Preceptors for D.N.P. Students

We want to extend a warm welcome from the Eleanor Mann School of Nursing. Our partnership with you and with your facility is an essential part of the education of our students.

"I precept because it gives me an opportunity to share real life experience with students. Things begin to 'click' in clinicals that perhaps didn't make sense during didactic courses. I love watching their growth, and in return I also try and learn from them." — FNP preceptor

"Words will never be able to sufficiently express how grateful I am to Melissa [Morton] for her willingness to be my preceptor. Her guidance and influence will transcend far beyond our time together. The skills and competencies that she has cultivated into my practice will serve to touch the lives of every patient I encounter throughout my career as a nurse practitioner. I recall a Greek proverb that relates to my sentiment perfectly: 'A civilization flourishes when its people plant trees under which they may never sit.' I thank Melissa for planting that tree." — Erica Fowler, FNP-D.N.P. student

The goal of the Family Nurse Practitioner concentration in the Doctor of Nursing Practice program is to prepare majors for advanced practice nursing across the health continuum and are based on the National Organization of Nurse Practitioner Faculties NP Competencies.

Guidelines and Qualifications

Ideally, preceptors for D.N.P. students should be doctorally prepared, and have at least two years of experience in the N.P. role. Preceptors should be experientially prepared to guide students in the respective area of clinical course focus. Clinical experiences, sites and preceptors will be negotiated among the student, preceptor and EMSON officials. Preceptors must be either a clinical nurse specialist, nurse practitioner, doctor of osteopathy or medical doctor. Note that D.N.P. students are not allowed to use physician assistants for preceptors. EMSON faculty can serve as preceptors for graduate students but not in the same section in which the faculty member is the instructor of record.

In addition, preceptors must meet the following requirements:

  • A master's or doctoral degree, or some qualification in a specialized clinical area equivalent to master's preparation or higher (M.D., D.O., N.P. or C.N.S. only).
  • Unencumbered license to practice in the state in which preceptor practices.
  • Advanced practice registered nurses must have an advanced practice license with national certification.
  • At least two years of experience in the clinical practice area.
  • Prescriptive authority for students who plan to apply for prescriptive authority.
  • Nature of practice must be congruent with clinical experiences needed by the student.
  • License, evidence of relevant certification, and curriculum vita must be provided to the school upon request.
  • A new, signed preceptor agreement is required for each course during which the preceptor provides clinical guidance.
  • The preceptor must receive approval from the school to serve as preceptor prior to commencement of the clinical learning experience.
  • An affiliation agreement with the preceptor's clinical site must be in place.

Benefits and Rewards

We know that serving as a preceptor requires time, effort, and energy, and that making the decision to precept a student requires careful consideration. It’s also helpful to know that there are benefits associated with precepting, and we’d like to share some of the benefits and rewards. These include:

  • Enhancement of your clinical knowledge
  • Positive, mutually beneficial relationships are developed with faculty
  • Networking opportunities with other N.P.s
  • Opportunity to earn credit toward certification
  • Opportunity to fulfill professional responsibility
  • Opportunity to “give back” to and help shape the future of the profession
  • Opportunity to contribute to the program and learning process in a variety of ways
  • Potential for learning from graduate nursing students
  • Influence change in practice setting
  • Recognition as a role mode
  • Increased involvement in your workplace
  • Personal satisfaction from preceptor role
  • Recruitment opportunity


A number of resources for preceptors are available from the National Organization of Nurse Practitioner Faculties.

Support and guidance is also available to preceptors through our free, self-paced course "EMSON D.N.P. Preceptors: Shaping Future Providers." Modules address topics such as effective precepting strategies and communication with the student. Completion of this course earns 2.5 nursing contact hours.

In addition, EMSON offers a telehealth preceptor development course for preceptors of nursing students to teach basic skills of telehealth etiquette, effective patient encounters and virtual examination techniques. The course consists of six self-paced learning modules, a learning assessment and course evaluation.

If you would like more information related to precepting for any of our graduate programs, please contact:

  • Jan Emory, Ph.D., coordinator for the M.S.N.-Nurse Educator concentration —
  • Lori Murray, D.N.P., coordinator for the D.N.P. Preceptor Program,