New Look & New Information in Preceptors website graphic

Precepting a nursing student

Precepting a nursing student is an exciting opportunity. Challenging and rewarding, precepting promotes professional and personal growth. Sharing your knowledge, experiences and expertise will provide the student with an outstanding experience that will guide the student towards a successful nursing career.

The APN clinical educators in the Department of Advanced Practice Nursing have developed this website for your use in developing your own style and process of precepting. You should receive specific information from the School of Nursing and your preceptee regarding their goals and expectations for the preceptorship. The information provided here is to support and augment your precepting experience and will assist you in making your precepting experience a positive one.

Delegation of tasks to the nursing student

Key section: section 6: standards of practice

  • (N6.03a): "delegate tasks commensurate with the educational preparation and demonstrated abilities of the person supervised
  • (N6.03b_) Provide direction and assistance to those supervised
  • (N6.03c) observe and monitor the activities of those supervised
  • (N6.04d) evaluate the effectiveness of acts performed under supervision

Code of Ethics: Part II: Code of Academic and Clinical Conduct and Interpretive Statements 
(National Student Nurses' Association, Inc.)

Key sections
  • Section 4.3:" ...hast the responsibility to be prepared to met the objectives assigned in caring for clients and to demonstrate safe, quality nursing care."
  • Section 6.2: "accepting responsibility for our actions: ...accountable to the educational institution, the health care institution that provides the clinical learning environment and above all to the clients and society as a whole. The nursing student...will care for the clients only under the supervision of the nursing faculty or preceptor."
  • Section 10.1: "...each student shares responsibility for ongoing evaluation of their clinical learning and participates as an active learner by demonstrating and documenting that their clinical objectives have been met and maintained."

Joint Statement of Delegation: American Nurses Association (ANA) and the National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN) 
(joint statement of delegation for nursing developed to support the practicing nurse in using delegation effectively and safely)

The five rights of delegation (developed by the NCSBN)

the right task; the right circumstance; the right person; the right direction/communication; and the right supervision

    THE STUDENT-PRECEPTOR RELATIONSHIP The student is not working under the RN license. The standard of care must be the same as that provided by the RN.
    Under the law, each person is responsible for their own actions.

    The R.N. preceptor has the responsibility to delegate according to the student's abilities and to supply adequate supervision.

    At the beginning and throughout the preceptorship discussing the student's abilities will guide what skills and practices the nursing student should participate in.