Preceptorship... Excited, but....


Hello All,

It's been a minute since I've been on here due to the busy work school has me doing. Beginning in a couple of weeks, I begin my preceptor clinical. I am extremely excited that I am precepting at the hospital that I had experienced my best time in clinicals. I experienced so much in that hospital, I know I will experience so much more during my preceptor clinical.

I suppose I'm a bit confused how this precepting works. Do we go in, take care of the patients as though we "are" RN's with our preceptor there for assistance? Or is it just a "shadow" of that nurse and as we feel comfortable, we take on more and more things without that nurse by our sides? What are we allowed to do? Everything, including medication administration? I wonder if we are finally allowed to document in the charts (that would be nice since up until now, we weren't allowed to).

If you have any tips to share, I would greatly appreciate them! This particular hospital is actually one I would really enjoy being employed in. I said that during my first clinicals there and I love what they stand for.

Thank you and I look forward to your responses.


2,642 Posts

At a guess, I don't think anyone here will be able to say what YOUR preceptorship will be. Each state, school and clinical site has different restrictions about what student nurses can do.

As an example....we were required to chart in our clinicals (while you report you weren't allowed to)...we also were allowed to give meds by ourself in Junior year (with the exception of IV push meds or narcotics), and I've seen other students who aren't allowed to give meds until they have their license.

Your best bet is to speak with a grad from your program and get an idea of the boundaries of your program's preceptorship from them.

Specializes in Emergency/Cath Lab. Has 6 years experience.

Yes find out what your specific program wants/expects/allows you to do. Based on what you said, we were allowed to do a lot more from the get go so their expectations of you might be different than my program.

Specializes in ER, progressive care. Has 7 years experience.

everyone's experience is different...for mine, we basically went in and did everything that an RN would do, with our preceptor there to supervise us/offer us guidance.

I wasn't just "thrown" into it right away. The first day I kind of just followed my preceptor around and then he had me start giving medications...then as each day went on he started to increase my workload. By the end I was pretty much doing everything by myself and my preceptor stayed away as much as possible except for when he had to check meds with me and he also had to be there to administer IVP meds.

the only thing I wasn't allowed to do was check blood (because that has to be checked by two RN's) and administer this IV contrast dye (I forgot the name of it, but you have to put it in this shaker thing for like 45 seconds and then it turns milky white, kind of like propofol/Diprivan).

Overall, I LOVED my precepting experience. It was exhausting, especially since I precepted at the same hospital I work at, just on a different floor...I felt like I "lived" at that hospital because I was there pretty much 7 days/week and I only got paid for half of the time I was there :lol2:...but I learned so much and the experience made me more comfortable with being a nurse. It kind of tied everything together.

I precepted on a cardiovascular surgery/vascular ICU unit in case you were wondering.

MystyqueOne, BSN, RN

1 Article; 290 Posts

Specializes in Primary Care. Has 6 years experience.

Thank you all, especially melosaur, as it was great to hear your advice. I agree that every school has their own requirements, so I'll just find out here in another week during my orientation.

Thank you again!