Discouraged with NP programs - page 2

Hi All; I am new to this site and wanted to get your options about the current state of NP programs. I started a FNP program at a brick and mortar university and did well my first semester. The discouraging aspect is we need to... Read More

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    This is my perspective, and maybe it will help give you the courage to ask. There is a shortage of NPs, and while the schools try to graduate more students, there will be more students than preceptors. However, if the NPs who are working don't precept, then there will be no new NPs and they will be even more overworked. As nurses, we are all used to having to teach the next generation. It is just part of being a nurse. Precepting a student makes the preceptor stay up-to-date on information and keeps them in touch in what the current students are being taught by their schools. Plus as you get further along in your clinical semesters, you will be able to help with their work-load, by doing some of the work and they can just review and sign off on it. It is not like an RN program. You should start with a pretty good idea of what you need to be doing. It varies somewhat on settings, but for my primary care hours, I was going in and doing all of the initial questions and exam on my second day of clinical. Then I reported to my preceptor when I learned and found and she would go in and just confirm that I didn't miss anything and put a plan together. I have never felt like a burden to my preceptor. You don't need to compensate them for their time. Just make sure you're a good, prepared, interested student. There are very few nurses who don't like teaching (the profession is a bad fit if you hate teaching, lol), so just be the type of student that is fun to teach

    Good luck in your search. I had to find all of my preceptors for my program and this worked out great for me. The only time I had trouble was for primary care. But I loved the flexibility to work with the people that I thought could teach me the most. It isn't all bad finding your own preceptors.

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    Quote from Annaiya
    I have never felt like a burden to my preceptor.
    The perspective is a little different from the "other side." I'm a psych CNS who has precepted psych CNS and NP students. It's up to my boss to agree to accept a student or not, and then the individual gets assigned to me (although I have the option of refusing and other arrangements would be made). I am happy to do it, but I can tell you that, even though the students have been bright and making a good effort and "burden" is probably too strong a word, there was no point in the process at which they didn't require extra time and effort on my part. I'm sure that the students I've had don't "feel" like they've been a burden to me, either, but the reality is that they do make my job harder and take longer for the duration of their preceptorships (although, again, "burden" seems strong to me) and I get no compensation for the additional effort and time required of me. Not a criticism, just a different point of view.
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    It's a difficult situation. I arranged my own clinical sites because I wanted them local to my home. Others in my program were assigned to sites within a 2-hour driving distance from the location of the university. To each his/her own.

    I think my experience was typical in that out of three rotations, one was really awful. Some fellow students drove long distances to have awful experiences, so I count myself lucky that at least I didn't spend as much time in my car. By "awful" I mean working with docs/NPP who won't let you do anything but observe, complain about how much time you're wasting for them, witnessing some unethical billing practices, etc.

    So why does anyone precept students? Because THEY had to be precepted themselves. Because it can be a wonderful learning experience. Because it's our chance as practitioners to influence the practice of a whole new crop of graduates. Because we can learn from students who use new software to research EBP, or who are aware of recent changes in guidelines for practice, or whose enthusiasm just rubs off on us if we are jaded in our work.

    Most preceptors get no financial remuneration for their services. Smart potential preceptors will ask for some intangibles, though, from whatever university approaches them - access to the university online library, privileges to sit in on lectures of interest at no cost (and for no credit, obviously), listing as official nonpaid faculty (looks good on the resume), etc.

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