"Being able to share knowledge gained through many years of experience with a student is a rewarding experience. The time I was able to spend with our nursing student was enjoyable and learning was two sided. I appreciate from my own memories as a student those nurses who took the time and patience to help guide me in clinical practice. It was an honour to be able to pass on that time and patience with another student." - Shelley C, RN Hepatitis C Support Nurse

What is a Preceptor?

A preceptor is an experienced health professional that provides a learning experience or "on-the-job training" to a student in the preceptor's workplace. Preceptorship involves teaching, demonstrating, and observing the student as well as providing feedback and support. Many health science students require a certain number of hours in one-to-one placement with a preceptor in order to graduate. A preceptor has a vital role in developing safe, skilled, ethical professionals for the future.

Am I eligible to be a preceptor?

As a qualified professional you are eligible to be a preceptor. Each profession has its own unique method of involving professionals in precepting. Even if you have worked in your profession for many years you may still need to develop your communication skills or learn more about being an effective preceptor. A good clinician is not automatically a good teacher. This website contains training modules, resources and links that will help you develop your skills and evaluate your readiness.

Do I evaluate the student?

Some student programs involve the preceptor in student evaluation. Check with the program to discover your role in student evaluation.

Why be a Preceptor?

Understand the benefits of preceptorship for both the preceptor and the student with this tip sheet.

Effective Preceptors

This tip sheet outlines the interpersonal, clinical, and teaching skills that are important in being an effective preceptor.

Preceptor Roles

Curious about the basic expectations of preceptors? This tip sheet will explain the roles and responsibilities of a preceptor.

Time for Reflection

Take some time to reflect on your preceptorship style with this list of thought provoking questions.

References and Further Reading

This is a list of the resources used to create the preceptor tips sheets by the University of Lethbridge. Many of these articles can be downloaded through SHIRP.

"My preceptor was my lifeline - I wouldn't be where I am today without her. I walked in the door the first day of my shift anxious and unsure. She gently taught me what I needed to know to become a confident registered nurse. Beacuse of her, I hope to someday be a preceptor myself and assist nursing students to become the best they can be." Kim L., B.Ed BSN GN