Ideas for finding clinical sites. - page 2

In August I'm due to start my peds clinical. The catch is, at my school we can't do inpatient or perform the clinical at our place of employment. I am supposed to cold call offices and ask if I can... Read More

  1. by   bossbsn
    I am in the NP program in Southeast TN. We have to cold call offices/clinics as well. What we do is that one student will call and see if they are accepting NP students. If they are, I would state that there is another student wanting clinical time as well. I begin the conversation with my name and that I am an NP student at such and such university. I am interested in precepting at your facility. Are you accepting any students in August?
    So far I have had good luck. I have also lined up my peds rotation that is occurring in January! Call them at midterm to remind them by saying, "I am progressing well in the program and wanted to tell you that I will be able to precept in January."
    Hope this helps!
  2. by   juan de la cruz
    True, but these requirements just look good on paper. I don't exactly know if NLNAC accreditation involves actual scrutiny of NP-specific aspects of nursing programs around the country. Their website lists accredited nursing programs but in my specific state, those programs that are listed as NLNAC accredited are community college-based and do not include NP programs at all. I am familar with CCNE accreditation but even in their website, there is nothing that tells me specifically to indicate that they closely scrutinize NP programs as well - just the fact that I was a student at the time my school was being accredited. What I was actually saying was we probably need to have our NP programs accredited by a body who is more familiar with the NP role and knows what each individual program needs in order to ensure they meet standards. Maybe if that happens, we won't have issues with students having to find their own clinical placements, programs sprouting out from everywhere, and inconsistencies with NP training. Maybe with AACN proposing the DNP, CCNE accreditation will have a more focused evaluation of programs leading to an NP role.

    I'm off topic though, so sorry, I'll shut up.
    Last edit by juan de la cruz on May 24, '07
  3. by   Rhfish2
    My NP school gave us a list of possible clincal sites. Not all panned out for all students, many students called NP's and MD's of their family members. When I did my peds clinical I called my childrens pediatrician and he gladly made arrangements for me to do my peds rotation.
  4. by   VivaRN
    In my program our program director finds sites for us. Many of us are from out of state and arrived with no connections to speak of. Don't know what people would do otherwise... it is competitive, with other NP schools around.

    Peds is especially difficult to find and occasionally the preceptors are not the greatest. If you're finding your own sites... how do you know if the preceptor/site will be any good? Let you do anything? Friendly toward NP's? What oversight does your program have on the preceptor (say, if they won't let you be in the advanced practice role?). Seems like it might be pretty complicated, vs. a preceptor who knows your school, where you're at in the program and what you want out of the experience.
  5. by   Murse43
    Quote from core0
    My question would be why do you have to find your own clinical sites. I would expect the school that you are paying a fairly large amount of money to to have sites. If you find one on your own that you want to do fine, but the school should have adequate sites for all your rotations.

    David Carpenter, PA-C
    I have found that utilizing the internet to locate potential sites can be of benefit. I located an urgent care center in my area and was able to contact the medical director directly and he set me up with an NP.

    The cold calling is really hard work and initially scary, but don’t fret, just keep on calling places and eventially someone will take you. For my peds rotation I conducted a portion of it at a School Based Clinic. Many times the community hospitals have a lot of “clinics” and you can just go down the list. One other thing we learned was to ask for shorter clinical durations; for instance, if you have to do 100 hours, may be ask to do 50 at two different locations. I know this is not ideal, but it seemed that individuals got more bites with shorter durations.

    Hang in there and good luck.
    Last edit by sirI on May 25, '07 : Reason: TOS
  6. by   spaniel
    Frankly I liked David-PA's "touch" to this. The best way,in my opinion, to secure sites is to place pressure on our accrediting bodies. So my "idea" is to voice concern with our nursing associations. The fact that some schools do not explicitly tell the student of the need to do the search themselves is abyssmal.
    Another "idea" is to give more positive reinforcement to schools who do place students. SO- with this said, maybe we can do this!!
    In fact i may start another thread.
  7. by   Rhfish2
    I understand everyones concerns about their schools not getting them a clinical site. But come one, we are being master prepared individuals in a totaly autonomous position. If we can't take the leadership role to find a clinical site and cold call a few people, then how are we going to work independently in practice and make decisions. Its not like we are in nursing school anymore!!!!!
  8. by   core0
    Quote from Rhfish2
    I understand everyones concerns about their schools not getting them a clinical site. But come one, we are being master prepared individuals in a totaly autonomous position. If we can't take the leadership role to find a clinical site and cold call a few people, then how are we going to work independently in practice and make decisions. Its not like we are in nursing school anymore!!!!!
    I am not sure what being mastered prepared has to do with this. I am in a PhD program and the university provides the instructors. I don't have to go find someone. Instruction at any level is a contract between the student and the school. The student agrees to do the work and maintain class standing (and pay the tuition). The school agrees to provide appropriate resources.

