School of Nursing - CSU, Chico

Preceptor Roles

Thank you for agreeing to work with students. We are pleased you have agreed to share your time and expertise with California State University, Chico nursing students. We would like to briefly review a few commonly asked questions.

  1. How often will students be at our agency and when do they start?

    During the semester, students should plan to spend about 80 hours at your agency. Many students participate eight hours a day for 12 weeks. Some agencies (like schools) can only accommodate students for 6 hours/day. These students will need to be at the agency for more weeks or if it can be arranged with the instructor students may want to be at the agency more than one day a week. The semester is 12 weeks long. View the important dates in the right-hand column to become familiar with student holidays and other dates that may be helpful to know.

  2. Can I require students to be here if there is an important event?

    Students work on an academic calendar. Many students are trying to fit in other classes to be able to graduate so we can't require students to be at the agency on days other than when their class is scheduled to meet. However, many students are able to work their schedules to include other days or times to be able to maximize their learning experience. Just be sure to let the instructor know any time or day changes. Once a student completes their 80 hours they are no longer required to be in class. However, students are expected to let preceptors know when they plan to complete their clinical hours.

  3. Am I the student's only public health nursing instructor?

    No, you are not expected to be the instructor. We are asking you to share your experience, expertise, and clients with students. Faculty will be on site with students intermittently during the time at your agency, and we will always be available by phone.

  4. Do the students have any orientation or information before starting the clinical course?

    Yes, Students will come to you having learned basic home visit techniques and the referral process. Each agency's recording formats vary, so we would appreciate if you would share recording expectations for students at your particular agency. We also try and familiarize students with basic community resources that are common to all counties, such as, WIC, CHDP, CCS, etc.

  5. What about confidentiality?

    All of the CSU, Chico nursing students are now oriented to HIPPA requirements. Students view a professionally prepared video, read a workbook, and take a test over the content. In addition we address unique aspects of client confidentiality that occur while working in the community. Students are expected to protect client confidentiality at all times.

  6. Do I give the student a grade?

    No, Faculty will be responsible for grades and evaluation of student skills. Faculty will be on site with students intermittently during the time at your agency, and we will always be available by phone. The time students spend with preceptors are only a part of their CHN course requirements. They also participate in a community assessment and seminar. The instructor will evaluate the student client and agency performance through interviews with the preceptor, student and where possible through observing a student-client interaction. Where this is not possible students may be asked to participate in a simulated client interaction.

    Please let the instructor know if you have any concerns about student performance early in the semester so we can work with students to have a positive learning experience. We do ask you to briefly evaluate the student at your agency on a scale of 1-5. You also have the opportunity to add comments about the student at your agency. Students will provide you with an evaluation form, or you can download the form and print it out.

  7. How do I plan for students?

    Most agencies have an orientation the first day. Orientation guidelines and other important information should be communicated to the instructor or student. As agency staff you will have a student follow you through the course of your day. During this time you will share information about families, resources you are using, why you are seeing this client, etc. This information sharing can happen before visits, after visits, in the car, and whenever seems appropriate.

    As students become familiar with the CHN role we would like for them to assume responsibility for families from your caseload or become appropriately involved with your programs. They will make the visits, come back, and discuss results with you, complete charting and formulate future plans for the nursing care of the family. Students placed in agencies that do not typically home visit can be expected to assume responsibility for clients in a way that would meet agency expectations and course objectives. The instructor will evaluate the students' client interactions and agency performance by a joint visit with the student to one of these families or by observing a student-client interaction.

    Students will also have a chance to problem solve with other students and faculty in various counties during the course seminar. This is an excellent opportunity for the student to share their learning experiences.

  8. Should students be limited in what they see or do?

    The greater variety of situations students see, the more they learn. So, if you could keep you eyes open for student experiences this would be helpful. Communicable disease, STDs, and multi-problem families are types of cases students would not always manage, but could learn from in an observation role. Sometimes the students will be involved with the programs that the community agency manages. Students should be busy! Students in this semester are in their final semester of the nursing program. They have completed rotations in maternal/child nursing, mental health nursing, leadership and management as well as hospital rotations through a number of different specialties. They are able to function at very high levels. However, students who have not passed their RN NCLEX Board exam should not be responsible for activities that require a nursing license. They cannot do invasive procedures.

Please visit the preceptor page for additional information about course materials including the course syllabi, preceptor manual, important dates, and faculty information..

If you have any questions or concerns about students, the instructor is always available by phone. You may call at any time to discuss your role or a students learning situation. It is our goal to make the student experience positive for everyone involved!

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