Finding your own clinical instructors? - page 2

by Pug RN 6,501 Views | 24 Comments

I am almost completed with my MSN in nursing education through Walden University. They are starting up an FNP (also adult/gerontology) program in the fall. I'm extremely interested, but not sure if it's the norm to have to... Read More


  1. 1
    I think the bigger issue is that people dont want to precept students. It is not easy to find ppl that are willing to do it for some reason. My school had a long list of preceptors and still would not have enough and made us find some of our own. I wish that NPs were more willing to take on students and be mentors.
    tadahh99 likes this.
  2. 2
    I wish it was that easy that students could stop attending the programs that don't provide preceptors. I really do, because I would be all over that.

    But when such a vast amount of the schools out there are going this route, and people like myself are wanting to have school wrapped up before their child goes off to school themself, this becomes quite the challenge.

    I attend a reputable school currently, as do friends of mine that are in different FNP programs, many at state non-profit universities, and they still need to get their own preceptors.

    So, I agree that it is difficult and not right to have to locate your own preceptors, but unfortunately, it may be the only choice for some men and women that could make excellent NP's and also figure out a way to work their programs into their work schedules.

    I have struggled the past year to attend school full time for my MSN in nursing education, work full time, and raise my just turned one child. I have a 3.95 overall GPA. However, I was dependent on a school that was super flexible and online to be able to accomplish this task. I have done well enough to be invited into Sigma Theta Tau. I am looking at needing to do the same kind of program, where at least the classroom portion is online, in order to accomplish this last step in my dream.
    tadahh99 and Tinabeanrn like this.
  3. 0
    Good points Pug RN. Go for it! All you can give is your best. Start finding preceptors now. Make sure they are well rounded and will be able to give you the experiences you need. Try family practice or internal medicine offices. You will do fine . I have faith
  4. 4
    This is more of a musing about the field in general and not really aimed at the OP. I wish you the best of luck, pug RN!

    I know that it can hard when one is a single parent, has other responsibilities, etc... but is that really an excuse for a shoddy education and training? I know a lot of single parents who put themselves through medical school, pharmacy school, got a PhD, etc. I mean, shouldn't the education require sacrifice? I just worry that when we make NP education very easy to obtain (which, let's admit, it often is), we cheapen the field. There are many rigorous, excellent NP programs out there, but with so many NPs graduating from for-profit degree mills, online universities with little-to-no quality control... it's just spooky. And it will hurt the field, result in lower salaries, etc.

    This is what is currently happening to clinical psychology. It used to be a very rigorous field and it was extremely competitive to get accepted to a funded PhD program (we're talking 5% acceptance rates!) However, the degree mills have taken hold of the field and now anyone with a pulse can get a PsyD (or even sometimes a PhD) at one of these institutions. This has caused huge, huge problems for the field, including a ridiculous influx of psychologists. Now their market is terrible, their wages have fallen, many can't even finish training due to lack of internship spots and too many applicants, etc.

    I just think that when you look at field that maintains high quality control and limits spots, the exclusivity works in its favor - higher wages, excellent job market, etc.. Opening the floodgates (well, I guess they're already open, tbh) and letting anyone who wants to be a NP become one, well, it strikes me as a recipe for disaster.

    I'm just glad I'm going into a less popular specialty. The market for FNPs in my area is horrendous, it's so saturated.
    CCRNDiva, coast2coast, mrmedical, and 1 other like this.
  5. 1
    Can I just say that just because a person has to find their own preceptor, that does not automatically make your education "shoddy." My preceptors, had to find their own preceptors when they went to school and I had some really good preceptors in my opinion. Very seasoned NPs with years and years of experience.
    tadahh99 likes this.
  6. 2
    I didn't mean to imply that all programs are automatically shoddy if a student must find their own preceptor - not at all! I just meant that the real possibility is there, and it just seems crazy to me. I just don't get why it's acceptable. I mean, if I were to see a surgeon and was told that he had to go find his own clinical experiences with no input from his medical school... well, yeah, I wouldn't want to be that surgeon's patient, kwim?
    CCRNDiva and elkpark like this.
  7. 0
    I wasn't trying to be mean or anything but it is what you said. And I if you wouldn't want to go see a surgeon that had to find their own clinicals I understand that. To each his own. But being an N P is different than medicine, obviously. And its a much smaller community of providers..at my school you couldn't just pick a random name out of a hat. You had to find decent sites. 9 times out of 10 they knew the N P. They evaluate the site and Preceptors experience before you can start clinical. Then they ask you to let them know if the experience is not going well, which you would have to do either way. It's not like your being thrown to the wolves. And yes it is unfortunate at times, but the majority of the time it works out just fine.
  8. 3
    Quote from Tinabeanrn
    ..at my school you couldn't just pick a random name out of a hat. You had to find decent sites. 9 times out of 10 they knew the N P. They evaluate the site and Preceptors experience before you can start clinical. Then they ask you to let them know if the experience is not going well, which you would have to do either way. It's not like your being thrown to the wolves. And yes it is unfortunate at times, but the majority of the time it works out just fine.
    That's YOUR school -- and it sounds as if your school works hard to monitor the quality of the education provided by the preceptor. But that's only one school. Many schools are not like that. In many cases, the students are just out there on their own, with virtually no follow-up or involvement from the school.

    For online programs where the students live all over the country, the school does NOT know the preceptors at all and many schools do very little to follow-up or verify the student's activities. These large online programs are growing, and those of us who see the deterioration in the quality of education provided by some of these schools are concerned about it for a good reason.

    I am happy to read that you go to a small, local program in which there is a small community of teachers and practitioners who know each other and who work together to maintain a quality program. I only wish everyone were going to such programs -- instead of being pushed through the system by programs who take their money and provide little in exchange for it.
    CCRNDiva, myelin, and elkpark like this.
  9. 3
    Quote from Tinabeanrn
    My preceptors, had to find their own preceptors when they went to school and I had some really good preceptors in my opinion. Very seasoned NPs with years and years of experience.
    But we all know nurses who are "seasoned" and have many years of experience who just aren't good nurses and whom we would not want teaching students ... Part of my concern is that NP students aren't necessarily in a good position, simply by virtue of being students, to determine whether or not someone is a good preceptor and whether they're getting a good clinical experience. We all complain here all the time about the patient satisfaction surveys, and how the problem with that system is that patients aren't typically in a good position to evaluate the quality of the nursing care they received and instead are concerned with things like how smiley and cheerful someone was -- to me, this situation isn't exactly the same, but it's in the same ballpark. Students, as the old saying goes, "don't know what they don't know." I'm certainly not talking about you, personally, and I'm glad your school has as much involvement in the process as you describe, but some of the people who post here about finding preceptors are clearly so desperate to find someone just to be able to finish their degrees (or so focused on simple convenience) that they will go with anyone who will agree to precept them, regardless. How is that promoting quality nursing education? And how much is it going to eventually damage the public perception of NPs?
    coast2coast, CCRNDiva, and myelin like this.
  10. 0
    Sounds like the issue is with the online programs more so than anything else, right? I can't speak to the quality of an online schools education. I was just stating my personal experience. It would be nice to talk to some of the online N P students and grads and see how they are doing And what their experience was like. I do agree that lots of schools are popping up and offering N P degrees online. Only time will tell what the outcome will be from this new way of education. It seems like the wave of the future though. It's 2012 and things are just different now..but your right there has to be standards and there has to be quality. I would hope that each school that has students find their own sites would have a vested interest in the students education and learning prior to setting up clinicals.


Top