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Advance Practice Preceptorships - Should students find their own preceptors?

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by husky171 husky171 (New Member) New Member

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Excerpt from letter written to nursing administrators... You are reading page 5 of Advance Practice Preceptorships - Should students find their own preceptors?. If you want to start from the beginning Go to First Page.

casias12 has 30 years experience and specializes in Cardiology nurse practitioner.

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I know this is a really old thread brought to the surface by a recent comment, but I think anyone looking to do any type of advanced nursing degree should read this thread, and read it again.

Most online programs, and many brick-and-mortar colleges are giving little, if any, assistance to students who need clinical hours for their certification. And placing students is becoming more challenging, as potential preceptors and facilities are shying away from students based on a bad experience.

Unfortunately, many students who are in online programs are getting a really low quality education, and lack the experience or contacts to make their own way. And these students are showing up to clinical hours and demonstrating a complete lack of drive. Ask me how I know this.

Physicians have no empathy. No one helped them get into a residency training program or fellowship. They had to apply, compete, and usually relocate to get lucrative training.

Facilities are wary as well. Most of them have contracts with colleges, and additional students who are unknown to them are very distracting.

The only advice I can offer: Make sure you have solid contacts in the medical profession. If you don't have at least 5 or 6 promises (knowing a couple will back out on you), you will find yourself cold-calling and getting rejected. This is just reality. But, if you can't pony up that many solid leads for training, it is unlikely you will do well moving up to nurse practitioner as a profession. This is a high-stakes profession, and the ability to network and build a reputation is very important.

Just my thoughts.

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955 Visitors; 71 Posts

I always thought it seemed odd that many NP programs had you find your own preceptor. I remember how frustrating it was to find a preceptor as any of the larger organizations had agreements with certain schools and some of the hospitals refused to allow NP students at all. It was very tough. I think I hit up around 75 NPs via email the first semester and had two accept. It was far more stressful to find a preceptor than any of the clinicals or tests.

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Aromatic has 3 years experience.

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basically without a safety net of preceptors for students to use students are paying for a service they are not receiving. student X pays XYZ amount in tuition in order to receive a degree but the school does not offer all required aspects for them to get the degree.

I mean hell I could sell FNP degrees for 20k out of my garage and give students paperwork to fill out after they get enough hours with preceptors. Sadly the nursing boards would probably approve me to do so since they get to collect licensing fees afterward.

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Palliative Care, DNP specializes in Family Nurse Practitioner.

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I like psychguy's

It has been one of the worst experiences ever to try to find preceptors. It added so much stress. I have a preceptor who is good and she allows me see most of your patients. I have two other preceptors who will only allow me to observe and they make it clear they are too busy to answer many questions. But I took what preceptors I could find, because 'beggars can't be choosers', which is a terrible sentiment when you are talking about an advanced education for an advanced career.

And my school does not do site visits. How can they? My clinical instructor oversees students in 3 states.

.

No site visits because they oversee too many states is BS. Loyola University New Orleans sends faculty to every site every semester. We even had students in Hawaii & Canada. Your program doesn't want to make the effort. Big difference.

Hindsight being 20/20, had I known what I know now I never would have completed a NP program. It is unprofessional for students to literally beg for preceptors. Often, the student accepts the first person that says yes. It doesn't mean it is a good fit nor learning environment. Shadowing is merely meeting hour quotas not learning anything. If faculty actually visited you that would have been assessed. So we are churning out NPs that are really not learning anything except how to "network" aka beg and accept scraps of an education. Perhaps that is why several states do not agree with independent practice.

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947 Visitors; 64 Posts

The problem with finding your own preceptor is that the student does not care if the preceptor is good, knowledgeable or knows what the hell they are doing. The only important issue to the student is that they are available and with that these schools do a disservice to the student. Does this mean that schools whom place students are finding the cream of the crop - NO, but at least is there is a dud in the mix the student can provide feedback and this can be addressed.

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casias12 has 30 years experience and specializes in Cardiology nurse practitioner.

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So we are churning out NPs that are really not learning anything except how to "network" aka beg and accept scraps of an education. Perhaps that is why several states do not agree with independent practice.

Reading this parting statement in your post leads me to believe you didn't learn a thing about your new profession. Physicians and other clinicians have always had to "network", in order to be successful. If you are a specialist, where do you think referrals come from? Dr. John, PCP in your area, will send referrals to you if he/she likes and trusts your work, and you treat his/her patients with respect. This is not "begging".

