Precepting Students

The University of Utah College of Nursing is seeking RNs working in primary care clinics in rural and underserved areas of Utah to serve as preceptors to students engaged in the Nurse Education, Practice, Quality and Retention Scholar (NEPQR) program. A goal of the NEPQR is to provide undergraduate nursing students with primary care nursing experiences that prepare them to work in primary care upon graduation. Preceptors are needed for CAPSTONE CLINICAL EXPERIENCES and SEMESTER BASED CLINICAL EXPERIENCES as described below.

Preceptor Role/Responsibility/Expectations for RN-BS Students in their final SYNTHESIS CLINICAL EXPERIENCE
In the final semester of the RN-BS program, students are placed in a setting where they work side by side with a preceptor to apply leadership skills. As a Preceptor you will help the student develop specific goals to gain deeper awareness and skill-building, providing opportunities for learning and professional leadership development. You serve as a mentor and guide, directing the students’ 45-hour clinical progression and achievement of learning outcomes. At the same time, students are enrolled in a separate, but related course to develop a durable quality improvement project at the “assigned” clinical agency applying leadership principles. Again, preceptors (and other stakeholders) work closely with the student to ensure that the project has an impact and meets the unit/agency needs. Students are given an additional 100 “clinical” hours to complete the project.

Preceptor Role/Responsibility/Expectations for Pre-licensure RN Students in their final CAPSTONE CLINICAL EXPERIENCE
The role of the capstone preceptor is essential to the success of students. Together, preceptors, students, and faculty are in partnership to help the student apply all they have learned to function as a Registered Nurse. As a preceptor you will guide and assist the student’s learning experience during your work schedule, acting as a coach and mentor. Together, you establish realistic goals and expectations of your work setting, allowing open communication for problem-solving, critical thinking, clinical reasoning, and feedback. During the 240-hour rotation, you will supervise student activities, maintain ultimate accountability to your agency, scope of practice, and safe quality care. At midterm and semester end, you will discuss student progress, validate student competencies, and individualized learning goals with the student and clinical instructor.

Preceptor Role/Responsibility/Expectations for Pre-licensure Nursing Students during clinical experiences
As a preceptor of students who do not have an RN license, you will have opportunities to provide students with skills development during their clinical rotations. The student opportunities will depend on the depth of primary care options provided to your clients. Primary care nursing experiences include disease education, annual wellness, vaccinations, screenings, coaching, behavioral health coaching and monitoring, protocol-driven nurse-led clinics to name a few. These are not listed as required activities but suggestions. The student experience depends upon the primary care clinical site scope of services.

Contact: Larry Garrett (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) or Brenda Luther (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)

Preceptor Training

We all have one from our early days as a clinician – a preceptor that we will never forget. For the most part, the memories that are conjured up are pleasant, inspiring and impactful. The remembrances of clinical experiences almost always center on a patient and the preceptor who helped us be our best. Being the best at precepting requires astute skills in communication, compassion and clarity. In January and February of 2020, 16 RNs from community rural health settings and several health systems who work in primary care participated in a weekly, five-part workshop series. The series was presented by the Colorado Center for Nursing and sponsored by the University of Utah College of Nursing NEPQR. The sessions were designed to emphasize and build precepting skills. Each week, participants listened to a short, 20-30 minute didactic presentation and then participated in 20-minute small group exercises designed to provide hands-on skill-building. Themes for the workshops included communications strategies, providing feedback and evaluation information to students, the power of questions and the nuts and bolts of precepting. Across the board, participants learned practical precepting skills. Many noted in their evaluation how they used something they learned that morning with their staff that very day. This educational experience helped to bridge the gap between what a student learns in school and experiences in the real, clinical world with the help of a well-prepared preceptor. Stay tuned here for updates on the timing of the next session!

Also, head to our "Resources" page HERE to find preceptor training tools and information.