NP Students: How Do You Find a Clinical Preceptor?

Oh, the dreaded nursing school clinical hours.  Former nurse practitioner students have warned you of the time commitment and frustration they may present.  What you may not know is that some nurse practitioner programs will not find physicians or other nurse practitioners to precept you in order to complete your clinical hours.  In many nurse practitioner programs, you will be required to secure your own clinical placement and preceptor to train you.

Finding your own clinical preceptor can be a daunting task, especially if you plan to attend school away from your home.  What are the best ways to locate a clinical preceptor willing to train you in your effort to become a nurse practitioner?

1. Work With Your University

Many nurse practitioner programs will assign you a clinical placement allowing you to complete your NP program with greater ease and less stress.  I highly recommend finding a program that will place you with a preceptor.  If this isn’t an option, don’t despair.  You will be able to secure a clinical placement it may just take a bit of work.  Your first step should be to contact your program director at the school you plan to or are attending.  They likely have a list of area medical providers willing and ready to host students.

2. Contact Friends and Family

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As the nurse practitioner profession becomes more prominent, it is likely your friends or family members know a few NP’s.  Physicians or physician assistants will do as well.  Contact medical providers with whom you have connections and ask them if they would be willing to precept you in your nurse practitioner program.  Make sure you have details from your professors regarding the number of hours and days each week you will need to be with them in their clinic.  Providers will be more willing to precept you if they have a clear picture of the commitment they are making.

3. Ask Current and Former Students

Your nurse practitioner program will likely require that you complete your clinical hours under the supervision of more than one preceptor.  This is good in that training with multiple providers exposes you to different styles and methods of medical practice.  It does create more work for you in that you need to find multiple preceptors.  Current and former nurse practitioner students will be happy to connect you with their favorite past preceptors.  Getting recommendations for preceptors from NP students will help insure you will have a pleasant clinical experience.

4. Ask Your Personal Medical Providers

No luck finding a preceptor yet?  Time to get more innovative.  If you have and like your own family physician or NP, consider stopping by his or her office to see if this individual would be willing to become your clinical preceptor.  Even if they are personally hesitant to make the commitment, they may have connections with other providers who enjoy hosting nurse practitioner students.  Visiting the clinics of prospective preceptors is better than calling.  If prospective preceptors see you are well put together and present yourself professionally it will lend you more credibility than a quick chat on the phone.  You will be less forgettable in person.

5. Search Preceptor Networking Websites

Although rare, online networks connecting nurse practitioner students with clinical preceptors do exist.  Most that I found had few or no postings but one website,, contains multiple postings from physicians and NPs looking to train nurse practitioner students.  You might just get lucky and find a posting in your area.

Nurse practitioners, how did you find your clinical preceptors in your nurse practitioner program?  Do you have any tips for current and prospective students?

121 thoughts on “NP Students: How Do You Find a Clinical Preceptor?”

  1. I would be glad to precept a student,,Rural location NP owned new start up.
    Bowdon Family Medicine,LLC
    307 West College Street
    Bowdon Ga 30108

    Contact Chris Salter 7703282006

  2. Also, make sure any preceptor is board certified and eligible to be a preceptor. There should be paperwork and background checks through the university to see. If you do clinical training with someone who is not eligible or Falsify hours, you have committed fraud and will never be a NP

  3. I am an FNP student at Ball State University. I am seeking an NP in a Family Practice office for Spring 2015. This rotation will require 81.5 hours of clinical time. I am also in desperate need of a Pediatric NP for Summer 2015. This will require 120 hours of clinical time. I am more than willing to travel within the state of Indiana.

  4. Deosha Williams I am currently in a FNP program and I need a Family Nurse practitioners for my last clinical rotation starting 3/01/15 needing the complete 144 hours and application deadline is December 1, 2014. I am in the Grand Blanc, MI area but I will commute. Help please!!

  5. I am a AG Primary Care np student looking for a preceptor in the Indianapolis area but willing to travel throughout Indiana. I will be starting clinicals Fall 2015 and will need a total of 504 clinical hours (252 required in primary care, remaining can be in a specialty). Thanks in advance!

  6. Crescent Medical Center

    We recognize preceptorship problems faced by the NP students. Therefore, at our facility, we have developed a program for preceptorship for Medical, NP and PA students. There are terms and conditions. We are an academic clinic. Looking for preceptorship? Try your luck calling Crescent Medical Center at 408=356-1111, located in San Jose California.

  7. I am currently enrolled in the NP program at Kaplan University (Online) and looking for a preceptor in Broward County but I am willing to travel to Miami Dade and Palm Beach County. I will be starting clinicals early next year with a required 120 hours in internal medicine and later in a speciality care. Thank you for any help that you can provide.

  8. I am currently enrolled in the FNP program at Kaplan University (online) and I am desperately in need of a preceptor in the Broward county area in Florida. I am willing to travel to Palm Beach and Miami Dade County. I will be starting clinicals early in 2015 and require a total of 120 hours in internal medicine or family practice settings. Any help you can offer to me at this time will be very appreciated. Thanks in advance. Carol

  9. I am currently enrolled in the FNP program and I am desperately in need of a preceptor in the Metro Detroit area in Michigan. Will need it for clinicals scheduled for end Apr’15 for 150 hours in Advanced Health Assessment. Please help. Any help that you can provide at this crucial time will be appreciated. Thanks in advance. My email address is

  10. I am currently enrolled in the FNP program and I am desperately in need of a preceptor in the Sacramento area in California. I am willing to travel 100-150 miles in order to fulfill my clinical hours. I have just two weeks to provide the information of my preceptor to my school Any help that you can give is crucial at this time. I thank you I advance. my e-mail is

  11. I need a preceptor for my fall semester 2015. I need 14-16 hours a week from late August to early December. I live in Union Grove ,WI. Please contact me if you would be willing to help me.

  12. I am an FNP student seeking a Women’s Health Preceptor for mid April 2015. I am located in the Charlotte, NC area but am willing to travel. Please contact me at: if you are willing or know of someone who would be willing to serve as my preceptor. Thanks.

  13. I am in a FNP program and desperately need a clinical preceptor for fall 2015. I need 180 hours. I live in Atlanta, GA. The deadline for me to secure a preceptor is March 15, 2015. Any help would greatly be appreciated. Thank you. E-mail:

  14. I am 6 weeks away from starting clinicals with Chamberlain College of Nursing in Illinois and I am in desperate need of a preceptor. I have found no one to date, please help!