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Graduate Clinical Preceptor Resources

Welcome to the resource page for graduate clinical preceptors. As a clinical preceptor, you are one of our most valuable resources in our graduate program. The clinical setting allows for the synthesis of concepts and the application of didactic learning and APRN role development. In this section, we have provided several links to support your orientation to role of an APRN clinical preceptor.

If this is your first time as a preceptor or you are returning for another semester, we are grateful for your commitment to preparing the next generation of advanced practice nurses. It is our hope that you will enjoy the time with your student and find it a mutually rewarding experience.

If you have additional questions or have an immediate concern please contact Dr. Donna Tydings, graduate program chair dtydings@sjf.edu or one of our clinical program coordinators listed below. We look forward to working with you.

Graduate Clinical Preceptor Resources

Graduate Clinical Preceptor Resources


Frequently Asked Questions for Graduate Nursing Student Preceptors

Below you will find several resources to support your role as a preceptor and ensure a successful clinical experience. 

If you have questions regarding clinical placements or other clinical questions, please contact our Clinical Coordinator: Katie Patterson at kpatterson@sjf.edu or (585) 385-8062.

If you have questions or concerns about the clinical rotation or student progression please contact the appropriate program coordinator:


How do I become a preceptor?

All preceptors must have a minimum of one year of current clinical experience working as an NP, CNS, CNM, or MD; hold a current unencumbered state license/certificate, and be national certified in their area of specialty. Preceptors should be confident in their clinical knowledge base and practice skills; and work a schedule of weekly hours that will accommodate student learning needs – usually a minimum of 2 days/week. 

If you are interested in becoming a preceptor, please contact our clinical coordinator or one of our program coordinators listed above.

How many clinical hours will the student complete during each clinical rotation?

The letter confirming the student’s clinical placement will be sent to you. This letter will include the number of hours the student has been assigned to your practice. Overall, Clinical students in one of our NP programs will complete an minimum of 600 direct care hours and students in our CNS program complete a total of 500 clinical hours.

Clinical hours per semester

Nurse Practitioner Programs (FNP, AGACNP, AGPCNP, PMHNP)

  • 150 hr./direct patient care per semester = 10-15 hr./week over 12-14 weeks

Clinical Nurse Specialist Program (CNS)

  • 125 hr./clinical semester = 11-14 hr./week over 12-14 weeks

*Note- you may have a student who has less hours to complete if they are placed with you for a partial rotation.


This is my first time working with graduate students, what is my role as a preceptor?

You are responsible for direct supervision of the student in the clinical setting as they deliver direct patient care or indirect care depending on the clinical requirements (e.g., NP students must provide direct care, CNS students may be working on projects that directly influence the quality of patient care but the student is not providing direct patient care). You will serve as a teacher, mentor, role model, and evaluator - providing supervision, support, and an opportunity for your student to advance practice knowledge and skills.


What are the course objectives?

Each course has specific learning outcomes. The student will provide the preceptor with a copy of the clinical course syllabus that outlines course/clinical outcomes.


How much clinical experience will my graduate student have?

Prior to starting APRN clinicals all students have successfully completed graduate coursework in advanced health assessment, advanced pharmacology, and advanced pathophysiology. In addition, students have a minimum of 1-2 year(s) of clinical experience as a registered nurse.


How are students matched with preceptors?

The clinical coordinator and program coordinator reviews the level of the student in the program, the student's skills and practice background, the clinical site), and your clinical practice background to match students and preceptors to assure a mutually rewarding experience that will meet the student's learning needs.


Do I have to supervise everything my student does? How much independence do I allow?

The preceptor is the primary provider for all patients seen by students and therefore, all patients must be seen, evaluated, and examined by the preceptor. You may decide after the student has been with you for some time to have the student see the patients first and then present to you, and discuss the plan and treatment. Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement requires clinical provider documentation for all billable services.


I work in a busy practice, how will precepting fit into this setting?

View this video from NONPF.


Are NP students allowed to write prescriptions?

No, the NP student does not have authority to write prescriptions. All prescriptions must be written by the preceptor/provider.


Am I responsible for contacting my student after I receive the matching information?

No. The student will initiate contact either through phone or email. If you haven't heard from your student in a timely matter, or one week before the semester starts, please notify the appropriate program coordinator (listed above).


What is the Preceptor Letter of Agreement?

It is a written commitment between the Wegmans School of Nursing and the preceptor for a specified number of clinical hours that the student will be completing at your clinical practice site under your supervision. In addition, the school has a clinical site/practice agreement in place with the practice and/or health system.


What if I can no longer precept?

Please check if another provider in your practice can serve as the preceptor and notify the appropriate program coordinator as soon as possible.


What do I do if my student is late or doesn't show up for a scheduled clinical?

