The Registered Psychiatric Nurses Association of Saskatchewan believes that registered psychiatric nurses have a professional responsibility for assuming the role of a preceptor for psychiatric nursing student(s) and/or other students in professional programs.

A preceptor is defined as, a practitioner whom a student accompanies, observes and assists, as one facet of their education adapted from Miller – Keane (1972) Encyclopedia and Dictionary of Medicine and Nursing.

Educators have a professional responsibility for the provision of safe client care and for the educational preparation of student(s) for the clinical area.
The preceptor and the educator are jointly responsible for the supervision of student(s). In the clinical area, the preceptor assumes the responsibility of clinical educator and role model, while continuing to provide safe client care to assigned clients.

Agencies that employ registered psychiatric nurses who act in a preceptor role are responsible for the provision of safe client care and to facilitate the education of student(s). The student is accountable to the preceptor and educator for the provision of safe client care, in relation to his/her knowledge and skill in the clinical area.

A registered psychiatric nurse who acts as preceptor:

  • is a psychiatric nurse who is an active practising member with their respective association;
  • has the ability to teach students in the clinical area and possesses the necessary experience and educational qualifications for the student’s clinical experience as determined by supervisory agency staff and educational program;
  • is chosen by the clinical agency for this voluntary service according to internal criteria established within the agency for selection of staff and utilizing
  • predetermined guidelines established with the educational program;
  • contributes to the evaluation of students and may be the sole clinical evaluator in post basic programs;
  • is provided with an orientation to the role of preceptor;
  • is afforded continuing education opportunities related to the role of preceptor;
  • is responsible for determining appropriate clinical experiences in consultation with the student(s) and educational program;
  • has input into the planning of future student experiences;
  • maintains responsibility for clients in the student’s care as well as for those in own caseload; (the student is responsible for own behaviour, but the preceptor has ultimate responsibility for the client’s care);
  • is given a manageable caseload by the agency supervisor while having student assignments;
  • has malpractice insurance coverage through the employing agency and through their professional association.

Approved by Council
January 1996