The role of the clinical preceptor: an integrative literature review

J Nurs Educ. 2013 Jun;52(6):335-41. doi: 10.3928/01484834-20130430-02. Epub 2013 Apr 30.


The clinical learning environment has been identified as being central to nursing education. The clinical learning environment provides undergraduate nursing students with the opportunity to combine cognitive knowledge with the development of psychomotor and affective nursing skills. The preceptor role in undergraduate nursing education is complex and multifaceted. Undergraduate nursing students identify preceptors as key to their learning in the clinical setting; however, staff nurse preceptors often feel unprepared to serve in this role. This integrative literature review explores the role of the staff nurse preceptor through the perspective of undergraduate nursing students, nursing faculty, and staff nurses who are assigned to precept students as a function of their nursing role. Recommendations are made to facilitate the preparation of clinical preceptors to fulfill this essential role in preparing nursing students for clinical practice.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Attitude
  • Education, Nursing*
  • Faculty, Nursing
  • Humans
  • Mentors*
  • Preceptorship*
  • Professional Role
  • Students, Nursing