I think that all of your "non-traditional" ideas are good ones. Anything that you can do to provide the facility with some reason for donating their resources toward your personal education is worth mentioning.
What you want to do is to find the person within the facility (within nursing if possible) who is in the best position to help you arrange something ... and then set up a meeting with that person. Demonstrate your willingness to do the types of things you mentioned in your post and see if there is anything he/she can do to help. If someone approached me that way, it would give a favorable impression and I would be thinking, "Gee, this person seems very reasonable and is doesn't want to take advantage of us. Is there any way I can help her?" ... rather than thinking ..."Oh, here is another one who didn't plan ahead for her educational needs and now she wants us to bail her out by giving her a free education that she will use to get a job somewhere else."
Finding that key person is the first step. Nursing Recruitment is not a bad place to start, particularly if you are really interested in working there long term. You should lead the conversation with "I want to work for your facility in the long run and was hoping to be able to arrange some of my clinical expereiences for school here as well. I'd be interested in learning about any job opportunities for me while I am still in school as well as for after graduation. I'd also really appreciate it if you could help me connect with whomever I should speak to about arranging student clinical experiences."
Depending on the particular facility, some of your ideas might work ... and some probably won't. For example, "working as an RN for free" is difficult because of federal laws and legal/liability issues that regulate employer/employee relations and insurance coverage. However, signing contracts promising employement is certainly not unheard of. If they only provide such experiences for employees, you may need to delay your academic progress until after you have worked a certain length of time, etc. You won't know until you have that meeting with the right person.
A few final tips: If going through the Nursing Recruitment door doesn't work, you might want to try an upper-level nursing administrator or staff development educator. They often know how to negotiate the system. Also, I wouldn't try to accomplish it all on the phone or through e-mails. You want to give yourself a chance to impress them (like a job interview
) so that they want to make a little extra effort to help you. An voice over the phone from a stranger or a faceless e-mail doesn't give you much chance to do that.
Another idea just hit me ... I once precepted a grad student who had no possibility of working here (She was a midwifery student and I work in a pediatric hospital.) because she was willing to help with my "scut work." She needed to work on a research project and I had a project that I involved data collection that I didn't want to do. So she did my data collection for me and we both got our needs met. You might be able to hook up with someone who needs help with a project -- if you can be flexible enough about the specific activities that you do for your clinicals.
llg (I live in Virginia, by the way.)