Graduate Preceptors

FNP Preceptor Orientation

Instructions and forms needed by preceptors of FNP graduate students in all clinical courses including evaluation forms.

FAQs for Graduate Nursing Student Preceptors

Welcome to the team of preceptors for the Wegmans School of Nursing at St. John Fisher College. If this is your first time as a preceptor or you are returning for another semester, we are grateful for your commitment to preparing the next generation of advanced practice nurses. It is our hope that you will enjoy the time with your student and find it a mutually rewarding experience.

Everything you will need for a successful experience is here. If you can't find an answer or have an immediate concern please contact:

How do I become a preceptor?

You need a minimum of 1 year of experience working in practice as NP, CNS, CNM or MD; current licensure in NYS; confidence in clinical knowledge base and practice skills; and work a schedule of weekly hours that will accommodate student learning needs - usually 1.5-2 days/week.

Clinical requirements


  • GNUR 680 Adult Health: 150 hr./semester = 10-15 hr./week over 12-14 weeks
  • GNUR 681 Women's Health: 150 hr./semester = 9-11 hr./week over 12-14 weeks
  • GNUR 682 Pediatrics: 150 hr./semester = 10-15 hr./week over 12-14 weeks
  • GNUR 683 Older Adults 150 hr./semester = 10-15 hr./week over 12-14 weeks


  • GNUR 684 Older Adults: 175 hr./semester = 11-14 hr./week over 12-14 weeks
  • GNUR 685 Adult: 175 hr./semester = 11-14 hr./week over 12-14 weeks
  • GNUR 688 Synthesis Practicum: 150 hr./semester = 13-15 hr./week over 12-14 weeks

For Nursing Education

  • GNUR 672 Teaching Practicum I: 150 hr./semester = 10-15 hr./week over 12-14 weeks
  • GNUR 674 Teaching Practicum II: 150 hr./semester = 10-15 hr./week over 12-14 weeks

This is my first time working with graduate students, what is my role as a preceptor?

You are responsible for direct supervision of the student while he/she delivers direct patient care or indirect care depending on the clinical requirements e.g. NP students provide direct care, CNS students may be working on projects that directly influence the quality of patient care but the student is not providing direct patient care his/herself. You will serve as a teacher, mentor, role model and evaluator - providing supervision, support, and an opportunity for your student to advance practice knowledge and skills.

What are the course objectives?

Each course has specific learning outcomes. The first page of the course syllabus describing these will be provided by the student at the beginning of the experience. Course descriptions are available in the Graduate Catalog.

How much clinical experience will my graduate student have?

All students who are doing a NP or CNS clinical course have passed GNUR 571 Diagnostic Reasoning and Advanced Health Assessment. Baseline clinical experience varies with the individual student based on progression in the MS program and years of experience as a Registered Nurse.

How are students matched with preceptors?

Faculty takes into consideration the level of the student in the program, the student's skills and practice background, the clinical site (any specialty populations & acute vs. primary care), and your clinical practice background to match students and preceptors to assure a mutually rewarding experience that will meet the student's learning needs.

Do I have to supervise everything my student does? How much independence do I allow?

All students are licensed to practice as an RN in NYS. Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement requires clinical provider documentation for all billable services. It is expected that a preceptor will give a student an increasing level of independence as the student progresses during the semester.

What about liability? Does the student practice under my license?

All students are currently licensed as RNs in New York State. They are responsible for their own actions. You are responsible for appropriate supervision, verifying the student's findings, and reviewing the proposed treatment plan to assure the patient has received adequate and appropriate care. All students are covered by the college professional liability insurance program.

Am I responsible for contacting my student after I receive the matching information form the college?

No. The student will initiate contact either through phone or email. If you haven't heard from your student in a timely matter, or 1 week before the semester starts, please notify the appropriate track coordinator:

What is the Preceptor Letter of Agreement?

It is a written commitment between WSoN and the preceptor for a specified number of clinical hours that the student will be completing at your clinical practice site under your supervision.

What if I can longer precept?

Please check if another provider in your practice can serve as the preceptor and notify the FNP Track Coordinator, Dr. Natalie Masco at or (585) 899-3837 as soon as possible.

What do I do if my student is late or doesn't show up for a scheduled clinical?

Contact the student immediately and notify the appropriate track coordinator:

How can I take a student and meet all my work demands?

After an orientation, students can often move quickly into a role as a team member. Preceptors also develop strategies to incorporate teaching with work flow, save teaching moments for end of day when busy. Colleagues with preceptor experience can share their tips and give you ideas to how to use time productively. The "One Minute Preceptor" strategies may be helpful.

What if I have to take an emergency leave or sick day?

Check with your colleagues (NP or MD) to see if they provider can supervise student and serve as the preceptor for that day. In either case, notify the student of change or reschedule the hours.

How is the student evaluated?

You should be having an ongoing conversation with the student each clinical day about his/her strengths and areas for growth. You also complete a mid-term and final evaluation form available on the Wegmans School of Nursing website under Clinical/Preceptors Graduate Preceptors. For both your verbal and written feedback, it is helpful to give specific examples to illustrate and support your assessment of the student. Any concerns related to patient safety, professional appearance, professional behavior or concerns about the student's ability to meet the competencies for the course should be addressed with the student's clinical site visitor immediately.

