As I said before, it boils down to loose standards that nursing seems to think is good enough. CCNE accredits all baccaleaureate and graduate programs in nursing including master's and DNP with nurse practitioner foci. Per CCNE's accreditation standards, a short blurb that addresses preceptors states:
When used by the program, preceptors, as an extension of faculty, are academically and experientially qualified for their role in assisting in the achievement of the mission, goals, and expected student outcomes.
Elaboration: The roles of preceptors with respect to teaching, supervision, and student evaluation are clearly defined; congruent with the mission, goals, and expected student outcomes; and congruent with relevant professional nursing standards and guidelines. Preceptors have the expertise to support student achievement of expected learning outcomes. Preceptor performance expectations are clearly communicated to preceptors.
Who wrote these things? I mean, how general can that statement be? any school will easily pass accreditation with no resources whatsoever in finding preceptors for their students if all CCNE asks for is the above.
Now, contrast that with the accreditation standards set forth by the Liaison Committee on Medical Education (accredits all allopathic medical schools) which details the following:
C. Clinical Teaching Facilities
ER-6 The medical school must have, or be assured use of, appropriate resources for the clinical instruction of its medical students. Clinical resources should be sufficient to ensure breadth and quality of ambulatory and bedside teaching. They include adequate numbers and types of patients (acuity, case mix, age, gender, etc.) as well as physical resources.
ER-7 A hospital or other clinical facility that serves as a major site for medical student education must have appropriate instructional facilities and information resources. Appropriate instructional facilities include areas for individual student study, for conferences, and for large group presentations (lectures). Sufficient information resources, including library holdings and access to other library systems, must either be present in the facility or readily available in the immediate vicinity. A sufficient number of computers are needed that allow access to the Internet and to other educational software. Call rooms and lockers, or other secure space to store personal belongings, should be available for student use.
ER-8 Required clerkships should be conducted in health care settings where resident physicians in accredited programs of graduate medical education, under faculty guidance, participate in teaching the students. It is understood that there may not be resident physicians at some community hospitals, community clinics, and the offices of community-based physicians. In that case, medical students must be adequately supervised by attending physicians.
ER-9 There must be written and signed affiliation agreements between the medical school and its clinical affiliates that define, at a minimum, the responsibilities of each party related to the educational program for medical students. Written agreements are necessary with hospitals that are used regularly as inpatient sites for core clinical clerkships. Additionally, affiliation agreements may be warranted with other clinical sites that have a significant role in the clinical education program. Affiliation agreements should address, at a minimum, the following topics:
• The assurance of student and faculty access to appropriate resources for medical student education.
• The primacy of the medical school over academic affairs and the education/evaluation of students.
• The role of the medical school in appointment/assignment of faculty members with responsibility for medical student teaching.
• Specification of the responsibility for treatment and follow-up when students are exposed to infectious or environmental hazards or other occupational injuries.
If department heads of the school are not also the clinical service chiefs at affiliated institutions, the affiliation agreement must confirm the authority of the department head to assure faculty and student access to appropriate resources for medical student education. The LCME should be advised of anticipated changes in affiliation status of a program’s clinical facilities.
ER-10 In the relationship between the medical school and its clinical affiliates, the educational program for medical students must remain under the control of the school’s faculty. Regardless of the location where clinical instruction occurs, department heads and faculty must have authority consistent with their responsibility for the instruction and evaluation of medical students. The responsibility of the clinical facility for patient care should not diminish or preclude opportunities for medical students to undertake patient care duties under the appropriate supervision of medical school faculty and residents.
It's time for nurse practitioner programs to be accredited by a committee that knows the issues surrounding our clinical education and enforces strict requirements not only in terms of existing program accreditation but also the establishment of new nurse practitioner programs around the US. It's time to fire CCNE.