A preceptor is an experienced practitioner who provides role support and learning experiences to student and staff learners. A preceptor works with the learner for a defined period of time to assist the learner in acquiring new competencies required for safe, ethical and quality practice.
Preceptoring is time intensive and requires clinical teaching skills that not all health care professionals possess. To ensure quality practice experiences for students it is essential that we are aware of the importance of the preceptor/mentor role; that preceptors are provided with the appropriate training to develop the necessary competencies; and that this education is followed up with continued support and recognition. Training, support and recognition are all factors that are key in the success of the preceptor role.