Why are preceptors not provided in MSN programs?

  1. I don't mean to come off complaining. I'm genuinely prepared to search for my own clinical sites as I have already applied to three schools. But I just wondered, in my RN program, I never had to worry about it. Why is it the norm for RN education to have clinical sites provided, but not MSN?
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    About 4lotus8, NP

    Joined: Apr '08; Posts: 297; Likes: 84


  3. by   elkpark
    Because schools can get away with it, because so many people want to go to school in their current locations. AFAIK, this only started with the rise of the distance ed programs. When I went to graduate school years ago, all the clinicals in all the tracks were taught by individuals who were full- or part-time faculty of the school, same as in undergraduate nursing programs. I would never pay tuition to a program that is charging me full-time tuition but only providing half of the education (requiring me to make my own arrangements for clinicals), and that cares so little about what quality of clinical education I may be getting. But, then, I was willing to relocate to attend the graduate program I wanted to attend.

    There are still some schools that don't do this.
  4. by   cayenne06
    Yeah, I chose my school specifically because they provided preceptors. I find it totally perplexing that APN programs don't universally provide this.
  5. by   BostonFNP
    Because NP programs are growing exponentially and most of hem care more about the money than producing quality NPs.

    The good schools still control preceptorships, they do this because they appreciate that the clinical experience is critical to the preparation of NP. The other schools don't want to curtail admissions to available preceptors; student sin these programs can have wonderful experiences or awful ones.

    This will continue until NP programs either start limiting admission or paying preceptors.
  6. by   mzaur
    I just applied to 5 NP programs and they all guarantee preceptors. They are all great programs from traditional schools. Not online programs.

    NP programs really need to be better regulated by nursing organizations like how medical schools are, with standardized curriculums and some sort of guaranteed quality control
    Last edit by mzaur on Feb 3, '14
  7. by   Soon2bAGNP
    This policy makes no sense to me. One of the reasons I chose my school was because it arranged preceptors (the other being its great local reputation). It is one of only two schools near me that does this -- unbelievable. It is absolutely ridiculous that these schools are allowed to charge tens of thousands of dollars and not provide you with quality preceptors. Do they refund a portion of your tuition if you are not able to locate a preceptor? Of course not, that would be too much like right.
  8. by   futureeastcoastNP
    Better schools do provide preceptors. As others have said, it all comes down to money. Distance based programs are a cash cow for schools because they get to collect full tuition without offering any of the amenities of an on campus program. Schools saw huge money in NP programs (lots of eager students, the ability to charge insanely high tuition, etc) but having to provide a clinical preceptor ate into the profit of the programs and very few schools did it. Suddenly, someone realized the NP accreditation boards didn't CARE if you provided preceptors - apparently they were more concerned with NP quantity over quality. What was originally meant to ensure rural areas had providers was being abused to provided low cost, high return graduate studies to students all over the country. Every for-profit (and the vast majority of not for profits) in existence has jumped into the "game" because the largest barrier to a quality healthcare program, the clinical component, has been completely removed and dumped onto the students.

    Any program that requires students to find their own preceptors without any vetting process at all clearly cares more about collecting tuition money than about education high quality NP students. It's sad, and I wish current NPs and NP students would begin writing letters to the accreditation boards to halt this practice. This is NOT helping the profession: it is creating a GLUT of NPs because more can be educated at once, while also lowering the skill of newly graduated NPs. If this continues to grow like this, within 10 years the NP market will be worse than the current RN market and those lucky enough to get jobs will be working for $25/hour.
  9. by   llg
    Agree with the previous posters. The schools like to make the money on the online courses ... while the preceptors provide a lot of the education for free (but you pay the school for the academic credit for the preceptorship). The preceptors get totally ripped off.

    I think nursing schools who do this should be ashamed of themselves. Can you imagine a medical school doing that?
  10. by   4lotus8
    Wow! This is truly awful and I cannot believe that this is happening to our profession! We need to take action to write to the accreditation boards immediately! I'm now second guessing my applications altogether. I would rather go to school that cares about their students and the future of nursing. Thank you all for the insight.
  11. by   apocatastasis
    It is truly bizarre and inappropriate for schools to expect students to find their own preceptors, especially when the search degrades into trying to find a warm body with an MD or NP after their name who will take you on.

    That said, I'm an NP and maintain close contacts with my school's faculty. I understand that it can actually be very difficult for schools to find appropriate preceptors- I imagine the attitude is, why not just dish the leg work out out to the student? It's not right, but until students vote with their feet and attend only legit programs, this trend will continue.

    I, for one, would never even consider getting a DNP or post-Master's certificate at a school that didn't help me with preceptors.
  12. by   lmccrn62
    I had to find my own preceptors for my BSN, MSN and APN. It wasn't that difficult and I was able to secure preceptors that gave me a great learning experience.
  13. by   NP_MSN
    My distance learning program provided preceptors only in a 100 mile radius of the school. While none of my classmates had to drop for lackof preceptors, many had to relocate or stay closer to the school in order to complete clinical hours (which defeats the purpose). Not one person who was required to relocate/travel expected to have to do this. I felt this was wrong, and as Soon2bAGNPstated, schools should have to give you your money back for being unable t ocomplete due to lack of preceptor availability. Schools should not admit students when they do not have/enough preceptors in the student’s geographical area. Period.

    Many people constantly bash online learning, but I graduated from a state school, fully prepared and ready to do my job. State schools are the traditional schools. My class had 100% pass rate on the ANCC exam. The curriculum has to be regulated or you cannot sit for the ANCC exam. Many very prestigious schools, Vanderbilt for instance, have gone to completely online with some specialtiesand follow the same format as my school. Welcome to technology.

    I did not have problems completing clinical hours, mainlybecause I worked with my preceptors. Ido know several of my classmates struggled with the lack of preceptor availability,as stated above. I did not lose one classmate over the preceptor shortage, as the school arranged preceptors if the student was willing to travel. We did lose classmates over failing the course and whining that it was the preceptor shortage (when these students had preceptors and could not handle the content). My school gets a bad rap at times because many students cannot handle the content and fail.

    What floors me is the number of people who attend on campus programs and the programs mandate that students find their own preceptors. A school obviously loses academic/alumni connections many miles away, but an oncampus program should not have this excuse. Also, when choosing a school, you need to know the school’s pass rate on the ANCC exam. If you cannot pass the ANCC or whatever exam your BON requires, you cannot practice as a NP (in most states) no matter the school you attend. Some people never pass the ANCC exam.
    Last edit by NP_MSN on Feb 3, '14
  14. by   llg
    Quote from lmccrn62
    I had to find my own preceptors for my BSN, MSN and APN. It wasn't that difficult and I was able to secure preceptors that gave me a great learning experience.

    Yes ... But were those preceptors ever compensated for the teaching they teaching they did ... the education you paid the school for?

    I am happy that it worked out for you. Really I am. But "the system" is ripping off the preceptors.