Contact the student immediately and notify the appropriate program coordinator or clinical site visitor. 


What if I have to take an emergency leave or sick day?

If allowed by your clinical site agreement, you can check with one of your colleagues (NP or MD) to see if they supervise the student and serve as the preceptor for that day. Notify the student of the change or the need to reschedule the hours.


How is the student evaluated?

We encourage preceptors to have an ongoing conversation with the student each clinical day about his/her strengths and areas for growth. You also complete a mid-term and final evaluation form available in Typhon. When giving feedback, it is helpful to give specific examples to illustrate and support your assessment of the student.
Any concerns related to patient safety, professional appearance, professional behavior or concerns about the student's ability to meet the competencies for the course should be addressed with the student's clinical site visitor immediately.


Why do you need a copy of my professional license(s), resume, and certification?

Our accreditation criteria require us to have preceptor credentials on file. Please upload your professional license (s), national certification (s), and resume to Typhon.


What if the student and I don't "connect" on a personal level?

As a health care professional, the preceptor is expected to provide appropriate supervision and an objective evaluation despite personality differences. Serious working relationship issues should be reported immediately to the appropriate program coordinator or the clinical coordinator. 


How do I sign up for to serve as a preceptor for another semester?

Please contact our clinical coordinator Katie Patterson kpatterson@sjf.edu


Does the Wegmans School of Nursing have a graduate student code of conduct?

The expectations for graduate student professional behavior are available in the Nursing Student Handbook [pdf]. Any unprofessional, unethical, or unsafe behavior must be immediately reported to the appropriate program coordinator and the clinical site visitor.


Is there a dress code for graduate students?

Students are expected to wear professional business attire with a lab coat and a Fisher name tag clearly identifying them as an RN and Fisher graduate student. The preceptor may discuss alternative expectation for professional appearance based on specific settings and population of patients.


Why should I precept…what are the benefits for me?

All advanced practice nurses are dependent on the willingness of providers to provide clinical supervision and experience during their graduate programs. As a beneficiary of this during your own education, we hope you accept this responsibility to do the same for current graduate students. Serving as a preceptor is an effective way to advance your own professional development and have a significant impact on the next generation of advanced practice nurses. These hours may also be used for national professional certification requirements.


Do I earn CEU's for serving as a preceptor?

No. However, you may be eligible to apply your precepted hours toward national professional recertification. To support this process the school will send you a summary of your preceptor hours at the end of each semester.


If I have colleagues who would like to serve as preceptors, how do I refer them to you?

Please contact our clinical coordinator: Katie Patterson kpatterson@sjf.edu


Is training for preceptors available?

We have provided several resources to support your role as a preceptor. The National Organization of Nurse Practitioner Faculty (NONPF) has an excellent APRN preceptor portal including preceptor vignette videos and additional resources to support you. You may also reach out to any of our program coordinators. If you are a member of AANP, a free preceptor course is available at their online CE center.

If you are a member of AANP, a free preceptor course is available at their online CE center.


What is the purpose of the faculty site visit?

Current standards for graduate programs require that students have a minimum of one visit by faculty or site visitor from the program during the clinical. This provides an opportunity for the faculty to meet the preceptor, assess the student/preceptor working relationship, make sure the site has the variety of experiences to meet the student's learning needs, and assess the student's progress. The student and preceptor also have the opportunity to discuss any issues and determine if additional site visits are needed.


If I use different exam techniques than the student, which ones should be followed?

Many approaches can be used to achieve the outcome of an effective PE. Preceptors need to assess if student techniques meet current practice standards and ultimately achieve desired outcomes. Students are taught classic techniques and strategies; it is helpful if these are reinforced in practice. Any serious concerns should be addressed with the clinical site visitor.


Are there any procedures that students are not allowed to do?

Students are allowed to do advanced practice procedures that are taught in their program of study (see procedure check list) All procedures must be directly supervised by the preceptor and align with the students program of study.


What do I do with the student if there are cancellations or no-shows?

Students should be using this time to discuss case studies, follow up on lab results, complete referrals, do patient teaching, or research practice questions. In addition, preceptors are encouraged to facilitate additional learning experiences for students such as attendance at in-services, grand rounds, interdisciplinary meetings, or other educational activities.


Is the student allowed to use a smart phone or other personal electronic device to access clinical guidelines?

Students must follow the site-specific guidelines regarding personal electronic devices in the clinical setting. Typically, students are allowed to use personal electronic devices to access clinical references or other resources. At no time should patient-specific information be downloaded onto these devices. Students are not allowed to access social media or personal email at clinical sites during clinical hours.


What if the student does not complete the agreed upon hours by the end of the semester?

Unless special arrangements are made with the Fisher faculty site visitor, students are not allowed to attend clinical after the course ends. If you have questions, please contact the students site visitor.