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NUR 1134/1233

Transition Into Professional Nursing Practice

This senior level course facilitates transition into professional practice through a preceptorship with registered nurses in a variety of settings. Students synthesize knowledge about professional nursing roles while increasing their responsibility and accountability for nursing practice.

The course provides a variety of options. Students select clinical sites based on personal interest. Students may also choose to move to a specialty area such as ICU or ED, at mid semester. Although the majority of students complete their preceptorships in southwestern Pennsylvania, several students work with preceptors in medical centers in Florida, Oregon, and eastern Pennsylvania. These students attend class via telecommunication technology.

General responsibilities of preceptors, faculty, and students

Responsibilities unique to the Transition into Professional Nursing Practice course are listed below.


  • The preceptor may assume that the student is capable of providing basic patient care independently, but may require direct preceptor supervision for more complex nursing actions.
  • Preceptors plan learning experiences based on the student’s personal goal attainment list.
  • NUR 1133 course objectives address the broad scope of professional nursing practice. Preceptors oversee student practice in such areas as delegation, interprofessional communication and patient education.
  • Preceptors should expose students to a variety of nursing roles. The student may spend time with a nurse practitioner, a nurse manager, or a nurse working in quality improvement.


  • Orient the preceptor to the course and faculty/student/preceptor responsibilities.
  • Review forms specific to NUR 1133, including the personal goal attainment list and summative evaluation forms.
  • Communicate frequently (at least five times per term) with students and preceptors to keep appraised of student progress.


  • Be on time and prepared for patient care
  • Dress according to Policy #91
  • Be self-directed in planning learning experiences

Student Limitations

  • Students are not permitted to administer any blood products. This action requires the signature of a licensed professional nurse. Students may monitor the patient’s vital signs during the administration. Students are still responsible for understanding the reason and any possible side effects assessed.
  • Students are not permitted to administer IV chemotherapy medications.
  • Students are not permitted to take a verbal order independently. Students are required to communicate patient care information to the appropriate health team member. Preceptors must be with the student and take the verbal order.