Nurse Practitioners Programs Clinical Handbook

General Information

Welcome Nurse Practitioner Preceptors! On behalf of the faculty and staff of the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP), Nurse Practitioner (NP) program at University of San Francisco (USF), School of Nursing and Health Professions (SONHP), we thank you for serving as a NP clinical preceptor. As a preceptor, you play a vital role in the education of USF NP students and the continued development of the NP profession. We recognize that it is a big commitment to take on a student when your clinical work is already so demanding and we appreciate all your efforts.

If you have any questions or concerns about precepting, please do not hesitate to contact:

Primary Contacts

Dr. Trinette Radasa, Director of NP Programs (FNP and PMHMP)
E –, T – (575) 639-0139

Graduate Nursing Programs Team
E – (email for telephone consult)

The NP Clinical Preceptor Handbook will familiarize you with the roles and responsibilities of the student, the clinical instructor, and the clinical preceptor. It includes course objectives, the curriculum patterns, evaluation criteria, required forms, and preceptor resources.

During your time as a preceptor, you will also be connected with a clinical instructor for your student. The clinical instructor will assist you with any other needs related to your student and will be available to answer any questions you may have about the precepting experience. 

Thank you again for your generous commitment. Without your expertise and knowledge, the advancement of these students would not be possible.

Overview of the USF NP Curriculum

Nurse Practitioner Role Preparation

The USF Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree program offers two (2) nurse practitioner (NP) role preparations, Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) and Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP). The NP program prepares graduates to function as Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRN) with a Family/Individual across the Lifespan focus or Psychiatric Mental Health focus as outlined by the Advanced Practice Registered Nurse Consensus Model (APRN Joint Dialogue Group Report, 2008). The USF NP program curriculum conforms to the National Organization of Nurse Practitioner NP core competencies and the population focus competencies (NONPF, 2017). NP students may complete both the FNP and PMHNP tracts sequentially but not concurrently.

With the completion of the DNP degree, the USF NP graduate is additionally prepared to assume an inter-professional leadership role to improve the delivery of evidence-based primary care services for diverse populations aligned with the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) The Essentials of Doctoral Education for Advanced Nursing Practice (“DNP Essentials”) (AACN, 2006).

USF NP Program Learning Outcomes

In addition to the DNP Program Learning Outcomes outlined in the Graduate Nursing Programs Student Handbook, upon completion of the NP program the graduate will be able to:

  • Demonstrate the specialized body of knowledge and clinical competencies required to assume an advanced practice nursing role, including theoretical foundation, evidence-based clinical practice, and inter and intra-professional collaboration.
  • Demonstrate the ability to provide quality health care services that reflect cultural competence, social justice, fiscal stewardship, and ethical responsibility, representing the Jesuit mission of a more humane and just world.
  • Create and implement holistic plans of care that competently assess, diagnose, treat, and evaluate patients with a focus on health promotion, disease prevention, and patient-centered care.
  • Demonstrate the ability to integrate doctoral scholarship and leadership skills in the delivery of care

Faculty, Preceptor, and Student Clinical Responsibilities

  • Must maintain a license and practice-specific certification.
  • Must have a minimum of one (1) year of clinical experience in the licensed specialty area and feel ready to serve as a preceptor. Washington state clinical preceptors must hold 2 years of clinical experience in their specialty prior to precepting.
  • Must provide the university with a CV or Preceptor Biosketch by Uploading to Canvas prior to the first day of clinical training.
  • Must be available to provide student instruction and supervision.
  • Must understand and support the role of the nurse practitioner.
  • Eligible preceptors hold the following unencumbered licenses:
    • Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP)- NP, MD/PA, DO, Midwife, Pediatrician, Gynecologist
    • Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner – (PMHNP) - Licensed Masters in Social work-LMSW, Licensed Professorial Clinical Counselor-LPCC, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist- LMFT, Psychologist, and Psychiatrist

Clinical preceptors may not be related to the student (family) or carry a professional or current employment relationship
with the student at the designated clinical site. 

