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Preceptors & Experiential Learning

Giving Back to the Profession: Discover Experiential Learning.

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).

Introductory Pharmacy Practice Experiences by year

Introductory Pharmacy Practice Experiences (IPPEs)

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.

Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experiences (APPEs)

The Experiential Office database includes over 1,000 pharmacy practice sites across the country. Office staff and faculty routinely work with all 50 states 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.

Interested in becoming a preceptor? The Office of Experiential Education will follow-up with you about your submission. If you have questions or need assistance, please contact Kathy Widman.

Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experiences (APPEs)

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), 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
  • 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.

Interested in becoming a preceptor?

Please contact Kathy Widman at or fill out a request form.

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 Kathy Widman ( or 402.280.3664), or Kathy Stuhr ( or 402.280.3539) for assistance.

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 healthcare system in Nebraska to Washington and Wisconsin.  My elective management rotation was completed in a rural healthcare 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.”

Wendy Weber, PharmD,​ 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, PharmD,​ 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, PharmD,​ 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, PharmD,​ 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, PharmD,​ Preceptor at CHI Lakeside, CU Pharmacy Alum 2006:

“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, PharmD,​ Preceptor at CHI Immanuel, CU Pharmacy Alum 1989:

“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 healthcare team.  It is rewarding to get to know and teach new students every month and watch them develop their pharmacy and communication skills.”

Sean Berkey, PharmD,​ Preceptor at Alaska Native Medical Center in Anchorage, AK, CU Pharmacy Alum 2007:

“It’s not just that students are fun; they bring out the best in working pharmacists.  We remember those special moments when it hit us that we’d chosen the right career.  If we can structure a rotation to create those moments, over  and over, it honestly improves our practice.  Hopefully it also shines a light on this path of endlessly rewarding service.” 

Lisa Buss Preszler, PharmD,​ Preceptor at Mayo Clinic Pharmacy in Rochester, MN, CU Pharmacy Alum 1999:

“Pharmacy students bring enthusiasm and optimism about the profession to the clinical site that reinvigorates me and challenges me to do better for them.  As a preceptor, I enjoy watching the ‘aha moments’ unfold, whether it is a student  realizing they successfully applied their knowledge to provide patient care or seeing them decide the next steps in their career path.  By serving as a preceptor, I also hope to demonstrate the gratitude I have for the opportunities my Creighton education has provided.”

Landa Colvin-Marion, PharmD,​ Preceptor at Kansas State University Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital in Manhattan, KS, CU Pharmacy Alum 2011:

“I am indebted to Creighton School of Pharmacy for a fantastic education, so I enjoy precepting students as a way to give back to my alma mater and to build collaborative relationships with the new graduates! Working with Creighton students  gives me a feeling of ‘home’, and makes me proud to be an alumna seeing the quality of students that are still coming through the PharmD curriculum.”

Cindy Appleseth, RPh, Preceptor at Lakeview Hospital in Stillwater, MN, CU Pharmacy Alum 1979:

“As a Creighton graduate, I feel honored to give back to the University and serve as a preceptor and mentor for pharmacy students.  Creighton students are well prepared for our rotation and consistently demonstrate high ethical values. We always enjoy our Creighton student.”

Bruce Biundo, RPh, Preceptor at Professional Compounding Centers of America (PCCA):

“I enjoy meeting students, finding about their pharmacy interests, career possibilities, and then being able to give them more tools to help them be more successful.   One thing about this rotation is that the students are going to be exposed to a lot of clinical information, and will be given the opportunities to dig into subjects that they likely had little time to do in their didactic education.  As a pharmacist with a fair amount of scientific curiosity, I am a an example of a lifelong learner, and one of my joys as a preceptor is seeing that quality in them, the thought that what they have learned so far is just the beginning. And, that ongoing learning is fun, satisfying and very useful in a profession where there new information is constantly emerging.  I find it very satisfying to see students spend the time at PCCA with an expanded idea of who and what they can be as pharmacists, and am especially pleased when the students see how community pharmacy can be professionally and personally fulfilling.  My role here is teacher and mentor, and I really enjoy it.”

2021-2022 Pharmacy Program Preceptors of the Year


Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experience (APPE) Local:

Ashley Austin

Dr. Ashley Austin, PharmD, BCCCP precepts Creighton pharmacy students for an Elective Emergency Medicine Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experience at CHI Health Creighton University Medical Center – Bergan in Omaha, Nebraska. Dr. Austin graduated with her PharmD from the University of Nebraska Medical Center in 2015, completed a PGY1 Pharmacy Practice Residency, and PGY2 Critical Care Residency at the University of Kansas Hospital. She is currently a Clinical Pharmacist at CHI Health CUMC-Bergan. Several students nominated Dr. Austin for the award, and comments included ”Dr. Austin was an absolutely amazing preceptor. She set the expectations at a reasonable level from the beginning and provided feedback throughout the rotation.” She “allowed us to be as involved as we wanted to be which also allows the other healthcare team members to see that we are and can be involved, allowing them to see our worth to the ED a little bit more.” “I also enjoyed that she loved to teach and talk about things that came up in addition to her main topic discussions and in teaching or talking about things it never felt like she was lecturing which was nice to simply have a guided discussion.” “I absolutely loved that Dr. Austin was completely hands on all the time.” She “provided an experience unlike any other with immersive hands-on teaching in high stress situations. Seeing a variety of conditions in the trauma bay and in the ED, allowed for real world situations being solved working alongside the whole team quickly and effectively. The environment she has created allowed for a welcoming atmosphere from all team members which further facilitated learning. She went above and beyond to ensure the experience I was getting aligned with both of our expectations.”

Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experience (APPE) Distance:

Hiren Patel

Dr. Hiren Patel, PharmD, BCCCP, BCPS, precepts Creighton pharmacy students for a required Acute Care/Internal Medicine Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experience and IPPE shadow visits at St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center in Phoenix, Arizona. Dr. Patel graduated with his PharmD degree from the University of Iowa in 2008 and completed a PGY1 Pharmacy Practice Residency at William Beaumont Hospital in Troy, Michigan, in 2009-10. He is currently a Clinical Pharmacy Specialist in Internal Medicine and has precepted several Creighton IPPE P1 shadow and P4 APPE students in both the Omaha and Distance pathways over the past few years. Within his nomination, students described Dr. Patel as the “ideal pharmacist and what I strive to be in my professional career.” Other student comments included “He went above and beyond to continually help me become better. The primary thing that sets him apart from other preceptors, in my opinion, is how much he pushed me to be proactive in my role as a pharmacist student. I was hesitant to give input to physicians or ask questions, but he made it clear the best way to learn and to have an impact as a pharmacist it to involve myself whenever appropriate in a patient’s medication management. This was by far the best learning experience I have had, and it has significantly impacted how I will practice in the future.” Another student appreciated his patience and approachable personality commenting, “Dr. Patel was always approachable and flexible – if I was struggling understanding something, he was more than willing to sit down with me and talk through and explain things, correcting my thought processes, etc., which was very beneficial in my learning. Overall, I thought he was an excellent role model and encompassed what a pharmacist should be within the hospital setting.”


Community Introductory Pharmacy Practice Experience (IPPE 2) Local:

Dylan Sherrill

Dr. Dylan Sherrill, PharmD, precepts Creighton pharmacy students for Community Introductory and Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experiences at Bakers #300 in Omaha, Nebraska. Dr. Sherrill graduated with his PharmD from Creighton University in 2017 and currently serves as Pharmacy Manager at Bakers #300. Students commented that Dr. Sherrill “was a great preceptor and I felt very welcomed into the Pharmacy. He cares about students and teaching them along with caring about Creighton itself.” “Dylan is a fantastic example of a pharmacist and had such a positive attitude. He was able to get his work done, teach me, and have fun with it. He allowed me to ask any and all questions that came up and made me look up many of the answers on my own to ingrain them in my head. He challenged me every single day.”

Community Introductory Pharmacy Practice Experience (IPPE 2) Distance:

Rebecca Jones

Dr. Rebecca Jones, PharmD, precepts Creighton pharmacy students for Community Introductory and Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experiences at Stone’s Pharmacy in Lake Luzerne, New York. She received her PharmD from Creighton University in 2012. Dr. Jones has expressed an appreciation for the distance pathway, which is how she received her degree, and feels that there is a special connection with students that are currently in the pathway. Dr. Jones’ teaching style is described as “making sure that the student was prepared for the experience by taking time to review my learning objectives.” The student was able to see all aspects of the role of the pharmacist in an independent pharmacy and the importance of the business side of the pharmacy as well. Another quote, “Dr. Jones did a wonderful job of providing guidance during the experience.”


Hospital Introductory Pharmacy Practice Experience (IPPE 3) Local:

Patty Lang

Dr. Patricia Lang, PharmD, precepts Creighton pharmacy students for Hospital Introductory and Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experiences at CHI Health Immanuel Medical Center in Omaha, Nebraska. She earned her PharmD from Creighton University in 1989 and currently serves as Pharmacy Supervisor her site. Several students remarked about how Dr. Lang cares about “everyone’s needs, including her students” and “the ways she deals with patients is very nurturing and enlightening.” Dr. Lang “and the rest of the IMC Pharmacy created such a positive learning environment”, and students were “not afraid to ask questions and jump head- first into learning new things.” Overall students felt supported and enjoyed learning from Dr. Lang and the pharmacy staff, as they worked with pharmacists and technicians in the emergency department, IV room, surgery, and ICU at CHI Health Immanuel.

Hospital Introductory Pharmacy Practice Experience (IPPE 3) Distance:

Lauren Sakamoto

Dr. Lauren Sakamoto, PharmD, BCPS, precepts students for Hospital Introductory and Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experiences at Queen’s Medical Center in Honolulu, Hawaii. She earned her PharmD from Creighton University in 2010 and completed a Pharmacy Practice PGY1 Residency at Queen’s Medical Center. She currently serves as Pharmacy Operations Manager. Several students nominated Dr. Sakamoto and commented on how welcoming and supportive the pharmacy staff was. Some of the comments included Dr. Sakamoto “took us despite having local students who should have had priority being the main pharmacy school in the state. Since she was a Creighton Pharmacy alum, she was extremely knowledgeable in all aspects of operations and clinical practice. She provided us projects and perspectives that went beyond the scope of our hospital IPPE experience. I explained my interests and she connected me to the areas where I was able to shadow. We were often asked our opinion of the experience, checked on, and made sure that all our questions/interests were answered. Despite being packed with meetings and responsibilities as head of pharmacy operations and the residency program director, Lauren always made time for us. We were her students but also were treated as colleagues, being asked our opinions, and having our presence acknowledged. She made sure that everyone knew we were there to learn and made sure that we were taken care of by all the pharmacists and staff we met.” “We were given an exceptional judge-free learning environment where I was able to ask all my questions and fully learn from my educators. The pharmacists did not ignore us or push us away as if we were space takers. They explained what and why they took each action and quizzed us on knowledge we should know. As many were Creighton graduates they had high expectations but also compassion and patience. Sometimes students are treated as actual shadows but at Queens we were treated as learners and team members (though we lacked full knowledge to contribute).”

Office of Experiential Education

Pharmacy Practice Department

Interested in Accessing the Health Sciences Library?

Please contact Kathy Widman at for assistance.