Increasingly, rural preceptorships are sought out for their rich learning opportunities and as an alternative to often over-subscribed urban placements. While rural preceptors view teaching students as a gratifying experience, student evaluation remains an ongoing challenge. Frequently, rural preceptors often lack access to preceptor preparation, faculty support, and other forms of professional development, particularly those learning experiences that are specific to the unique rural setting and nursing culture. In this article, the authors describe Phase Two of a four-phase study which sought to develop and validate, in collaboration with rural nurse preceptors, a framework for conducting student evaluations. Following a grounded theory phase of the study in which the experience of preceptors and students in rural placements were explored, the researchers, project staff, and three rural nurse preceptors met during two working sessions to collate the study results, the nursing education literature, and the preceptors' own experiences to develop a framework for the evaluation process during a rural preceptorship. This framework, using a Who, What, Where, When, Why, and How approach, supported a broader perspective of evaluation of student performance, and provided preceptors with useful strategies for making evaluation an effective component of student learning.
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