I am considering obtaining an MSN focused in nursing education with the goal of teaching nursing courses. I would like to use an online method with flexible hours since my current schedule is very busy. The concern I have is that the online schools require you to find your own practicum site and mentor, and some do not allow you to use your current employer. Did anyone have a problem finding a good mentor and practicum site? What happens if I am not able to find a mentor or practicum site? Has anyone run into this problem? Do traditional schools set their students up with mentors and sites or it the process pretty much the same as using an online school? Thanks in advance.
Have you considered Western Governors University? I am finishing the MSN in Nursing Education currently. It's competency based and work at your own pace, so extremely flexible. They require you to be employed and you use your employer as the site for your Capstone project. For the education track, the requirement for the capstone is the creation and implementation of some sort of education. I wrote patient education material for my organization and used a Master's prepared nurse in the Patient Education department as my preceptor. I am very satisfied with the program.
You are asking a very good question. Some students go into these online programs blindly without planning ahead. They then "hit a wall" when it comes time to find a preceptor for their capstone. Schools vary in their expectations and in how much help they provide in finding preceptors for their students. Yes, some schools give a lot of help to their students who need preceptors. Others give no help -- and if the student doesn't find someone on their own, they simply don't graduate until they do.
So do your homework and investigate the situation thoroughly before you invest in a particular school/program. If you have to find your own preceptor, ask around to be sure you will be able to find someone locally before committing to the investment in classes.
Good luck to you.