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The success of nurse practitioner (NP) students in their clinical experience rests primarily with quality of preceptors and their ability to support adult learning. Preceptors lack time to teach because of the demands to provide patient care. In addition, the lack of clinical knowledge by NP students may prevent preceptors from carrying out their workload efficiently. Given this issue, in our emergency department (ED), the preceptors do not use a traditional preceptorship model. Instead, the preceptors interview and evaluate the patients first before the students. The preceptors then order the necessary diagnostic tests for patients. While waiting for the results of these tests that were ordered by the preceptors, the students then interview and examine the patients. This unique method has facilitated the throughput process in the ED. In addition, the preceptors are aware of the patients' problems when the students are presenting their patients to the preceptors. The preceptors are able to identify questions and tests missed by students and can offer feedback immediately instead of reevaluating or reinterviewing the patients after the students. Most importantly, the patients in this ED are an integral part of the teaching team for NP students.


By Kumhee Ro, DNP, ARNP, Assistant Clinical Professor, Seattle University College of Nursing, Seattle, WA,