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Practice-Based Preceptor


A Practice-based Preceptor is an experienced RN from a Longwood clinical partner agency who works with a Longwood BSN student for a designated number of hours to complete a short clinical learning experience, usually one (1) to two (2) days.

Responsibilities: Students, preceptors, and faculty must work in synchronous partnership to achieve effective learning. Therefore, the roles of each have been well defined. The Longwood faculty member responsible for the course collaborates closely with the agency and the Practice-Based Preceptor (s), and provides the course syllabus, student learning objectives and assignments, and evaluation form(s). The Longwood faculty member retains the ultimate responsibility for the students' performance, while the Practice-based Preceptor works with the student on site, guiding his or her interaction with patients or clients, sharing knowledge and skills, and evaluating the student's performance with both real-time feedback and short, end-of-experience written evaluation. The nursing student is expected to collaborate with the preceptor regarding planning and delivering care, to seek regular feedback, and to complete assignments and objectives. (For a complete description of faculty, student, and Practice-Based Preceptor responsibilities, click here.)

Educational requirements and preceptor qualities: The Virginia Board of Nursing requires that the Practice-based Preceptor be a Registered Nurse with expertise in the clinical practice area to which the student is assigned. Although the Longwood program is a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program, the preceptor does not have to be BSN-prepared.

The Practice-based Preceptor is expected to have current clinical skills and knowledge, and to be able to model effective care planning and provision. He or she must be able to communicate effectively with patients/clients, with families, and with other healthcare providers. Successful teaching is a complex process that requires not only expertise in clinical content but also positive personal attributes such as empathy, warmth, respectfulness, and humor, and a desire to work with nursing students. For more information, see FAQs for Practice-based Preceptors.

Preceptor preparation: No additional preparation is needed to be a Practice-based Preceptor, although many preceptors find it useful to seek additional information about the process of clinical precepting. We believe we have an obligation to assist our Practice-based Preceptors to learn as much as they wish about effective precepting and clinical teaching. Therefore, we have created a section of this website called Helpful Resources where preceptors can easily and conveniently access information about clinical teaching, learning styles, mentoring, assessing and evaluating student performance, critical thinking, reflective practice, and quick tips for preceptors.

Volunteering as a Practice-based Preceptor: We use Practice-based Preceptors in specific clinical courses within the Longwood BSN curriculum. We welcome Registered Nurses who are interested in volunteering to be a Preceptor to learn more about clinical precepting. If you are an experienced RN in one of our Community Partner agencies and you are interested in being a Practice-based Preceptor, contact your agency nurse manager and inform them of your interest.