Preceptor Role Guidelines
A nursing preceptor takes on many roles, including that of a coach, teacher, facilitator, resource person, and evaluator.
Prior to the Beginning of the Clinical Rotation:
- Communicate with the student in order to discuss the clinical environment
- Information such as start times, dress code, reporting of sick time etc. should be communicated prior to the beginning of the practicum experience
- Additional learning opportunities such as rounds, journal clubs etc. can be suggested at this time as well
At the Outset of the Clinical Rotation:
- Review the learning plan, clinical portfolio, and practicum competencies with the student
- Assist the student to identify strategies for achieving competencies
- Communicate with the course instructor to establish initial contact (the course instructor typically initiates this contact via email within the first 2-3 weeks of the course.)
- Complete the honorarium request sent via email by the Finance & Payroll Administrator
Note: honoraria requests will be processed once the practicum evaluation has been completed, and final grades have bee submitted by the course instructor and approved by Committee on Standing
During the Clinical Rotation:
- Facilitate student’s introduction to the clinical setting
- Act as a clinical expert and role model sharing experiences and knowledge
- Provide clinical supervision and consultation to the student during their practicum experience
- Meet with the student regularly to discuss progress towards achievement of learning competencies (as outlined in the student’s learning plan)
- Inform the course instructor of any problems arising from the student placement as soon as these are suspected or identified (Early intervention and faculty support helps to ensure student success and decrease preceptor burden in difficult situations)
After Completion of Clinical Rotation:
- Review the clinical portfolio for accuracy
- Review the course competencies with the student to determine if successfully achieved. Meet and discuss evaluation of performance with the student. Complete the required final evaluation* online via Linking Health Professionals, (watch for an email link from email@example.com), and discuss the evaluation with the course instructor if unsatisfactory.
*If you are a physician preceptor, please discuss evaluation of performance with the NP Advisor prior to completing the online from
Immunization and other clinical forms can be found in Student Forms.
All students with a physician preceptor in any semester must also have a NP Advisor. A NP Advisor will provide feedback to the course instructor about a NP student’s progress towards their clinical competencies as they relate to NP practice. The NP Advisor will work together with the student and their physician preceptor, to ensure the student has the opportunity to learn and be assessed by an Advanced Practice Nurse with NP competencies. NP Advisors mar participate in the students learning through direct observation in the clinical setting, or via indirect methods including face-to-face meetings, video room chats, telephone calls or email correspondence.
The Practicum Placement & Professional Development Officers will provide the NP Advisor with instructor contact information and course materials. The student will provide the NP Advisor with details of her/his individual learning plan. Students are also asked to provide the NP Advisor with a plan for communication and identify strategies for illustrating progress towards meeting the course and clinical competencies.
NP Advisors will communicate with their NP students weekly during the semester. The student is expected to negotiate a schedule with the NP Advisor at the beginning of the course. At any point in the semester, the NP Advisor is encouraged to contact the course instructor, if there are any concerns about the student’s placement or progress.
Some examples of how NP Advisors have assessed student progress include:
- review sample clinical documentation, discuss student documented case studies and analysis of exemplars describing clinical encounters
- carry out direct observation of a student in the clinical setting
The NP Advisor is required to document their feedback about the student’s progress and clinical competence online via Linking Health Professionals**. This feedback will be used together with that provided by the physician preceptor to determine if a student has met the competencies for the clinical practicum component of their course.
**A student’s clinical evaluation cannot be considered complete until all required NP Advisor feedback has been submitted via Linking Health Professionals. Watch for an email link from firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please complete the MN Preceptor Questionnaire here.
Frequently Asked Questions
Who are the preceptors in this program?
There are over 400 experienced practitioners involved in clinical learning experiences. These practitioners are nurses with a graduate degree practicing as an Advanced Practice Nurse or a physician. Current and potential preceptors include 210 Nurse Practitioners, 35 Clinical Nurse Specialists and 115 physicians.
How are the preceptors selected?
Learners, faculty members, practising professionals themselves, and health-care facilities identify potential preceptors. Information about a potential preceptor’s place of work, areas of practice and interests is recorded. The learner discusses potential preceptors with a faculty member and if requested, faculty suggest potential preceptors to the learner. A learner is required to discuss specific learning goals with any potential preceptor so that both parties can determine if the learning goals are attainable. The potential preceptor decides with each learner whether the area of practice can facilitate the learner’s goals. The potential preceptor decides whether he/she has time for a teaching commitment.
What is the role of the preceptor?
A preceptor is an experienced practitioner who teaches, counsels and acts as a role model for a learner in a formalized structure for a specific period. The preceptor works with a learner so that he/she may learn, experience and practice in an environment that is supportive and safe for both learner and clients. The preceptor is the primary person supporting, supervising and evaluating the learner, but it is important to realize that a clinical experience is an extension of learning in course seminars and independent learning activities. Guidelines for preceptor role and responsibilities are in the Preceptor Role section.
What is a learning plan?
The learner develops a learning plan that explicitly states her/his objectives and goals for the course. The learning plan is used as a guide to plan and eventually evaluate clinical experiences and performance. Guidelines for the development and use of a learning plan are in the section specific to Learning Plans.
How do I find out about a specific course?
Program goals and courses in the MN-NP stream and Post-Master’s NP Diploma are outlined under the Academic section of this website. The courses with a clinical component are NUR 1115/1116Y/1117Y and NUR 1110Y.
Do NP learners have insurance coverage?
During clinical placements, the NP learner has protection under the University of Toronto’s Comprehensive General Liability insurance policy. The Ministry of Education Work/Education Placement Agreement under the Workplace Safety and Insurance Coverage Act covers each learner’s clinical placement.
Whom do I call if I have concerns about a learner?
If you are concerned about a learner’s performance, you are encouraged to call the faculty listed for the specific course.