A preceptorship is a one-to-one relationship between an experienced nurse
and a novice nursing student. The value of involving clinical preceptors
in the teaching/learning process is that a one-to-one relationship is
the most effective mechanism for clinical learning at this level of student clinical performance. The preceptorship
is a time-limited relationship that provides students with experiences
in the real world of nursing practice, bridging the gap between theory
The relationship between the preceptor and student, preceptor and liaison
instructor and student and instructor are all necessary and valuable in
order to provide the best possible clinical learning for the student.
These three roles form an important triad facilitating the student's progression
toward clinical learning outcomes. In order to be successful, these relationships
must be grounded in mutual trust and respect, clear expectations, open
communication and empowerment.
The preceptor's first responsibility is to his/her clients, and then
to students. Students are responsible for their own learning and actions.
Liaison instructors design, implement and evaluate learning activities
for student growth through a precepted clinical experience. The liaison instructor gives the final grade for the student's
clinical experience based on input from the preceptor.
Preceptorships are structured as an 80 hour/4 hour clinical configuration. The 80 hour portion is spent with a preceptor on a nursing unit that would hire a graduate nurse at an associate degree level. The 4 hour portion takes place within the same agency with a nurse in an advanced nursing role. The advanced nursing role has more independent functions, usually requiring advanced experience and education. The student is responsible for choosing the 4 hour clinical experience. (Consider the nurse manager, the clinical nurse specialist, or the clinical educator roles.)
Roles and Responsibilities
To achieve the best possible learning, clear definitions of
the roles and responsibilities of the student, preceptor and liaison instructor
must be established. Open and ongoing communication between all members
of the preceptorship triad is critical for success.
- Provide a supportive
- Collaborate with
the liaison instructor to plan, implement and evaluate the learning
- Role model quality
- Provide feedback
to the student and liaison instructor.
- Provide opportunities
for observation and practice while collaborating with the student
in decision making.
- Accept responsibility
for own learning. Identify and communicate own learning needs.
- Accept responsibility
for own practice within the legal, ethical and practice standards
of the discipline and the agency.
- Work collaboratively
with preceptor and liaison instructor .
- Provide feedback to
preceptor and liaison instructor regarding learning progress.
Liaison Instructor Responsibilities
- Arrange precepted
- Link students with
- Empower student and
preceptor to achieve clinical outcomes
- Identify clinical
outcomes and evaluation mechanisms
- Provide communication
link between Moraine Park and clinical agency.
- Provide ongoing support
for preceptor and student.
- Evaluate and grade
- Build relationships
with community agencies.
Benefits Inherent in Preceptorships
Preceptorships can be a growth experience for all members of the triad.
Some benefits may be subtle and only realized after the preceptorship
has been completed.
for the Preceptor
for the Student
- Professional involvement
in the teaching/learning process.
- Validates and reinforces
professional value and practice
- Stimulates innovative
and improved practice.
- Opportunity to step
back and appreciate own contribution to the profession.
- Contributions to future
health care through influencing a student's practice.
- Opportunity to network
with other preceptors within and across agencies.
- Participate in nursing
practice in a variety of settings.
- Experience the "real
world" of nursing practice.
- Socialization into
the nursing profession.
- Gain competence and
- Investigate employment
- Begin the transition
from the role of student to GN
for the Liaison Instructor
- Network with a variety
of preceptors and health care agencies.
- Opportunity to facilitate
and encourage preceptor and student growth.
- Gain an understanding
of health care delivery systems in the community.
- Build ongoing relationships
with health care agencies in the community.
of the Preceptor-Student Relationship
Just as any nurse-client relationship is developed through
phases, so too is the preceptor-student relationship. An effective relationship
is built on open communication and the development of trust. Consistency
is a critical component for developing an effective preceptorship relationship,
so it is expected that the same preceptor will work with the student for
the duration of the preceptorship. Changing preceptors in the midst of
the precepted clinical experience generally requires establishing a new
relationship and loss of the trust and independence previously developed.
Beginning Phase - The student and preceptor
will participate together in:
- Orientation to the environment.
- Understanding roles of health team members and relevant agency protocols
- Collaborating about the specific activities that he/she will participate
- Identifying learning goals and activities using the clinical map as
a guide (for the primary preceptorship).
- Observe the role of the preceptor and participate in care under supervision.
Working Phase - The student
and preceptor will participate together toward socialization into the professional
nurse role through:
- Efficient use of time and resources.
- Growth in independence, requiring less prompting from preceptor.
- Self-confidence and empowerment through feedback and support for the
student's practice and decision making.
- Ongoing review of learning activities and achievement of learning
Termination Phase - The student and preceptor
will bring closure to the relationship and preceptorship through:
- Revising the working relationship to support the independent role
of the student with the preceptor available as a resource.
- Review of achievement of learning goals.
- Evaluate the precepted experience.
- Summarize and validate the value of the relationship.
Thank you for agreeing to be a preceptor for a Nursing Student. We hope this will be an enjoyable
and rewarding experience for both you and the student.
March 12, 2012