Note: I posted this as a bump to an older thread, and it got no responses. Figured I'd try it as a new thread to see if it fared any better. Really curious to get some views of current/former NP students.
I attended an orientation today for the NP program I am going to attend, and I was dismayed to learn that students in this program are required to find their own preceptors. The program is essentially entirely on-line, although it is a brick-and-mortar state university (same school I got my bsn from).
Along with the concerns raised in this thread regarding scrambling to get a preceptor/site, I have another worry related to this. I am concerned about the preceptor not being having been "vetted" in any way regarding educating an NP student. I would imagine that the situation would be better if the preceptors had an existing relationship with the school, felt they had a "stake" in the students and the program, etc.
I'm sure the overwhelming majority of those who agree to precept are skilled and educated professionals. However, does an agreement to precept a student maximise the clinical educational opportunity of the student? It was stated in the orientation that those professionals who agree to precept will be contacted by the school, a precepting handbook provided, a site visit done (though at what point the visit would occur was unclear). But how much time and effort into these matters can an otherwise undoubtably busy MD/NP put into designing a productive experience for the student?
I appreciate how much individual initiative and responsibility are needed from the student in this situation, i.e. the experience will not be "handed" to the student, and the student will need to aggressively seek out opportunities for learning, clearly state an interest in maximizing the clinical experience, study on one's own to be prepared for those opportunities, etc. It just seems so...disorganised and capricious. I guess I would prefer a bit more rigidity, both in experiences offered and student expectations.
Am I right to be concerned? Obviously this system is not uncommon in msn/np education especially with the large number of on-line programs in existence. Is it more successful than not?
Greatly appreciate the opinions and experiences of others on this board, especially those that have been in this situation.
I've also been closely researching the PA educational model. Seems to me that this situation (students required to find their own clinical sites/preceptors) is much more the exception than the rule in PA programs, which seem to (universally) emphasize standardized clinical experiences. Am I off-base here? Core0, your input would be greatly appreciated.