Why do you need a copy of my license, resume and social security number?

Our accreditation criteria require us to have preceptor credentials on file (license and resume). Your SS# or tax ID# is needed to generate your honorarium payment.

What if the student and I don't "connect" on a personal level?

As a health care professional the preceptor is expected to provide appropriate supervision and an objective evaluation despite personality differences. Serious working relationship issues should be reported immediately to the appropriate track coordinator:

How do I sign up for to serve as a preceptor for another semester?

Contact the appropriate track coordinator as soon as possible!

Does the Wegmans School of Nursing have a graduate student code of conduct?

The expectations for graduate student professional behavior are available in the Graduate Student Handbook [pdf] on the WSoN web page. Any unprofessional, unethical, or unsafe behavior must be immediately reported to the appropriate track coordinator:

Is there a dress code for graduate students?

Students are expected to wear professional business attire with a lab coat and a St. John Fisher College name tag clearly identifying them as a RN and SJFC Graduate Student. The preceptor may discuss alternative expectation for professional appearance based on specific settings and populations (e.g. pediatrics).

Why should I precept…what are the benefits for me?

All advanced practice nurses are dependent on the willingness of providers to provide clinical supervision and experience during their graduate programs. As a beneficiary of this during your own education, we hope you accept this responsibility to do the same for current graduate students. Serving as a preceptor is an effective way to advance your own professional development and have a significant impact on the next generation of advanced practice nurses. These hours may also be used for national professional certification requirements.

What is the honorarium or stipend?

An honorarium of $200 is available to all graduate preceptors each semester and is prorated based on the number of hours you worked with the student. To qualify for the preceptor honorarium you need to precept for a minimum of 50% of the hours required for the specific course (150 hours required » honorarium of $100 begins at 75 hours; 125 hours required » honorarium of $100 begins at 62.5 hours). The honorarium application is sent to the preceptor at the end of the semester with a preceptor evaluation form. Once you have completed and returned both forms, the honorarium will be processed and you will receive a check in the mail to the address you provided on the honorarium form.

What if my employer does not allow me to accept an honorarium directly for serving as a preceptor?

If your employer (usually hospital systems) does not allow employees to receive the honorarium directly, it will be sent to Department of Nursing Education/Professional Development with a notation of your participation. Preceptors should contact that department for comparable financial support for relevant professional development activities.

When can I expect to receive the honorarium?

Once the forms are returned at the end of the semester, it will take 2-3 weeks to process and mail the check to you.

Do I earn CEU's for serving as a preceptor?

No. Hours may be used for national professional recertification. Contact your certifying organization for more information.

If I have colleagues who would like to serve as preceptors, how do I refer them to you?

Contact Dr. Natalie Masco at

Is training for preceptors available?

No formal programs are available for new preceptors through the college. The following links will provide you with useful resources. If you are a member of AANP, a free preceptor course is available at their online CE center. Often colleagues in practice can provide strategies, suggestions and ideas.


What is the purpose of the faculty site visit?

Current standards for graduate programs require that students have a minimum of one visit by faculty from the program during the clinical. This provides an opportunity for the faculty to meet the preceptor, assess the student/preceptor working relationship, make sure the site has the variety of experiences to meet the student's learning needs, and assess the student's progress. The student and preceptor also have the opportunity to discuss any issues and determine if additional site visits are needed.

If I use different exam techniques than the student, which ones should be followed?

Many approaches can be used to achieve the outcome of an effective PE. Preceptors need to assess if student techniques meet current practice standards and ultimately achieve desired outcomes. Students are taught classic techniques and strategies; it is helpful if these are reinforced in practice. Any serious concerns should be addressed with the faculty site visitor.

Are there any procedures that students are not allowed to do?

Students are allowed to do advanced practice procedures that are taught in the FNP program: suturing, casting, splinting, 12 lead EKG interpretation, and basic radiology interpretation. If a preceptor teaches a new procedure, supervises student practice of this procedure and assesses the student's competency, the student can incorporate that procedure into his/her practice. The readiness of a student to learn and perform new skills is based on the preceptor's assessment of the student and the availability of adequate time for instruction, supervised practice and evaluation.

What do I do with the student if there are cancellations or no-shows?

Students should be using this time to discuss case studies, follow up on lab results, complete referrals, do patient teaching or research practice questions. In addition, preceptors are encouraged to facilitate additional learning experiences for students such as attendance at in-services, grand rounds, interdisciplinary meetings or other educational activities.

Is the student allowed to use a smart phone or other personal electronic device to access clinical guidelines?

Students are allowed to use personal electronic devices to access clinical references or other resources. At no time should patient specific information be downloaded onto these devices. Students are not allowed to access social media or personal email at clinical sites during clinical hours.

What if the student does not complete the agreed upon hours by the end of the semester?

Unless special arrangements are made with the SJFC faculty site visitor, students are not allowed to attend clinical after the course ends. The college insurance only covers students during the term of the course during the regular semester.

KD/MLD 6/20/12; MLD 6/22/12

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