Career Corner Spring 2012

Pace offers nurses who have gone through our FNP program the opportunity to give back to the professions by becoming preceptors.  Learn more in a Q&A with Jane Dolan, MSN, RN, Graduate Placement Recruitment Coordinator.





Q: Can you tell me a little bit about what the role of a preceptor is?

A: Our preceptors work one-on-one with students.  The preceptor serves as a role model and a mentor to the student, providing constant feedback to the student regarding his or her progress in meeting course objectives.  The student observes the nurse practitioner in action and learns about his or her day-to-day work. The FNP student works alongside the preceptor, examining patients and conferring with the preceptor on diagnosis, treatment, medication regime, etc.  The preceptorship experience has the ultimate goal of guiding the student toward independent practice.

Q: What does the preceptor get out of the relationship?

A: I’ve heard from preceptors who have felt a deep sense of satisfaction from the experience, knowing they are giving back to the profession of nursing and helping to train the next generation of nurses. 

Pace University preceptors can apply to be Clinical Associate faculty.  Also, our preceptors are invited to participate in the Rudin Educators Institute, a series of free programs designed to bring timely and important educational topics to our colleagues; in addition, our preceptors can obtain AACN certification hours.  And, our preceptors can take advantage of various Pace University amenities, including our library and research resources, our theater and art gallery, fitness center (preceptors are eligible for membership at a reduced rate), computer resource centers, and more.  We have a brochure that lists Pace Perks for Preceptors that I share with all of our preceptors and potential preceptors. 

Q: How does a preceptor relationship benefit our students?

A: Preceptorships give nursing students a clear idea of what the nurse practitioner does.  Students see first-hand, live, and in-person what the role is and what the responsibilities are.  Preceptorships help students decide what area they want to specialize in as Nurse Practitioners.  It can open new doors for students; for example, someone who previously did not want to work in the emergency department might precept with an NP that works there and decide this is for me after all. 

The students also benefit because they learn from a variety of practitioners in different practice sites, which develops skills and professional qualities that are integral for independent practice.

When students have a good experience with a preceptor, it benefits the students, the school, and the clinical site - many times a good preceptorship results in employment, if a nursing student has proven him or herself to be invaluable.

Q: How much time does the preceptor commit to?

A: The preceptor decides how much time to commit - generally 8-16 hours per week over a 7 or 14 week semester.

Q: If I’m interested in becoming a preceptor or learning more about the experience, what should I do?

A: I am happy to answer any questions.  You can email me at or call me at 914-773-3326.