Preceptor selection

Professional roles develop through the blending of theoretical knowledge and diverse clinical placements. Following the guidelines of the IUSON, the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN), and the professional governing organization for each track, specific practicum experiences and sites are selected based on professional leadership and APRN experiences, client populations, available resources, and student academic needs for attainment of required competencies.

IUSON offers non-paid (volunteer) preceptor appointments to healthcare professionals practicing in advanced roles to provide practicum supervision to MSN students completing required practicum experiences. These appointments are school-endorsed positions for persons who have expertise that is useful for the accomplishment of the practicum education of graduate students in speciality tracks.  Preceptor appointments are not faculty appointments and do not carry a faculty title or rank, although preceptors may seek nomination as voluntary adjunct status.

Preceptor selection criteria


  1. Graduate student preceptors should hold an earned graduate degree in a specialty and role similar to the graduate student’s academic program/track.
  2. APRN preceptors (CNS and NP) must have a graduate degree (masters or doctorate) from a nursing program in a curriculum that prepared graduates for an APRN role and should be specific to the role and population of the student’s track.
  3. Nurses in other advanced roles (e.g. education, leadership) should be prepared and/or experienced in those roles.
  4. Non-nurse preceptors (e.g., physicians, psychologists, chief operating officers, chief executive officers) holding appropriate practice credentials may serve as preceptors once approved by track coordinators.

Licensure and certification

  1. Preceptors must meet all state regulations necessary to practice in the role and hold an unencumbered license to practice in the state of Indiana if they are nurses.
    • NP preceptors must be board-certified in their role and specialty population.
    • It is preferred that NP preceptors hold prescriptive authority and be eligible to prescribe medications and durable medical equipment.
    • It is preferred that CNS preceptors are board-certified in their role and specialty population. Where no advanced specialty certification is available for a CNS, certification at any level in the specialty is preferred.
  2. Nurses in other advanced roles must hold an unencumbered license to practice in the state of Indiana. It is preferred that nurses in other advanced roles hold certification in their specialty area of practice.
  3. Non-nurse professionals who are clinical care providers must meet state regulatory requirements to practice in their role. Where a license is required, the license must be unencumbered.


  1. Preceptors must be working currently in the clinical, content, or leadership area in which they are providing practicum supervision.
  2. Preceptor has employer’s support to have graduate students in the work environment.

Other requirements

  1. Preceptor must have at least one year of experience in the role and specialty area of practice.
  2. Preceptor must have the ability to communicate effectively.
  3. Preceptor must be willing to work with graduate students including completion of evaluations and providing feedback to students and faculty.
  4. Preceptor should be able to model contemporary, evidence-based practice in the practicum setting.
  5. Preceptor must be oriented to the competencies and learning goals of the practicum experience and the level of progression expected of the student.