    If you read the NONPF guidelines the NONPF believes that not only should the school provide the sites for learning, but also evaluate the site to make sure that it is appropriate and a good learning experience. While some students may be able to evaluate a given environment others may not. If a student must have the cilinicals to graduate they may take any site even if it does not provide the appropriate education and exposure. The rub is that there is apparently no real rules regarding resources for NP programs. I would regard the fact that the NONPF puts out the recommendations instead of the accrediting agencies as evidence that the accrediting agencies do not do their jobs.

    David Carpenter, PA-C
  9. by   beckinben
    My midwifery program located all preceptors and clinical sites for me, but when I was in the PA program (yes, I did both, long story), I had to find my own clinical sites. Guess which one I liked better?

    Honestly, I don't see why or how schools should be able to get away with not providing clinical sites. The ACNM has kicked around the idea of having a preceptor directory of willing preceptors for students in programs that do make them find their own clinical sites. I haven't actually seen it yet, but I am updating my information with them, and two of the questions on their information sheet for members were do I currently have a student, and am I willing to have a student. So maybe it is coming. Would be an idea for NP organizations as well - although I can see those people willing to be listed getting slammed with requests.

    I personally have a relationship with a school and if they have a student that can come to where I am, then they know I am willing to have a student. I would strongly prefer to go through the school, as a preceptor, than have a student contact me directly. Both for my sake and the student's sake.

    Becki
  10. by   spaniel
    Yes- Quality concerns are part of this issue. Medical students and clinical psychologists have a "match" program designed to try to get their grads into appropriate slots. With all its flaws, this "match" provides some oversight into quality. Social work programs also provide clerkship opportunites,not just "lists" handed out to students.
    I certainly don't see hunting for clinical sites as a "leadership" exercise.I think this simply detracts from time spent learning the clinical material.
    Obviously I have a bit of an ax to grind!! Though I had no difficulty getting into two decent NP programs neither would commit anything regarding assistance with getting clinicals. This was somewhat contrary to what was indeed written in their "prospective student" guideline, though there was a caveat that stated there was "no guarantee". It was this very caveat that led me to ask the question directly. In retrospect, I wish I could get my application money back. Not to mention the time I spent getting folks to write references.
    I blame our nursing leadership at the ANA level and also at the state level.They need to get their heads out of the umpteen hundred "research" articles on "nursing shortage" and start supporting their ranks.
  11. by   Rhfish2
    Quote from core0
    I am not sure what being mastered prepared has to do with this. I am in a PhD program and the university provides the instructors. I don't have to go find someone. Instruction at any level is a contract between the student and the school. The student agrees to do the work and maintain class standing (and pay the tuition). The school agrees to provide appropriate resources.

    If you read the NONPF guidelines the NONPF believes that not only should the school provide the sites for learning, but also evaluate the site to make sure that it is appropriate and a good learning experience. While some students may be able to evaluate a given environment others may not. If a student must have the cilinicals to graduate they may take any site even if it does not provide the appropriate education and exposure. The rub is that there is apparently no real rules regarding resources for NP programs. I would regard the fact that the NONPF puts out the recommendations instead of the accrediting agencies as evidence that the accrediting agencies do not do their jobs.

    David Carpenter, PA-C
    First of all, I myself am in a DNP program at this time. What I'm saying is that NP's are autonomous and we should act that way. Most programs "assist" the students in finding preceptors, but the RN should take the lead in looking on their own. Nursing is a different breed than many other medical disciplines, as NP's we can be totally autonomous, we may not always like it but its incumbent upon us to forge ahead as nurses and continue the autonomy that we have striven for.
    Randy MS,FNP,BC
  12. by   lannisz
    I picked my FNP program because they DID arrange our clinical placements. That was important to me. Unfortunately, our program director is resigning this term and if we wait until they hire someone new, we will miss half a term of clinicals! Now we are all scrambling to find placements for Fall. Bother!
  13. by   core0
    Quote from lannisz
    I picked my FNP program because they DID arrange our clinical placements. That was important to me. Unfortunately, our program director is resigning this term and if we wait until they hire someone new, we will miss half a term of clinicals! Now we are all scrambling to find placements for Fall. Bother!
    I guess I don't understand. Is the program director the only one that arranges clinicals? Part of having a program should be having sufficent faculty and resources to weather the loss of one or even two people. We just had this in one of our community colleges in the ADN program. The director quit and took the wait list with her. They don't have another copy and some people have been on the list for more than three years.

    David Carpenter, PA-C

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