  • Supply the University with appropriate onboarding paperwork (as listed in the appendix), including a copy of the Preceptor Biosketch or resume, and affiliate faculty application (if desired).
  • Orient the student to the agency’s mission and goals, personnel, policies and procedures, NP protocols, and standardized procedures.
  • Monitor student progress toward completion of the clinical learning objectives.
  • Maintain communication with the student’s clinical faculty as appropriate.
  • Assist the student in maximizing the learning experience by facilitating varied and appropriate patient contacts.
  • Provide supervision and direct observation of the NP student’s interaction with clients.
  • Guide student learning through discussion of clinical findings and patient management alternatives, providing an opportunity for students to present patient cases.
  • Review the student’s clinical documentation and provide feedback for improvement when needed. If the student is unable to document support, soap, or care notes in the patient’s chart, the preceptor should facilitate an assessment of the student’s skills in documentation using an alternative strategy.
  • Assist the student in identifying strengths and weaknesses by providing appropriate feedback in the clinical setting.
  • Empower the student to assume increasing clinical responsibility throughout the practicum (example below):
    1. Semester One- Patient-provider relationship, history taking, physical examination, differential building, and documentation with straightforward patients and wellness exams.
    2. Semester Two- Continue building the above skills and foster students’ development of the plan of care for most common and focused conditions, well exams, health screenings, and care coordination/referrals.
    3. Semester Three- Continue all of the above and include care of chronic patients, multiple conditions, cultivate independent decision making and confidence towards the plan of care.
    4. Semester Four- Continue all of the above and encourage students to prepare for transition into the NP role, activate independent visits with debriefing and support of the students' plan of care. Engage students in completing visits and managing time so as to support the students' transition into clinical practice.
  • Verify the student clinical hours on the evaluation forms and report any concerns regarding clinical hours to the supervising clinical faculty.
  • Provide the student with a written evaluation of the student's progress at midterm and the end of the semester (See Appendix).
  • Maintain state licensure and national certification.
  • Maintain an updated resume or vitae on file at USF every two (2) years or if any changes occur, annually.
  • Complete a clinical placement form each semester to request a clinical placement for the following semester.
  • Register and pay for the appropriate clinical course each semester. Any students who are not active in a clinical course at the time of clinical placement will forego their placement and be placed on a waitlist for clinical sites until they have completed their registration process.
  • Review course objectives with the clinical preceptor at the beginning of the clinical experience.
  • Complete and submit a Nurse Practitioner Programs Student Learning Contract or suggested material to the clinical course by Week 3 of the semester. Work with preceptor to identify personal learning goals for each semester and utilize the learning contract (appendix) to document these goals.
  • Complete the clinical agency orientation and all onboarding requirements for each individual agency.
  • Fulfill time requirements for clinical practice at a mutually agreed upon schedule; notify preceptor, agency, and faculty if unable to keep a scheduled commitment prior to the activity date. 
  • Be available for clinical hours and days that are consistent with the specifics of the practice setting and objectives for the course.
  • Wear a USF Student Badge and attire appropriate for the clinical setting.
  • Bring a stethoscope and appropriate resources and tools to the clinical experience.
  • Practice in compliance with the policies and procedures of the clinical agency.
  • Maintain confidentiality regarding patient data and sensitive agency data.
  • Maintain a Clinical Hours Log. Clinical hours are recorded in Typhon (Appendix for Typhon instructions). Falsifying clinical hours, patient data, preceptor notes, or signatures for evaluations or hour logs is grounds for dismissal from the program and the University.
  • Notify the clinical placement coordinator and clinical faculty immediately if there are problems with the clinical placement (issues with a preceptor, staff, patients, or other site concerns).
  • Upload a completed midterm and final student evaluation (done by the preceptor), into the canvas course.
  • Attend clinical conferences as scheduled.
  • Complete clinical course assignments.
  • Complete preceptor and site evaluations at the end of the clinical experience.
  • Complete an OSCE (objective structured clinical exam) or required final exam for the clinical course at the end of each semester
  • Complete the University of San Francisco Affiliate Agreement.
  • Provide a brief narrative description of the population served by the organization.
  • Verify the current licensure and national certification of precepting employees.
  • Support the preceptor in the precepting role.
  • Support the completion of the NP student learning objectives.
  • Ensure a safe and supportive learning environment for the students through the support staff and patients/clients.

1. Organize and maintain clinical assignments.

2. Contact assigned preceptors within the first few weeks of the student’s rotation.

3. Maintain frequent contact with the preceptors via email, phone, visit, or Zoom as appropriate to supervise the students’ performance and progress.

4. Participate in clinical conferences with each student bi-weekly. These conferences should serve to mentor the student, assess progression, teach and guide on strengths and weaknesses so as to help the student develop into the NP role and meet the desired competencies.

5. Complete a site visit as scheduled with the clinical agency and submit a report to the Canvas course.

6. Facilitate and support continuity between didactic and clinical learning experiences.

7. Provide remediation as necessary to support the student’s completion of the learning objectives.

8. Review the student evaluation documents provided by the preceptor and ensure they are submitted to the course and signed.

9. Assign a final grade to the student in Canvas, for the practicum course.

10. Review and approve students' clinical hours in Typhon on a regular basis. (add a link to Typhon and Appendix with one-page getting started)

11. Assist with the organization and participate in end-of-semester Objective Structured Clinical Examinations (OSCEs) each semester.

USF Requirements for NP Student Clinical Participation

Completed prior to the first clinical semester

All NP students are required to maintain current California Registered Nurse (RN) licensure and CPR Certification. Any students who will complete their clinical hours in a different authorized state will need to be licensed as an RN in that state to train as an NP.

All students in the School of Nursing and Health Professions must carry personal professional liability insurance in order to enter the clinical agencies with which the School has contractual arrangements. The fee for liability insurance is paid by the student at the time of registration, along with other student fees. Each student is covered by liability insurance for a limit of $1,000,000 for each claim up to a limit of $3,000,000 in any one (1) year.

