School of Nursing

Practicum Roles

Roles and Responsibilities of Preceptor, Faculty, and Student

The nurse preceptor is expected to:

  • Have clinical expertise in the defined area of nursing practice;
  • Be willing to act as a role model and serve as part of the student's support system in the clinical area;
  • Be familiar with the roles of the preceptor, faculty and student in the preceptorship experience;
  • Discuss the experience expectations, student learning objectives, course learning objectives, and facility/unit expectations with the student prior to the clinical practicum;
  • Orient the student to the clinical area, institution, other health team members and nursing care standards for practice in the clinical setting;
  • Plan learning experiences to increase student proficiency in previously learned skills and assist student in the gradual assumption of beginning level staff assignments, facilitating progressive independence in the clinical setting;
  • Demonstrate required skills and supervise student performance, assisting the student in clinical activities, and maintaining supervision during specific activities including: administration of IV medications, transfusion of blood products, administration of heparin, insulin and pitocin, taking of doctors' orders, and delegation to licensed and non-licensed nursing personnel;
  • Assist in socialization of the student into the nursing role through a collaborative collegial relationship;
  • Provide the student with ongoing constructive feedback;
  • Assist the student to integrate theory into clinical practice situations;
  • Inform clients of the students' participation in nursing care;
  • Utilize others, including colleagues, nursing administrators, and faculty as resources for teaching, problem-solving, support and guidance;
  • Communication of ongoing student progress to the student and faculty member, contacting the faculty member as needed to clarify issues including student inability to practice nursing care at an acceptable level; and contribute to the student's summative evaluation.

The faculty is expected to:

  • Obtain practicum requests from students, guiding them in choices of sites, types of nursing practice and scheduling choices;
  • Make initial contact with agency, obtaining name of preceptor and the nature of the clinical arrangement;
  • Provide the student with preceptor's name, agency, phone numbers and other contact persons as needed;
  • Articulate the role of the preceptor, student and faculty in the preceptor experience;
  • Assist with orientation of preceptor and student to roles and functions according to course requirements;
  • Supply preceptor, agency and student with written information related to the intent of the clinical placements, including preceptor handbook and contact numbers for faculty;
  • Assist student as needed to develop learning objectives, monitoring progress through seminar and logs;
  • Be available for consultation with preceptor and student by telephone or visitation;
  • Act as a resource for student and preceptor, assisting in solving problems;
  • Participate in a summative evaluation of student and preceptor experience, discussing learning objectives attained, student growth, and the effectiveness of the experience;
  • Provide the preceptor with feedback on performance if requested; and
  • Provide the preceptor with written acknowledgment for his/her role in the student's learning experience.

The student is expected to:

  • Establish learning objectives individualized to setting and share these in writing with faculty and preceptor;
  • Develop knowledge and skills in the defined area of nursing practice;
  • Use problem solving and critical thinking to adapt scientific knowledge to the clinical practice arena;
  • Contact the preceptor and negotiate learning experiences and schedules;
  • Understand the roles of the student, faculty and preceptor in this preceptorship experience;
  • Identify learning style to preceptor to facilitate selection of learning strategies;
  • Seek appropriate learning opportunities throughout the clinical experience;
  • Communicate with preceptor regarding changes in schedule to achieve 154 clinical hours (excluding seminar) averaging 22 hours per week for seven weeks, to be adapted as necessary in conjunction with faculty and preceptor. Attend seminar 2 hours per week;
  • Request instruction, supervision and assistance from preceptor and faculty as needed;
  • Demonstrate responsible, accountable, and ethical behaviors;
  • Practice clinical skills under supervision of the preceptor assuming progressive independence as clinical competence increases;
  • Perform independently only those skills that the student is competent and prepared to perform within the student's scope of practice;
  • Develop collaborative relationships with clients, the preceptor, agency personnel and other members of the health care team;
  • Demonstrate understanding of leadership roles of nurse including delegation, committee membership and unit management;
  • Adhere to unit policies and procedures;
  • Seek feedback from the preceptor;
  • Participate in summative self evaluation; and
  • Participate in evaluation of course, preceptor, and agency.

References: British Columbia School of Nursing, Practicum Guidelines
(Link no longer available)