Remember your days as an NP student?  Clinical hours were such a dread.  Yes, this was where we all learned the in’s and out’s of becoming a nurse practitioner but these courses were surrounded with stress and unknowns. How will I find a clinical preceptor?  Will he/she be patient and  understanding or frustrated with my lack of knowledge?  Will this person take the time to teach me or will I be treated as “free labor”?  Well, NP’s I think we have the unique opportunity to help nurse practitioner students in this area.

What if we as practicing nurse practitioners could help eliminate some of the stress and unknowns of the clinical experience for NP students.  I think we can band together to help educate our future coworkers strengthening our profession by creating strong clinical experiences.  My proposition?

Through MidlevelU, I am creating a database of practicing nurse practitioners, physician assistants and physicians willing to precept NP students.  My hope is that the list of names will be long covering each and every state.  This database will be accessible as a resource for connecting prospective preceptors with NP students

Why Should I Become a Preceptor?

Yes, there are a few downsides to precepting an NP student.  Answering questions and teaching intermittently throughout your work day can be a bit taxing and time consuming.  However, students can be quite helpful.  Patients typically love students as they have more time to spend and aren’t pressured by numbers and billing.  If you delegate and plan appropriately, precepting an NP student shouldn’t slow you down much and may even make your day more enjoyable.  Teaching can be rewarding.  Consider giving it a try.  You might just make an excellect preceptor.

Sounds Like a Big Committment, Is There Another Way I Can Help?

I receive a lot of questions from students about the nurse practitioner career.  What is it like?  What do you actually do all day?  Do you enjoy your job?  For many of these prospective students, job shadowing an NP for a day will help them understand the nurse practitioner career and make decisions about their futures.  Your willingness to allow a prospective NP to job shadow for a day will help students out requiring less commitment than becoming a full-fledged preceptor. 

How Do I Get Involved?

If you are interested in becoming a preceptor for a nurse practitioner student or hosting a prospective NP for a day of job shadowing, simply e-mail me (erin.tolbert@midlevelu.com) the following information: 

Your Name

City Where You Practice

NP Specialty and Practice Type

Contact Information (E-Mail and/or Phone)

Way You are Wish to Serve (Preceptor, Job Shadow Host)

I’m an NP Student.  How Do I Contact Prospective Preceptors?

Looking for a clinical preceptor or an NP willing to host you for a day of job shadowing?  Contact me with your name and location at erin.tolbert@midlevelu.com and I will work to set you up with a good match from the database.

Let’s work together to help future NP’s prepare for practice!


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2 thoughts on “Are You Willing to Precept an NP Student?”

  • How would this differ from a “formal” NP residency? Is one superior to another or is it just a “different” way to get more hands on experience while being guided by a more experienced professional?

  • Hi EC,

    A preceptor is the medical provider who teaches you during your nurse practitioner program.  This is part of the NP program curriculum and where the nurse practitioner student completes clinical hours. 

    A nurse practitioner residency is separate from the nurse practitioner program.  It is a paid position NP’s can take after graduation with the expectation that they will work in an environment that also helps further learning.  

    Hope this helps!

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