requirements.
Preceptors provide our students the opportunities to obtain real-life, hands-on, experiences while providing guidance and clinical expertise. An expectation of a preceptor is to hold the clinical credentials for which the student is studying. Graduate
students are paired with preceptors who have attained a graduate or post graduate education. While students may work with more than one clinician, in general, students should be paired with a primary preceptor who can monitor the student’s progress
over the course of the semester.
Most clinical courses consist of 45-135 hours over a semester. There is
flexibility in the students’ schedules as this allows the preceptor to
identify preferred days and/or days of the week that he/she is
The Specialty Director will provide information on course specific
expectations and course objectives. In general, before a student’s first
clinical/non-clinical placement, he/she has had an opportunity in the
classroom and simulation lab to learn advanced comprehensive assessment,
diagnostic reasoning skills, and knowledge and skills in prevention and
management of common health issues. In order for the student to
practice these skills in the clinical setting, the student should
quickly begin working with patients/systems through the preceptor
experience. If you have any concerns about a student that you are a
preceptor to during your time together, contact the Specialty Director
or course faculty.
For each clinical/indirect care course, a student is assigned a clinical
faculty, to seek feedback from the preceptor as the rotation is
progressing. The goal of the mid-clinical rotation contact is to obtain
information on the student’s progress, clarify questions, and continue
to support both the preceptor and student learner. Contact may be
electronic, by phone, or in person. During a site visit (if applicable),
these faculty do not provide any care or act as a provider in any
manner. Please know that faculty are available to assist you with any
student questions that arise. Each faculty will supply the preceptor
with contact information.
Preceptors have on-going opportunities for informal and formal
assessment of student performance. Preceptors will be asked to provide
either mid-semester and end-semester (or both) evaluations. These are
given electronically through InPlace, on a course-provided document
which the student or faculty will initiate and explain. These
evaluations are an important part of the student’s growth, yet, the time
commitment to fill one out is not cumbersome.
The College of Nursing greatly appreciates the time and commitment the
preceptor provides our Graduate students. Your commitment to the
clinical and role related education of nursing students can be profound.
Please see the Preceptor Benefits Brochure on the main page, which
outlines commitments the College makes to you, the preceptor, for your
engagement with our students.