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Another "Find Your Own Preceptor" Thread

NP Students   (17,648 Views | 58 Replies)

Angeljho is a MSN, NP and specializes in Mental Health Nursing.

8,535 Profile Views; 387 Posts

Has there been any changes lately when it comes to finding your own preceptors for NP school? Is it easier now? More difficult? No change?

I was accepted into a distance ed PMHNP program (with campus visits) and will start the summer semester in a couple of weeks. However, they do NOT arrange preceptors and I have only encountered resistance thus far, even with placement sites that have contracts with my school. I don't want to be bothered with this once school starts and I get into the bulk of my studies. I should have done my research, so it's my fault.

I also applied to a traditional school which does work with their students to arrange preceptors. I haven't received notification of acceptance or rejection yet. If I'm accepted, I might withdraw from the distance ed program to save me some headache. This is why I want to know if there are any changes when it comes to finding preceptors.

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BostonFNP has 9 years experience as a APRN and specializes in Adult Internal Medicine.

1 Follower; 3 Articles; 5,271 Posts; 1,475 Profile Views

Has there been any changes lately when it comes to finding your own preceptors for NP school? Is it easier now? More difficult? No change?

I was accepted into a distance ed PMHNP program (with campus visits) and will start the summer semester in a couple of weeks. However, they do NOT arrange preceptors and I have only encountered resistance thus far, even with placement sites that have contracts with my school. I don't want to be bothered with this once school starts and I get into the bulk of my studies. I should have done my research, so it's my fault.

I also applied to a traditional school which does work with their students to arrange preceptors. I haven't received notification of acceptance or rejection yet. If I'm accepted, I might withdraw from the distance ed program to save me some headache. This is why I want to know if there are any changes when it comes to finding preceptors.

It is, in most areas, becoming much more difficult to find your own (quality) preceptor.

You can/should start trying to tie down potential preceptors. If you are experiencing heavy resistance and have not secured any of the 4+ preceptors you will need, you should seriously consider waiting for the established local program to respond prior to investing in the distance program.

Just my two cents, I also don't work in psych.

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Jules A is a MSN and specializes in Family Nurse Practitioner.

3 Followers; 8,863 Posts; 47,842 Profile Views

It is, in most areas, becoming much more difficult to find your own (quality) preceptor.

You can/should start trying to tie down potential preceptors. If you are experiencing heavy resistance and have not secured any of the 4+ preceptors you will need, you should seriously consider waiting for the established local program to respond prior to investing in the distance program.

Just my two cents, I also don't work in psych.

My guess is psych is likely even more difficult because it is so specialized and at least in my state it can be very nepotistic. Everyone knows everyone and if you don't have your own contacts I would imagine it would be very difficult.

I have also recently heard from more and more NPs that they are becoming more particular about which students and which schools they are willing to work with.

I personally don't take anyone I don't know, come highly recommended and/or who doesn't have a solid inpatient psych background. Its a double edge sword because I'd like to have some control in shaping the NPs who will end up being my peers whether I think they have any chance of ever being competent or not but I am not willing to have my time wasted or my reputation tainted by what could become a lousy prescriber.

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151 Posts; 2,747 Profile Views

This is a good question…I wonder if you can try to find preceptors before the clinical start….that way you can be ahead of the game..but if you have no info..on what is required..etc…then that would be hard.

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Angeljho is a MSN, NP and specializes in Mental Health Nursing.

387 Posts; 8,535 Profile Views

My guess is psych is likely even more difficult because it is so specialized and at least in my state it can be very nepotistic. Everyone knows everyone and if you don't have your own contacts I would imagine it would be very difficult.

I have also recently heard from more and more NPs that they are becoming more particular about which students and which schools they are willing to work with.

I personally don't take anyone I don't know, come highly recommended and/or who doesn't have a solid inpatient psych background. Its a double edge sword because I'd like to have some control in shaping the NPs who will end up being my peers whether I think they have any chance of ever being competent or not but I am not willing to have my time wasted or my reputation tainted by what could become a lousy prescriber.

