Preceptor Preparation Online Course - Advanced

Mozilla Firefox preferred browser

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

Module 4: Facilitating Critical Thinking and Clinical Decision-Making

Evaluation of Critical Thinking

Critical thinking can be evaluated on a continuous basis by using the One Minute Preceptor model.

  • Preceptor asks questions to the student to gain a commitment of action based on the frames of the student.
  • Use questioning to probe for supporting evidence to evaluate the student core knowledge and critical thinking.
  • Use role modeling, scaffolding (systematically building on students' experiences and knowledge as they are learning new skills), coaching and teaching to convey clinical content.
  • The student is ultimately responsible for learning.
  • The preceptor is responsible for creating a safe and trusting environment for learning.
  • Through the advocacy - inquiry questioning method, knowledge can be ascertained from the student.
  • Appropriate feedback can be given to the student using the Frames - Actions - Results model which is ongoing for continuous learning, acknowledging successes and error correction.


One of the most pervasive problems in clinical teaching is lack of feedback. Based upon a set of micro-skills initially used with medical students, the one minute preceptor provides an approach to clinical teaching characterized as student centered. The one minute preceptor focuses on five skills including:

  • Getting a commitment
  • Probing for supporting evidence
  • Teaching general rules
  • Acknowledging what was correct
  • Correcting mistakes

The strategy also assists the preceptor in rating the student's knowledge and clinical reasoning skills.

The following link provides an example:


Watch the video and reflect on your clinical training when you had a preceptor. What were the key influences from the preceptor that you found improved your critical thinking skills? What influences hindered your critical thinking skills?


What action can you take to optimize student learning as you are precepting?

This website is maintained by the University of Maryland School of Nursing (UMSON) Office of Learning Technologies. The UMSON logo and all other contents of this website are the sole property of UMSON and may not be used for any purpose without prior written consent. Links to other websites do not constitute or imply an endorsement of those sites, their content, or their products and services. Please send comments, corrections, and link improvements to [email protected].