Clinical education, nurse practitioner, preceptor, students



  1. Pearson, Tamera (Professor, Director of FNP Program)
  2. Hensley, Tonya (Assistant Professor FNP Program)


Background and Purpose: Clinical preceptors are vital partners in the education of nurse practitioner (NP) students. This article describes NP student learning stages and proposes strategies preceptors can use to facilitate precepting NP students who enter clinical rotations at varied learner levels.


Methods: Searches were conducted in the Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature and PubMed and EBSCOhost interfaces to MEDLINE using terms related to NPs, students, higher education, and preceptorship. Because only 10 publications met the inclusion criteria focusing on precepting NP students at different levels, literature from related health fields are included in the discussion.


Conclusions: Benner's Novice to Expert Model is applied to NP education in primary care settings to describe the clinical levels of learning. Clinical teaching methods that focus on either preceptor- or student-led communication are described, followed by a discussion of the association between methods and levels of learners.


Implications for Practice: Nurse practitioners who precept NP students at various levels of their clinical learning can apply specific teaching methods that are delineated in this article. By recognizing the unique needs of NP students at different levels, preceptors can help facilitate their experiential learning.