Expectations and Requirements


What Makes an Appropriate Clinical Experience?

Vanderbilt University School of Nursing seeks to partner with preceptors and sites that promote a safe and inclusive care environment for diverse, underserved and/or vulnerable communities. Your site should provide adequate patient volume and the appropriate patient type and mix for the specialty. In addition, your facility needs to offer appropriate preceptor/student interactions to meet role and population-focused competencies. Of course, of great importance is students’ ability to meet course learning objectives.

What are the different roles?

In a student rotation, what are the different roles and responsibilities?

  • Orient the student to the site/agency and its guidelines/expectations.
  • Communicate with the student regarding learning objectives, progress and written evaluations.
  • Supervise, collaborate with and counsel the student in patient care activities.
  • Assist student in selecting an adequate volume of appropriate cases.
  • Communicate with faculty regarding student progress and any concerns.
  • Complete evaluation forms at specific intervals.
  • Protect student information according to Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). Contact faculty with any questions about FERPA or learn more here .
  • Maintain professional behavior and demeanor in all clinical interactions.
  • Communicate learning objectives, progress and learning needs.
  • Collaborate with preceptor/agency to develop a schedule and communicate absences in advance.
  • Maximize learning by augmenting patient experiences with texts and other resources.
  • Protect patient information according to Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).
  • Submit assigned course work, complete clinical log* and participate in clinical conference/supervision..

*If applicable

  • Orient site/preceptor to student’s educational needs. Orient student to course.
  • Conduct virtual or face-to-face site visit to assess student progress towards learning goals.
  • Review written evaluations of student progress and communicate with clinical preceptor as needed.
  • Be available to preceptor and student to address any concerns which may arise.
  • Grade all student coursework.
  • Guide student towards learning objectives via clinical conference/supervision.
  • Protect student information according to Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA )


What makes an effective preceptor?

Find ways to help students learn:

  • Work with students to set realistic goals for learning, aligned with course objectives
  • Pace learning experiences
  • Foster development of critical thinking and problem-solving skills
  • Help students organize and prioritize work through both role-modeling and discussion
  • Help students see the “big picture” instead of focusing on tasks
  • Know students’ goals and objectives early in the experience

Understand the course requirements

  • Know overall time frame of the experience
  • Have a clear understanding of course objectives

Be able to evaluate effectively

  • Evaluate whether students meet course objectives
  • Provide constructive feedback to students
  • Decide what evidence to write on the evaluation form
  • Develop a method to track student performance and progress

Interact effectively with students

What qualifications do I need to precept?

Each specialty has different requirements of its preceptors. Please find your specialty below for details.

Lindsay Miller

Lindsay Miller, RN
Nursing Health Care Leadership Preceptor of the Year 2021

I love to precept nursing students and new leaders and share all that I have learned as a leader.” 

Why Precept?