Clinical Preceptor e-Toolkit

Two nurses working together

This e-Toolkit is designed for soon-to-be preceptors who wish to learn and practice basic precepting skills, and also for seasoned preceptors who want to reflect upon and renew their teaching capabilities.

The School of Nursing offers a comprehensive preceptor orientation program that is comprised of a variety of online components. The short introductory module, Preceptors: A Profile, provides an overview of the precepting experience as well as a discussion of the goals, roles, and competencies involved in precepting. In addition, each of the Doctor of Nursing Practice specialties will soon offer short specialty web modules for preceptors that explains the DNP student coursework for that specialty, depicts the student and preceptor experience for that specialty, and provides additional resources for preceptors to successfully guide each of their DNP students.


The goals of clinical education can be summarized as:

  • Translate theory into practice
  • Foster problem-solving and critical decision-making skills
  • Collaborate with others
  • Apply legal and ethical morals in health care practice (Massarweh, 1999).

Preceptors typically serve in three general roles: Educator/Coach, Role Model, Mentor. To serve in those roles, preceptors need to be adept at:

  • Reviewing with each student their clinical learning objectives
  • Selecting, with the student, clinical experiences appropriate to the course objectives
  • Assessing the student's learning style and needs
  • Integrating interprofessional (or multiprofessional) collaborative practice experiences into the student's clinical activities
  • Orienting and socializing the student to the agency's culture and mission 
  • Managing student activities within the practicum environment
  • Evaluating the student's clinical activities and professional practice, and providing feedback
  • Completing documentation according to the policies of the agency and school
  • Serving as a liaison with School of Nursing faculty.

The development of these materials was supported by a grant, "Enhancing PMHNP and FNP DNP Student Readiness to Provide Integrative Care to Persons with Mental Illness and Complex Medical Needs Who are Typically Underserved in Urban and Rural Communities”, supported by funding from Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services as part of an award totaling $2,077,514 with 0% financed with non-governmental sources. (HHS). The contents are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the official views of, nor an endorsement, by HRSA, HHS, or the U.S. Government. For more information, please visit

Principle Investigator: Merrie Kaas, PhD, APRN, PMHCNS, FAAN 
Co-Investigator: Barbara Peterson, PhD, APRN, PMHCNS 
Co-Investigator: Mary Mescher Benbenek, PhD, RN, CPNP, CFNP

Instructional Designer: Janet Shanedling, PhD
Instructional Technologist: Susan Wolf, Med
Project Manager: Candace Nelson, BA