Preceptors & Experiential Learning


Pharmacy Preceptors

The Office of Experiential Education is located in the Pharmacy Practice Department at Creighton University School of Pharmacy and Health Professions. The Office is responsible for managing Introductory and Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experiences (IPPEs and APPEs/rotations) for pharmacy students throughout the curriculum.

Experiential Education refers to pharmacy practice learning activities students complete within real-world pharmacy settings. Activities typically begin as an introduction to pharmacy practice during the first three years (IPPEs) and progress to higher levels of practice as students complete advanced experiences (APPEs) during the fourth year. 

Experiential Education comprises approximately 30 percent of the curriculum and includes both Introductory and Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experiences (IPPEs and APPEs).

The Office of Experiential Education for the Pharmacy Program supports students as they transition through IPPEs and onto APPEs while at Creighton. The experiences at pharmacy practice sites allow students to apply the knowledge, skills and attitudes they have been developing in the classroom and laboratory settings. Many Creighton graduates are offered employment or residency opportunities at sites where they completed experiential requirements during pharmacy school.

The Experiential Office database includes hundreds of pharmacy practice sites across the country. Office staff and faculty routinely work with approximately 500 sites each year for student placements.  Preceptors at these sites are highly trained pharmacists with expertise in their specialty area of pharmacy practice.  Students are encouraged to network in areas of interest to set up new experiential pharmacy practice opportunities.

SPAHP Preceptors

Interested in becoming a preceptor? Learn more in our brochure and in the Become a Preceptor tab below.

Become a Preceptor

Creighton is always looking for interesting, outstanding sites for our students. To meet our program’s requirements, we need high quality pharmacists to serve as preceptors in various pharmacy practice settings.

We welcome pharmacists to serve as teachers, mentors and role models for our students in various pharmacy practice environments. Creighton is always looking for interesting and outstanding sites in which our students can learn and grow professionally. Preceptors are needed for both Introductory and Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experiences.

Practicing pharmacists who serve as preceptors play a critical role in educating and training students in the real-world pharmacy practice environment. These experiences are essential to ensuring that students become competent and caring professionals.

The benefits of being an experiential preceptor are numerous, most notably the personal satisfaction of giving back to the profession. Preceptors also grow professionally by keeping abreast of current medications and treatment modalities and networking with potential future employees. As a preceptor, you will have the opportunity to demonstrate pharmacy skills and tasks in your area while supervising student activities, evaluating performance and providing meaningful feedback.


Serving as a Creighton preceptor is a rewarding experience:

  • Rewarding both personally and professionally.  Current preceptors enjoy giving back to the profession. We routinely hear comments like, “Pharmacists did it for me when I was in school so now it’s my turn.” Others have stated that having students “keeps me on my toes and helps me keep up with changes in medications and practice.”
  • Preceptors play a crucial role in the development of future pharmacy practitioners and the profession. High quality preceptors and educational experiences are vital in training students to provide excellent patient care, which will lead to highly skilled pharmacists continually improving practice.
  • Students can contribute ‘value-added’ benefits to the practice. Students not only contribute to the prescription/medication order processing and medication distribution, but also provide and assist with patient counseling and education, health screenings, medication therapy management, drug utilization review and new medication presentations.
  • Preceptors can also learn from pharmacy students by having students share information about current/new medications and novel approaches to treatment modalities and/or practice.
  • Preceptors can market their practice site as an appealing future place of employment for graduates. Many graduates select residencies and jobs in hospitals, pharmacies and clinics where they participated in an IPPE and/or APPE.
  • Free online access to Creighton University Health Sciences Library. A few of the resources offered include electronic full journal access (e.g., Pharmacotherapy, Am J Health Syst Pharm, JAMA, etc.), electronic drug information references (e.g., Clinical Pharmacology, Facts & Comparison, UpToDate), electronic textbooks (e.g., Pharmacotherapy: A Pathophysiologic Approach, Harrison’s Online, etc.), Medline and Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database. Preceptors who want access to Library Resources need to contact Kathy Widman at kathywidman [at] creighton [dot] edu
  • Opportunities for continuing professional development as a practitioner and educator. Preceptors have access to free CE programs (online and webinar) and various teaching resources (e.g., journal club, preceptor toolbox) through Pharmacist’s Letter Preceptor Training and Resource Network. Preceptors also have access to discounted CE from Creighton’s pharmacy program.
  • Access to Creighton’s Center for Drug Information.  Preceptors can submit questions to the DI Center either online or by calling the toll-free number.
  • Contributed-service faculty appointment (clinical instructor rank) in Creighton’s School of Pharmacy and Health Professions. Preceptors who routinely take Creighton students are eligible for this appointment.


If you’re interested in becoming a preceptor, please contact Maryann Skrabal (maryannskrabal [at] creighton [dot] edu),  Rhonda Jones (rjones [at] creighton [dot] edu),  or Kelli Coover (kellicoover [at] creighton [dot] edu).

Current Students and Preceptors

For current preceptors and students looking for more detailed information about program such as preceptor packet information, syllabi, and grading forms, the information  is now located on the E*Value home page.  

If you do not remember your login name or password, you can click on the FORGOT YOUR PASSWORD? link under the login box.  Please contact Pat Lyons (patlyons [at] creighton [dot] edu or 402.280.2590), Kathy Widman (kathywidman [at] creighton [dot] edu or 402.280.3664), or Kathy Stuhr (kathystuhr [at] creighton [dot] edu or 402.280.3539) for assistance.