Same goes for students looking for preceptors. If you have a natural ability to network, and have plenty of clinician friends, you should have no trouble getting quality clinical hours from people you know. And, if you work it right and provide a great service as a student, those connections will land you a job when you are done.

The pattern of online school/lame preceptorship/monster or indeed to find a job is not a secure path for RN's wanting to become NP's.

As for the second part of your statement, I think you haven't spent any time study the politics in these states. It's a little more complicated than that.

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10,211 Visitors; 469 Posts

I am in a online distance AGNP program at a private school on the other side of the country and I am having to find my own preceptors, despite the list my school provided me of previous local preceptors. As much as a pain in the A it is, I networked like mad and I also joined the local NP association just so I could get a hold of their membership directory. Not all the NPs out there "can't be bothered" by students. Personally, I think the problem is that sometimes people forget that they too were once new at something and needed empathy and good guidance. I am a preceptor for new grad BSNs and as much as it can be a real pain sometimes and it holds me back, I know that it is essential that someone show patience and provide guidance for these new nurses. I was once a new nurse too!

I talked to an NP at my work who went to a local, public B&M school who told me he too had to find his own preceptors when he was in school. That made me feel a lot better, knowing that!

I totally understand everyone's gripes on this thread and yes, it's true that APRN programs need to step it up in general. But that is not going to stop me from doing what I want to do, which is to be an APRN.

Regarding "quality" of preceptors, I can't help but think of how I didn't have much choice for clinical instructors during my baccalaureate program. I had some amazing instructors and I had some really bad ones. I am not going to fool myself and think that my BSN program knew who would be amazing and who wouldn't be.

I know a main gripe is having to shell out a lot of money in tuition, so why isn't the AGNP program providing my own preceptors? I really don't know. It sounds like there are a lot of programs that are doing this and maybe we just really need to argue against it? Creating change can be very difficult but it isn't impossible (for the most part).

I am already intending to precept NP students when I am an NP myself. We as nurses need to hold each other up.

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2 Followers; 103,132 Visitors; 14,620 Posts

Regarding "quality" of preceptors, I can't help but think of how I didn't have much choice for clinical instructors during my baccalaureate program. I had some amazing instructors and I had some really bad ones. I am not going to fool myself and think that my BSN program knew who would be amazing and who wouldn't be.

I know a main gripe is having to shell out a lot of money in tuition, so why isn't the AGNP program providing my own preceptors? I really don't know. It sounds like there are a lot of programs that are doing this and maybe we just really need to argue against it? Creating change can be very difficult but it isn't impossible (for the most part).

I'm sorry to hear you had "really bad" clinical instructors in your basic nursing program. I know that they are out there, although I have been fortunate in my selection of schools to not have encountered any. However, even if an instructor in a B&M program seems "bad," at least that person is a known quantity to the school, is supervised by the school on an ongoing basis, and has met the school's established criteria and requirements for faculty.

People in nursing have been "argu(ing) against" the practice of schools leaving students to find their own clinical experiences, and that means nothing. The only things that will change this practice are for either a) the accrediting bodies to stop allowing it, or b) students to "vote with their feet" and stop enrolling in these programs (which isn't likely, since so many people want to be able to get a graduate degree from the privacy and comfort of their own homes, and seem more concerned with the convenience than the quality of the program ...)

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BostonFNP specializes in Adult Internal Medicine, Hospitalist.

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The only things that will change this practice are for either a) the accrediting bodies to stop allowing it, or b) students to "vote with their feet" and stop enrolling in these programs (which isn't likely, since so many people want to be able to get a graduate degree from the privacy and comfort of their own homes, and seem more concerned with the convenience than the quality of the program ...)

or c) preceptors refusing to take students without a relationship with the academic program.

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2 Followers; 103,132 Visitors; 14,620 Posts

or c) preceptors refusing to take students without a relationship with the academic program.

Actually, I doubt that the schools would care about that ...

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casias12 has 30 years experience and specializes in Cardiology nurse practitioner.

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Actually, I doubt that the schools would care about that ...

You missed the point. The school doesn't care. They could care less about how you get your hours, and from whom. NP's, on the other hand, like myself, won't consider being a preceptor anymore because of this lack of give-a-S#it by the schools.

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2 Followers; 103,132 Visitors; 14,620 Posts

You missed the point. The school doesn't care. They could care less about how you get your hours, and from whom. NP's, on the other hand, like myself, won't consider being a preceptor anymore because of this lack of give-a-S#it by the schools.

Did you mean to respond to me, or to BostonFNP? The schools don't care was my point, in response to Boston commenting that NPs refusing to precept students from those schools (that leave students to find their own preceptors) might push them to change their ways.

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