All students admitted to the program must complete a background check, and drug test, and provide proof of acceptable status of immunizations/titers, seasonal flu shot, and CPR-BLS (Healthcare Provider course). Students must complete these requirements and be “cleared” by SONHP prior to entering the university. Deadlines related to these requirements will be provided by the Program Team.

These health and safety requirements must be valid throughout the entire semester in which the clinical/practicum experience is to be completed. Many health requirements submitted before the first clinical rotation/practicum course are only submitted one (1) time. Continuing students are required to submit proof of an annual TB test and CPR re-certification prior to the expiration. SONHP is partnered with CastleBranch (formerly Certified Background/Certified Profile) for all student health requirements, background check,s and drug screening.

Complete information may be found at:

EACH student is responsible for maintaining a current record containing the following:

  • Physical Exam: A note or exam from a health care provider, stating that you are healthy and can participate in the NP program
  • Tdap Booster: Proof of immunization or booster within the last ten years
  • Measles, Mumps, Rubella, Varicella, Hepatitis B: Proof of a positive titer
  • Tuberculosis Test: 2-step PPD or QuantiFERON blood test (some sites may still require a PPD if placement site is chosen)
  • Hepatitis B Vaccination: Proof of immunization or titer is required.
  • Seasonal Flu Influenza: Proof of vaccine
  • Health Insurance: Verification of company name
  • CPR Certification: Copy of CPR card issued for BLS for Healthcare Providers certification through American Heart Association. CPR certification may not expire during the semester
  • HIPAA eLearning Tracker:
  • Background Clearance in CastleBranch: This may include drug testing for some clinical sites.
  • Documentation of COVID Vaccination


Students in the NP practicum courses must have access to written protocols in accordance with CA Board of Registered Nursing requirements for NP practice. The student nurse practitioner is authorized to implement standardized procedures under appropriate supervision by a supervising clinical preceptor.

All injury, needle sticks and infectious disease exposure occurring in the clinical setting must be reported immediately to the University in accordance to the policy posted on the FNP portal.

The One Minute Preceptor is a clinical teaching guide developed by Kay Gordon MA, Barbara Meyer MD, MPH & David Irby Ph.D. at the University of Washington, Seattle. It has been used successfully to support clinical teaching in nursing and medicine.

The One Minute Preceptor outlines 5 Microskills for clinical teaching:

  1. Get a Commitment – What do you think is going on?
  2. Probe for supporting Evidence – What lead you to that conclusion
  3. Teach general rules – When this happens, do this…
  4. Reinforce what was right – Specifically, you did an excellent job of…
  5. Correct mistakes.

Additional precepting resources are available in the Preceptor Development Program developed by the University of Virginia Health System.

CME credit may be available for the completion of the UVA Preceptor Development Program

Neher, J. O., Gordon, K. C., Meyer, B., & Stevens, N. (1992). A five-step “microskills” model of clinical teaching. Journal of the American Board of Family Practice, 5, 419–424.

Neher, J. O., & Stevens, N. (2003). The One-Minute Preceptor: Shaping the teaching conversation. Family Medicine, 35, 391

Forms to be completed by Preceptor

Affiliate Faculty Overview

As a welcome to the USF community, we invite you to become affiliate faculty. The affiliate faculty application is optional and recommended for all preceptors who have interest in accessing the USF library and thousands of online journals, databases (including DynaMed), and online educational forums. As an affiliate faculty member, you are a prestigious part of our School of Nursing and Health Professions faculty team, and are welcome to present on your expertise and join educational activities for students of our interprofessional health disciplines. Please note that this is not a paid position.

Preceptor Biosketch Form

For accreditation purposes as an academic institute, we are required to maintain preceptor experience and license information on file. We request that you submit a resume, CV, OR Preceptor Biosketch form to the Graduate Nursing Programs team (E –, at the beginning of your preceptorship. We will request updated information upon license expiration or every one (1) years.

Student Learning Contract

Students may utilize the learning contract to reflect on their previous semester experience (if applicable), review current course objectives, and understand facility opportunities to create a learning contract that will best represent mutual goals for the student and preceptor each semester.

Student Clinical Evaluation

Student progression through the NP program is monitored in several ways. While students are supervised for clinical activities on campus, they are also required to demonstrate clinical progression while performing as NP students at their clinical sites. As the preceptor, you will use the Student Evaluation form twice each semester (12-16-week rotation). The form should be completed at mid-semester (6-8 weeks), and at the end of each semester. The evaluation of performance criteria is an opportunity for the clinical faculty to support the student with additional guidance, or recommend practice changes that will help the student develop. The clinical faculty and preceptor should work together to make sure that there is timely communication regarding any specific student needs or issues. Clinical faculty are responsible for administering the final grade to the student in the assigned Canvas course at USF.