Becoming a Preceptor

Serving as a preceptor allows you to share expertise with the next generation of practitioners, contribute to shaping the future of advanced-practice nursing.

Preceptor Minimum Qualifications

Our preceptors must have at a Master of Science in Nursing and have practiced for at least one year. In addition, the college aligns with the NONPF recommended guidelines for preceptors.

Preceptor Application Packet

If you have agreed to serve as a preceptor for an upcoming semester, complete the Preceptor Application Packet packet and follow the instructions for submitting your completed paperwork.

State Authorization

The University of Cincinnati has been approved by the Ohio Department of Higher Education to participate in the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements (NC-SARA) initiative to offer online/distance learning programs to residents of most other SARA states.

Map of Authorized States

Authorized states are shown in gray, unauthorized states are shown in red and partially authorized states are shown in black.

The College of Nursing is authorized to have a clinical presence in all states, except Arizona, Louisiana, Massachusetts, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island and Tennessee.

In Washington, Master of Science in Nursing and Post-MSN Certificate programs are authorized; Doctor of Nursing Practice programs are not.

Added Requirements for California, North Dakota and Wyoming

In addition to the VCF/preceptor application, California, North Dakota and Wyoming state boards of nursing require specific documentation to be submitted separately by preceptors of students engaging in clinical (practicum/internship) experiences in these states.

All documentation for your state should be thoroughly completed and sent to at least 1 week prior to the start of the semester in which clinical activity is slated to occur. For assistance related to state regulations and state board of nursing authorization, email

Note: State authorization forms are a separate requirement from the VCF/preceptor application and must be submitted separate from the packet.

Request a Student

There is an immense need to precept our future advanced practice nurses.

If you're interested in becoming a preceptor, please provide your name, employer, employer location (city and state), certifications, personal email information and availability for serving as a preceptor (i.e., begin date). A member of our clinical site coordination team will reach out to you directly to gather additional information from you and begin the pairing process.

Thank you in advance for your willingness to serve as a preceptor for graduate students enrolled at the University of Cincinnati.

Request Form

Letter of Agreement

Agreements may be required with clinical sites and the University of Cincinnati. UC can offer a one (1) page Letter of Agreement or a six (6) page Educational Affiliation Agreement (contract), depending upon the agency requirement. Letters of Agreement will be sent electronically to the preceptor at the start of the clinical course. Educational Affiliation Agreements will be emailed to the site administrative contact. Educational Affiliation Agreements may take up to six months to process and finalize.

If the clinical site requires an Educational Affiliation Agreement first, please contact the Clinical Site Coordinator for the specified program via email to facilitate. Please include contact information (including email address) of the individual requesting the agreement at the clinical site.

If the student will be going to additional clinical sites during this experience, we will need to arrange a Letter of Agreement and or an Educational Affiliation Agreement with each additional site.

Most health care organizations such as hospitals will require an educational affiliation agreement. The graduate program has a standard educational affiliation agreement approved by the University of Cincinnati’s Office of General Council, but many sites prefer to use their own standard educational affiliation agreement.

Frequently Asked Questions

We request preceptors mentor students one to two days each week with some flexibility in scheduling. We also require you to complete an electronic evaluation of your student and verify their hours.

Complete the Volunteer Clinical Faculty packet.

Yes, if you prefer this arrangement. Prior to sharing preceptor responsibilities, contact the Clinical Coordinator office and your designated clinical faculty member, as we have the same requirements of all preceptors. For continuity purposes, we ask that students are with their primary preceptor for a minimum of 60 hours. If this is not possible, there are times where an exception can be made. In addition, students can be placed in more than one clinical setting. You can discuss the hours that you are available for precepting prior to agreeing to mentor a student.

We require all graduate nursing students to be involved with all aspects of patient care; while observation is important, we have found clinical skills and abilities are best learned in environments that allow students these opportunities. Level of involvement should occur with the preceptor’s input and guidance. By the time the student has completed all clinical hours for the clinical program, he or she should be able to conduct appropriate, clinically sound patient care consistent with a novice in practice.

Precepting a student is similar to training a new employee; however, because students are still learning, they will not have the competencies and self-assurance of a new provider. Students will need guidance, direction, mentorship and support. For more about what to expect when precepting a student, view the Getting Started as a Preceptor page.

While the college does not currently offer financial compensation, webinars for continuing education are offered throughout the academic year.

For information on the college's accreditations, view the Accreditation page in our general About Us section.

Students will be covered under the University of Cincinnati’s comprehensive program of self-insurance and commercially purchased insurance. This malpractice insurance is in effect during the enrollment of a clinical course. If needed, clinical site coordinators can provide a copy of this information, or you can request it through UC's Enterprise Risk Management Office.

During the clinical experience, the student will have a primary UC faculty member for the course in which he or she is enrolled. Faculty will be available as needed and will initiate communication with the student and preceptor. Preceptors and students also may initiate communication with the course faculty as necessary.  If the student is having an issue that is not moving toward resolution, all parties concerned should contact the course faculty. Course faculty will consult with the program director as needed.

Acceptable preceptors and clinical sites cannot be perceived to have a conflict of interest as it relates to evaluation of the student. For example, an acceptable preceptor cannot be related to the student or work in the same department as the student. (Some Pediatric Acute Care and Pediatric Primary Care students are permitted complete clinical hours in the same unit as they work). Program coordinators determine whether practicum sites and preceptors are appropriate for clinical courses.