For those of you who had to find your own clinical preceptor, was it a difficult process? The program I'm looking into says that one of the hardest parts of the application process is finding a preceptor. Did you find this to be true? I'm getter concerned about my grades (1st semester of BSN) because of the annoying theory questions (ie. is the nursing shortage worse here than it is in other states? - with no lecture that ever addressed that) so I'm hoping that they look more at the big picture.
This may be a bit premature but I'm a planner! I'm also not very fond of my program so far. I think I'm going to want way more responsibility as soon as possible.
Nov 6, '07
Finding a preceptor can be difficult. That is where networking comes into place. But, don't worry about that right now. Focus on finishing your BSN and getting some work experience. Your work experience also helps you to network and meet someone who knows someone who can help.
Nov 12, '07
My school gave us a list of all preceptors who had participated in the past. Most all the students 80% had no problem getting someone off that list to say yes. For those left without a preceptor the school helped to find one.
The hardest part after finding one is getting them to fill out the paperwork required. Just show up at their office one day and ask to get it signed instead of calling 100 times, staff are clueless and could care less. Especially in large multi provider practices.
When you do find a preceptor, don't be so desperate as to get a bad one. In my case, I don't speak spanish but my provider's client base was 90% spanish speakers, another student had 90% hebrew speakers. This makes learning really hard! For me it was akin to learning how to be an NP in a foreign country (even the staff communicated in spanish). I was clueless to most things going on to start off with so this just added insult to injury, lol. Ask what the majority of the patient base language is, don't assume English.
Another student got a doctor who was hard up for free help. He had like 10 different students in office (spreads the mentoring pretty thin) and had them doing RN duties (BP's, shots). Needless to say the students did not have a good NP learning experience. Ask how many other students are on site when you will be. Visit the office to get the paperwork filled out and take notice of all the going's ons.
Another student decided to go out on a mobile bus that delivered health care. Cool idea and good experience until the bus kept breaking down and he missed so many hours of required clinical time that at the end of the semester he was scrambling to find a new site to make up for it.
My particular site had a "hands off" policy when it comes to students touching pts. Luckily my preceptor let me do whatever but this is something to be aware of as well. Large chain type offices usually have these policies in place due to insurance.
For reasons like these I really think it's disgraceful to our profession that schools are not required to assign qualified preceptors.