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Family Nurse Practitioner Preceptor Training Program


In the field of healthcare, the role of preceptors is highly important. These supervisors and role models work with the preceptee and support their development and socialization. The purpose of this facilitation is the professional advancement of the preceptee for an optimal fit within the field (Bartlett, Um, Luca, Krass, & Schneider, 2020). It not only provides a structured beginning for the newly registered professionals but also eases the integration of these new members into the team. To take on the role of a preceptor, healthcare professionals must undergo the Preceptor Training Program. This educational program is designed to help practitioners transition from their role as staff members to preceptors. The program employs a range of teaching strategies that promote active learning and results in the acquisition and integration of new knowledge, skills, and attitudes (Association of Surgical Technology, 2021).

Significance of the Program

The Preceptor Training Program is significant as it develops the necessary skills required to perform the role effectively. A well-rounded training program serves as a refresher for clinical skills and offers an opportunity to review the policies and procedures of the hospital. The training program equips the potential preceptors with the teaching strategies that may be employed in the training of the future preceptees. Apart from this knowledge and skill-based training, the program is also significant in developing certain attitudes which are required to be a successful preceptor. Practicing self-evaluation helps in the identification of individual leadership styles. Adaptive training is provided to develop flexibility towards different personalities. Moreover, the training program is central in enabling participants for conflict resolution (Avant, 2018). The preceptor training program for nurse practitioners is important in equipping them with the appropriate knowledge, skills, and behaviors required for this mentorship role.

Criteria to Become a Preceptor

Various criteria and competencies are outlined that are required to become a preceptor. Preceptors must be advanced practice registered nurses, licensed to practice in the state where the preceptorship experience may occur. Moreover, the experience of at least two years as a nurse practitioner is required (NPHUB, 2020). The nurse practitioner must also be proficient in providing patient care following the policy standards in place, fulfill the assigned duties, and be able to safely operate the equipment. Effective and appropriate use of resources and effective verbal and written communication is also a prerequisite to becoming a preceptor (Association of Surgical Technology, 2021). Acceptable performance appraisals and attendance records are also essential (Swilhart, 2009).

Preceptor Competency List

Competency can be defined as a blend of knowledge, skills, attributes, and abilities that are required to perform a role proficiently. The available literature highlight numerous competencies for successful preceptorship among which being a role model and an effective communicator are much emphasized (Gueorguieva, et al., 2016). A systematic scoping review of 41 studies highlighted numerous preceptor competencies. These include effective communication skills, adaptability to adjust to the learning needs of students, and being a role model practitioner. These competencies are rated as moderate to high on the preceptee completed survey. Other moderate competencies include a demonstration of respect towards learners, commitment to excellence, practicing self-reflection, and the ability to provide effective feedback. Promoting critical thinking, decision-making, and problem-solving is also an important preceptor skill. Preceptors must also demonstrate encouraging behavior which prompts students towards self-directed learning. Empathy, ethics, a passion for teaching, organizing, and prioritizing are also important competencies for an effective preceptor (Bartlett, Um, Luca, Krass, & Schneider, 2020). Although all competencies might not occur simultaneously in a nurse practitioner, the presence of a majority of these attributes can certainly help in successfully taking on the responsibility of this role.


Association of Surgical Technology. (2021). Preceptor Handbook. Retrieved from Association of Surgical Technology:

Avant, S. D. (2018). What makes a successful preceptor training program. Retrieved from Becker’s Hospital Review:

Bartlett, A., Um, I., Luca, E., Krass, I., & Schneider, C. (2020). Measuring and assessing the competencies of preceptors in health professions: a systematic scoping review. BMC Medical Education, 20(165).

Gueorguieva, V., Chang, A., Fleming-Carroll, B., Breen-Reid, K. M., Douglas, M., & Parekh, S. (2016). Working toward a competency-based preceptor development program. The Journal of Continuing Education in Nursing, 47(9), 427-432.

NPHUB. (2020). How to become a preceptor (with or without NPHub). Retrieved from NPHUB:

Swilhart, D. (2009). Ask the expert: Defining criteria for preceptor selection. Retrieved from HCPRO:



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