Preceptor Preparation Online Course - Advanced

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

Module 4: Facilitating Critical Thinking and Clinical Decision-Making


Ideally, the preplanning for precepting an APRN student is coordinated with the faculty responsible for the student's learning experience. Additionally, as discussed in Module 3 on Clinical Teaching, there are many resources used in the orientation of new staff that are appropriate for use by APRN students.

Based on the learning style of the student, the use of simulation or skill practice opportunities at the school of nursing may be helpful to explore before the APRN student begins their learning experience. These include reviewing the most frequently required procedures of patients, and encouraging the student to practice. In planning for the first few shifts, consider unit resources that are available, including Policy and Procedure references. These preplanning activities, while focusing on improving knowledge and skills of the student, are an important aspect of critical thinking. The student must have the required knowledge in order to make appropriate clinical decisions and understand the "big picture" of the patient. Additionally, the more confident the student is in their knowledge and skills, the better they are in their clinical decision making abilities.

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