Entry-Level Student Preceptors

At a Glance:

  • Length: 7 weeks
  • Effort: 1-2 hours per week
  • Price: Intro and first module is free; add a verified certificate for $199

Essential Competencies of Preceptors: A Focus on Working with Nursing Students

A learning program that focuses primarily on the preceptor-preceptee relationship within an academic, clinical learning experience, and can be applied at many levels in the nursing education sequence.

offered online by edX

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More Information

About This Course

Nursing programs partner with a variety of clinical practice settings to provide student nurses expert clinical training. This essential partnership assures students are prepared to provide quality patient care. Within these practice sites, staff registered nurses (RNs) provide nursing students rich clinical learning experiences within a safe yet challenging learning environment. These RNs are identified as Nurse Preceptors. While many clinical practice sites have programs that prepare staff nurses to precept new employees, most programs do not include specific preparation for working with nursing students.

This Preceptor Development Program is designed to prepare registered nurses to construct high quality, rich, and effective learning experiences. Staff RNs who participate in preceptor development programs report more confidence and satisfaction in the preceptor role. This effect translates to the student’s learning as well. Students who have well prepared clinical preceptors describe effective and valued learning experiences.

Topic areas covered in these modules include:

1. Preceptor roles and responsibilities
2. Assessing learner needs and learning styles
3. Clinical teaching
4. Critical thinking and clinical decision making
5. Legal issues in preceptorships
6. Communication and conflict resolution
7. Managing learning experiences of culturally and generationally diverse students

Verified learners may receive 8 continuing education units (CEs) from the University of Maryland School of Nursing.

The University of Maryland School of Nursing is an accredited provider of continuing nursing education by the American Nurses Credentialing Center's Commission on Accreditation.

What You'll Learn

At the completion of this learning activity the learner will be able to:

  1. Discuss preceptor roles and responsibilities.
  2. Identify methods to assess learner needs and styles
  3. Design effective clinical teaching and clinical learning experiences.
  4. Facilitate students' critical thinking and clinical decision making
  5. Discuss legal issues applicable to precepting student nurses
  6. Apply principles of effective communication and conflict resolution to the clinical learning experience.
  7. Apply principles of diversity and inclusivity in the role of clinical preceptor

Certificate of Completion and Continuing Education (CE) Requirements

Certificate of Completion

Learners who successfully complete all seven modules with a 70% passing rate, or higher, on each module assessment, will receive an edX Certificate of Completion.  Nurses may submit this Certificate of Completion to the University of Maryland School of Nursing Office of Professional Education to receive continuing education credit (CE).  See below for instructions.

Continuing Education (CE) Requirements

Nurses may receive a certificate awarding 8 CEs after successfully completing all seven modules and receiving an edX Certificate of Completion.  Partial CE is not provided.  Request for CE, and a copy of the Certificate of Completion must be submitted to the University of Maryland School of Nursing’s Office of Professional Education within 30 days of completing the evaluation.  The nurse will receive an electronic certificate within two weeks of submitting their request.  To contact UMSON for CE please email pe.nursing@umaryland.edu

In accordance with the American Nurses Credentialing Center and the Commission on Accreditation standards for commercial support and sponsorship, The University of Maryland School of Nursing requires that all individuals in a position to control the content of an educational activity disclose all relevant financial relationships with any commercial interest. 

No individual involved in the design or delivery of this learning activity disclosed a relevant financial relationship with any commercial interest.

The University of Maryland School of Nursing is accredited as a provider of continuing nursing education by the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Commission on Accreditation. 


An online, multi item evaluation is provided at the completion of all seven modules.  Learners must receive a 70% pass rate on each module to receive a Certificate of Completion.  Nurses applying for CE must also receive the Certificate of Completion.