Date of Award



© 2018 Pamela Smith

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)



First Advisor

Carey S. Clark

Second Advisor

Peter Y. Fifield

Third Advisor

Andrea Disque


Recruitment and retention of clinical preceptors for Nurse Practitioner (NP) students is a challenge for coordinators of NP academic programs. The purpose of this mixed-methods study was to explore what incentives and benefits are offered to clinical preceptors of NP students in accredited NP academic programs across the United States. An online questionnaire was emailed one time to a convenience sample of program coordinators of 333 universities and colleges in the U.S. that offer NP programs. Fifty-four individuals responded (16% response rate) to the survey, and the data were reported quantitatively. Text from additional comments was analyzed and interpreted using a quasi-qualitative method. This study on incentives was framed in the context of theories and literature about motivation. Analysis and interpretation reveal that the many challenges identified included compensation, relationships, and intrinsic factors such as the joy of teaching, and /or the desire and obligation to give back to the profession. Implications for educators include establishing positive relationships with preceptors and leaders in health care organizations, structuring preceptor site visits that support quality teaching/learning environments, and selecting preceptors and students who are a good match. Transformational leaders must meet challenges with innovative actions such as advocating for preceptors’ requests for Continuing Education Units (CEUs) and in some cases, legislative support for tax credits. Individuals and organizations who are impacted by the struggle that coordinators of NP programs face in securing and maintaining qualified preceptors and placements should be made aware of these challenges. The findings from this study contribute to the understanding of what creates incentives for preceptors in NP education and have significance for NP academic programs, and ultimately, for preparing future primary care providers in the U.S.


Ed.D. Dissertation