Quotes from Students

Christina Koutsari, CU PharmD 2016 (Distance): 

“As a distance student, with guidance from the Experiential  Office and perseverance, I set up four new APPE rotations that gave me the opportunity to gain experience in clinical fields that I was particularly interested in.  Subsequently, I matched as a PGY1 resident in one of these sites. The distance pathway allowed  me to tailor both the type and the order of my APPEs in a way that I benefited the most from my P4 year.”

Christine Tafoya, CU PharmD 2016 (Distance): 

“After my hospital introductory pharmacy practice experience (IPPE),  I knew I wanted to be an inpatient clinical pharmacist. My advanced pharmacy practice experiences (APPEs) solidified my decision to pursue a residency.  The fourth year of pharmacy school was full of networking opportunities, and pharmacy is a very small world.  Making a positive impression with my preceptors was a very strong reason why I believe I matched to my residency program. Also, my experience during my critical care rotation was excellent; I had a very inspirational preceptor and really enjoyed the challenge.  I am now strongly considering pursuing a PGY-2 in critical care.”

Sarah Adie, CU PharmD 2016 (Campus):

The experiential office at Creighton was extremely accommodating when scheduling my APPEs. My schedule ensured that I had a strong clinical knowledge base to be successful throughout the residency application process. These positive experiences solidified my interest in pursuing a residency and gave me the tools to be prepared for my future career. The Creighton faculty I encountered as preceptors challenged and inspired me to become a better pharmacist. They provided me with valuable learning opportunities and positive mentorship that allowed me to obtain my desired residency program.

Megan Lightfoot, CU PharmD 2016 (Campus):

“The opportunities for IPPE and APPE experiences at Creighton are abundant and guidance from faculty and coordinators allowed me to experience different areas of pharmacy that led me to my calling. With rotations ranging from serving in the Dominican Republic to the Creighton University Medical Center, I worked alongside pharmacists who are truly passionate about providing excellent patient care. This inspired me to follow my true calling to provide compassionate patient care for the Greater Glory of God as a Marian Sister and a pharmacist.“

Tara Dammer, CU PharmD 2016 (Campus):

“Setting up out-of-state rotations and selecting elective rotations allowed me to expand my pharmacy background! I was able to compare the health care system in Nebraska to Washington and Wisconsin.  My elective management rotation was completed in a rural health care system, which gave me the opportunity to experience both community and hospital management in five action-packed weeks!”

Ryan McCoy, CU PharmD 2016 (Campus):

“As a pharmacy student at Creighton, I was given opportunities that I wouldn’t have been able to if I had gone to another pharmacy school. Faculty members were instrumental in helping me develop as a pharmacist and were a tremendous help in securing the residency that I wanted. I had APPEs that were in Omaha as well as in Minnesota, Arizona, and Oregon. The APPE that I was able to set up in the Emergency Department in Phoenix, Arizona had a profound effect on who I wanted to be as a practitioner, and I’m extremely grateful for that opportunity.”

Quotes from Preceptors and Alums

Wendy Weber, Preceptor at CHI Creighton:

“Precepting students is a great way for me to stay current in my practice.  They routinely challenge me with thought provoking questions and interesting observations.  I may be the one “teaching” the students, but they have definitely taught me a thing or two over the years.”

Christy Havens, Preceptor at CHI Bergan:

“I enjoy precepting students because they always have a fresh way of looking at things, and I feel like I learn from them almost as much as they learn from me.  I remember how important having real life experiences was when I went through school, and how much they supplemented what was taught in the classroom.  It is extremely important to be able to apply the things that you have learned, and also see how pharmacy is practiced in a real environment.”

Mark Harris, Preceptor at CHI Mercy, CU Pharmacy Alum 1997:

“I enjoy precepting students, whether they are IPPE3 or APPE students, because I get to see them actually apply to real patients the knowledge that has been imparted to them in the classroom.  Precepting students also requires me to ensure that I stay abreast of current treatment strategies.”

Erin Santiago, Preceptor at CHI Bergan, CU Pharmacy Alum 2012:

“As a preceptor, it is exciting to see a student’s education come full circle. I love to watch them connect something they learned in the classroom to a real life experience they have on rotation. In addition, they teach me so much through their fresh insights on the profession and it makes me proud as an alumnus to give back to the school that shaped my passion for pharmacy.”

Meredith Jolly, Preceptor at CHI Lakeside, CU Pharmacy Alum:

“I enjoy precepting students at CHI Health Lakeside inpatient pharmacy because we are proud of the quality care we provide at Lakeside.  It is an opportunity for students to experience a good example of a collaborative interprofessional environment in a community hospital setting.  Students gain experience working semi-independently providing clinical services to patients and are integral members of our team.  We value students’ time and efforts as they assist in accomplishing the goals of our department and ministry.”

Patty Lang, Preceptor at CHI Immanuel, CU Pharmacy Alum:

“Being a preceptor for the Creighton Pharmacy students is one of the most rewarding parts of my job.  It is exciting to see a new student experience another side of pharmacy that they may never have seen before. You get to see the student learn and grow to become an integral part of the health care team.  It is rewarding to get to know and teach new students every month and watch them develop their pharmacy and communication skills.”