Preceptor Preparation Online Course - Advanced

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Essential Competencies of Preceptors: A Focus on Working with APRN Students

Module 1: Preceptor Roles and Responsibilities


preceptor photograph

In order to prepare for precepting students, there are specific steps that need to be taken prior to the student's first day. The preceptor should be provided with a copy of the syllabus that includes the course objectives, expectations of the student, paperwork required by the preceptor and the facility, the number of clinical hours to be completed by the student, and any other supporting documents needed that outline the student's expected learning outcomes. Additionally, contact information for the faculty, school/nursing program (in case of emergency), should be provided prior to the student's first day in the clinical setting.

Facility specific requirements that need to be completed by the student prior to the first day of clinical should be addressed and completed by the facility in a timely manner so as not to impede clinical experiences. Examples of these requirements can include verification of CPR certification, current immunizations, and specific facility required training. To facilitate a smooth transition for the student, as well as to provide direction for the student, the preceptor can meet with the clinical nurse educator or staff development nurses who can provide resources for the student. For example, there may be self-learning packets, medication lists, skill lists, etc. that can be provided to the student in advance. With the increased use of electronic health records and computerized charting, students may also be required to complete computer training prior to accessing patient information, placing orders, or documenting in the medical record.

In planning and implementing clinical learning experiences, the preceptor coordinates learning requirements and must balance the responsibility of patient care with providing meaningful and relevant learning experiences for graduate students. The preceptor must coordinate requirements of the academic setting, the clinical agency, and the individual learning needs of students. While the student may not be expected to perform at the same level as a new graduate, an orientee or an experienced APRN, resources that guide patient care for the clinical setting can be helpful to students.

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