There are different roles in the evaluation process:

  • Role of Preceptor/Mentor
  • Role of faculty
  • Role of students

Role of Preceptor/Mentor

The preceptor/mentor provides the student with two important types of evaluation: formative and summative. Formative evaluation is the ongoing evaluation provided over the course of the semester. Formative evaluation is valuable to the student because feedback can build confidence, as well as identify areas needing improvement. Summative evaluation is the final or summary evaluation of the student’s performance at the end of term/clinical practicum. The preceptor/mentor will document the summative evaluation on the relevant form provided by the M.S.N. program faculty. Faculty will provide preceptor/mentors with a copy of this evaluation form at the beginning of the semester along with the syllabus containing clinical objectives for the student. The preceptor/mentor may seek needed clarification about the evaluation process with the faculty member. Additionally, the preceptor/mentor may request national standards and guidelines pertaining to the evaluation of M.S.N. students. Course and individual student learning objectives should also be reviewed at this time with the student, providing the student and preceptor/mentor an opportunity to discuss expectations and responsibilities of each. Ongoing evaluation and feedback should occur during each day of the clinical experience.

The preceptor/mentor should write anecdotal notes that can be used to develop the mid-semester and/or end of semester evaluation. Student strengths, as well as areas in need of improvement, should be documented. In the event that a student's behavior is unprofessional, or the student places the patient or others at risk (e.g. medical errors), an anecdotal note should be written to document the event. In such circumstances, the course faculty must be contacted. The course faculty should then meet with the clinical preceptor/mentor and student and take further action, as appropriate. Final course grades remain the responsibility of the course director.

Role of faculty

An evaluation tool is provided to preceptor/mentor and student at the beginning of the clinical practicum. Each practicum has an evaluation tool that represents the progression of the student’s competency. The faculty member will use this same tool when completing the site visit. This helps to provide inter-rater reliability of student performance and adds to the student’s portfolio. Faculty remain responsible for the student’s final grade in all clinical/practicum courses. Grading rubrics will be found on course syllabi which also provide value allocated to student logs and other clinical requirements. At the completion of the clinical, faculty will provide students with Evaluation of Preceptor and Evaluation of Clinical Site forms. Faculty will use these forms in evaluating and planning future clinical selections.

Role of students

At the beginning of the semester students should review the clinical course objectives as well as the evaluation form that preceptors/mentors will be using. Students should review with preceptors any additional individual learning objectives they may have, providing an opportunity to discuss expectations and responsibilities of each. At the end of the semester students are expected to complete Evaluation of Preceptor and Evaluation of Clinical Site forms. These tools provide important feedback on the effectiveness of the preceptor/mentor and clinical site’s ability to assist the student in meeting course objectives.