As a student going into my third and final clinical rotation, I have had to deal with the horrors of trying to find a preceptor in the nick of time to start the rotation.
I tried calling clinics... that hardly EVER resulted in a return phone call. I tried to bum a few preceptors off of other students that I worked with. That gave me a few options, but they ended up not working out for various reasons. The way that I found every last one of my preceptors is using the internet. I logged onto the Texas Nurse Practitioner organization website and paid my dues. I searched my area and sent out a BUNCH of e-mails. I would say that at least 70 percent responded- whether it was yes, no, or maybe. Even if it was a "no," I at least HEARD from them! My first preceptor I found from www.enpnetwork.com
Great site, though options were limited in my area. I was very fortunate that my preceptor said "yes" the very same day I sent the e-mail. My three other preceptors came from e-mailing members off of the TNP website. It's 2013- email is a fast, efficient way to respond to someone. It works. Which brings me to my next point:
many of you have wondered whether paying $250+ to preceptorconnect.com is worth it. I had a moment of weakness (and terror!) that I was not going to find a preceptor in time. It's about time that I tell you about my experience. This company does NOT allow you to call them; there is no phone number even listed. You must e-mail them, and in a day or two you will receive a response. They are supposed to e-mail with updates, but they never do. When I ask for an update, it's "we are still working on your case, but haven't found a preceptor yet." They do not provide statistics on how many clinics they've contacted, if at all. If you ask a specific question, their responses are vague. I know that another student said that this company found them a few good preceptors. I will say that in 6 months of using this company, I have not had a single preceptor result from it. There is no money guarantee.
Hope this helps! In summary:
1) Try enpnetwork.com; They do have a nominal charge, but you can search the preceptor list to see if there are even options in your area first.
2) Try your state/local nursing organization
3) E-mail is your friend.