- Why do I have to complete the preceptor orientation?
How can I help the student feel a part of the
unit where I work?
- To ensure consistent quality experiences for
the students, you need to know about our program.
- In order for you to feel encouraged and
supported, you need to understand the responsibilities of each
participant, as well as, the role of the course coordinator/instructor.
What kinds of issues can I or should I discuss
with the course coordinator/instructor?
- Introduce the student to the entire staff.
- Make rounds with the student.
- Give the student a tour of the unit.
- Include the student in all aspects of your
job and decision making.
- Touch base with the student throughout the
- Refer staff members to the student, as
- Treat the student like a staff member.
- Keep the student's goals in mind.
- Let the student set own pace.
- Give the student responsibility.
- Give the student feedback on a regular basis.
- Provide someone to answer questions when
the preceptor is off the unit.
How can I be sure I have the knowledge and
skill to teach students?
- The main functions of the course
coordinator/instructor are to solve problems and answer questions.
- Feel free to contact the course
coordinator/instructor for questions about the clinical preceptorship,
concerns about student performance or problems that arise.
- The course coordinator/instructor must be
notified immediately if the student engages in unsafe or
- Interactions with the course
coordinator/instructor are confidential so feel free to express
What if the student is critical of the way I
- You may not believe you have what it takes,
but your supervisors and the course coordinator/instructor believe in
you. That is why you were recommended and selected for the
- You have practical, day to day knowledge and
expertise to function effectively as a registered nurse. Students
learn from watching and working with experienced nurses no matter how
routine or complex the task.
What if I just can't work with the student?
- The student will be busy accomplishing
personal objectives and completing delegated tasks. The student
will not be following your every move or have time to critique your
- In most situations, there is more than one
way to accomplish the same goal while the underlying principles remain
the same. Showing the student alternative approaches can be
effective in increasing overall learning.
- If you make a mistake, you can serve as an
effective role model to the student by acknowledging the error and
taking corrective action.
What if the student isn't successful in this
- Occasionally personality differences
occur. If you are having a problem, talk with the course
coordinator/instructor who may be able to help. If the situation
is intolerable, it is possible to reassign the student.
Is the student working under my license?
- The fact that a student fails does not mean
that you have failed as a preceptor. If you are concerned with a
student's performance, contact the course coordinator/instructor as
soon as possible.
- The student is NOT working on your
license. No one works under another's license.
- Under the law, each person is responsible for
his or her own actions.
- The student has the right by law to practice
incidental to the educational process.
- The standard of care must be the same as that
rendered by a registered nurse.
- Be sure to be clear about what the student
can and cannot do. (Refer to the student's Self Assessment form.)
- You have the responsibility to delegate according
to the student's abilities and to supply adequate supervision.