Frustrated...can't find a preceptor

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    I recently started an informatics position which I consider to be my dream job (the job is in another state). I could not refuse the offer...especially because the facility was willing to train me from an entry level position and it was a big salary increase (plus I was hired only having experience as a super user and I felt burnt out at my previous job which was bedside nursing). Accepting the job has led me to postpone my informatics MSN practicum. Instead of starting it this Spring, I will have to start it in the summer. The problem is that I am now having a hard time finding a preceptor. I thought it would be easy because there are many surrounding hospitals and clinics in and outside of my area but I keep running into problems, e.g. run arounds with clinical coordinators, no affiliation agreement, no informatics departments, potential preceptor does not have a MSN degree. I had my practicum set and ready to roll prior to accepting the job...but I know it is hard to land an informatics entry-level position and did not want to let this great opportunity pass. While I am happy and LOVVVVEEEE my job, I am miserable knowing that the time for my practicum application deadline is coming up soon. I can not imagine getting this far in my program with a chance that I may not graduate on time because I can't find a preceptor. I am so desperate that I am willing to use future vacation time and fly back to my home state to complete my practicum hours this summer. Has anyone ever had this or a similar situation happen?
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  3. 6 Comments so far...

  4. 0
    I got my MS from UC Denver and our program director had us start setting up our practicum 6 months ahead of time, since there can be so many issues in finalizing them (legal paperwork, slow communication, etc). I had a site that I know would take me, and it still took about 4 months to get it all done.
    Are there any nursing schools in your new location? If you haven't already, I'd try to meet with someone from those schools, and find out if they have any advice.
    I'd be happy to email or chat on the phone with you if you need any additional advice.
    Good Luck!
    PS I'd also be interested in hearing about your experience in getting a job with the VA (I read one of your other posts). I've always heard that it is really hard to get a job in the VA. What was the secret of your success?
  5. 0
    Quote from nicenurse46
    I recently started an informatics position which I consider to be my dream job (the job is in another state). I could not refuse the offer...especially because the facility was willing to train me from an entry level position and it was a big salary increase (plus I was hired only having experience as a super user and I felt burnt out at my previous job which was bedside nursing). Accepting the job has led me to postpone my informatics MSN practicum. Instead of starting it this Spring, I will have to start it in the summer. The problem is that I am now having a hard time finding a preceptor. I thought it would be easy because there are many surrounding hospitals and clinics in and outside of my area but I keep running into problems, e.g. run arounds with clinical coordinators, no affiliation agreement, no informatics departments, potential preceptor does not have a MSN degree. I had my practicum set and ready to roll prior to accepting the job...but I know it is hard to land an informatics entry-level position and did not want to let this great opportunity pass. While I am happy and LOVVVVEEEE my job, I am miserable knowing that the time for my practicum application deadline is coming up soon. I can not imagine getting this far in my program with a chance that I may not graduate on time because I can't find a preceptor. I am so desperate that I am willing to use future vacation time and fly back to my home state to complete my practicum hours this summer. Has anyone ever had this or a similar situation happen?
    It is great you have the job!! I think you will learn more on the job than in school. And you should get your masters since you have come this far. Could a non-nurse precept you in your current job. Ie do a project. The chance to go back to your original state and put in the hours may be your best option. It will be a short term hardship and then you will have your masters. Can the school help you? Or can your current worksite pay some of your expenses to go to the other state as if I is a conference. Or since it is informatics could your preceptor be an online faculty member from your school..
    Good luck. It is very good you have the job!!
  6. 0
    Agree with previous poster - if you have someone willing to train you that is great. I am in my first job and my training has been a bit spotty - I'm sort of being left to figure it out on my own:-)
    A few of the nurses (ones that were already working full-time in the field) in my MS program wrote papers for their practicum - the program director was their advisor and the goal was to try and get it published (eventually). Would your school let you do this if necessary?
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    Where are you located at? Maybe i can help.
  8. 0
    I am currently in Boston MA and is also looking for a preceptor for September 2013 in Nursing Informatics
  9. 0
    Update... I finally found someone who said they would precept me. It is 2 hours away from where I currently reside but I am willing to travel the distance! Lojae617, my advice to you is to call every healthcare facility in your area and ask to speak to the clinical education coordinators...they may be able to help. Also, check if there is a local VA hospital near you. It can be difficult to find someone but don't give up!


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