This is another thing that worries me. In my MSN program, the 3 P's weren't required (they are now) because my MSN is in a non-clinical area. Therefore, I have to take those courses.

In the distance ed program, pharm, psychopharm, and patho will be taken concurrently with my clinical courses; only advanced health assessment is taken prior to my clinical courses. But in the traditional program, the 3 P's are pre-requisites and must ALL be completed before I step foot in the clinical portion. In your experience, would it matter?

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Angeljho is a MSN, NP and specializes in Mental Health Nursing.

387 Posts; 8,535 Profile Views

This is a good question…I wonder if you can try to find preceptors before the clinical start….that way you can be ahead of the game..but if you have no info..on what is required..etc…then that would be hard.

I'm trying to find preceptors now, but have only met great resistance. I start clinicals in the fall; by the way things are going, I would have to settle with anyone I get a "yes" from. I take my education seriously and I want to become a great NP so this worries me.

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Jules A is a MSN and specializes in Family Nurse Practitioner.

3 Followers; 8,863 Posts; 47,842 Profile Views

This is another thing that worries me. In my MSN program, the 3 P's weren't required (they are now) because my MSN is in a non-clinical area. Therefore, I have to take those courses.

In the distance ed program, pharm, psychopharm, and patho will be taken concurrently with my clinical courses; only advanced health assessment is taken prior to my clinical courses. But in the traditional program, the 3 P's are pre-requisites and must ALL be completed before I step foot in the clinical portion. In your experience, would it matter?

Patho kicked my butt because it had been so many years since I had it but the younger students didn't seem to have as much difficulty. I wouldn't have wanted to take any of the three online but mostly because I loved the pharm classes so much that I wanted to savor every moment. The beauty of the psychopharm, and another plus to having been a psych RN, is that I knew all the meds both psych and somatic so I wasn't learning from the ground up.

As for arranging preceptors ahead of time and not knowing the clinical requirements I don't really think they are that big of a deal. Its a psych clinical I can't imagine there is much your school would require that can't be accomplished. There will need to be a certain amount of children but other than that its not as if you are going to need to be proficient in ECT. Hopefully others will write in if that isn't the case. I mostly just got in touch with colleagues I thought were excellent and then we looked over the course objectives once I started.

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Which school did you get accepted into may I ask?

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llg has 43 years experience as a PhD, RN and specializes in Nursing Professional Development.

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Where I live, it is becoming more difficult as there are so many nurses in online programs looking for preceptors. The possible preceptors are simply inundated with too many requests and tired of doing it and getting nothing in return.

The basic model (design of the system) is simply a bad one. It worked OK for a while as the numbers of students was small and it was a new thing. But after several years of expecting practicing professionals to donate their time and effort to serve as educators for an increasing number of strangers ... from distant schools they never heard of ... for free ... well, that's just not a system that can be sustained forever.

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BostonFNP has 9 years experience as a APRN and specializes in Adult Internal Medicine.

1 Follower; 3 Articles; 5,271 Posts; 1,475 Profile Views

In the distance ed program, pharm, psychopharm, and patho will be taken concurrently with my clinical courses; only advanced health assessment is taken prior to my clinical courses. But in the traditional program, the 3 P's are pre-requisites and must ALL be completed before I step foot in the clinical portion. In your experience, would it matter?

I think it is very difficult for student NPs to be in a clinical setting without at least a semester of patho, pharm, and PE at the graduate level. That puts a huge burden on preceptors to teach you what many other students will already know.

Again, just my two cents. I did have to refuse a student once because the student was not able to conduct a simple history or physical exam when they arrived to me for clinical placement; my patients are too complex to spend a semester teaching what my students typically know walking through the door.

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TachyNurseGuy has 6 years experience and specializes in ICU, ER.

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Just playing devils advocate hear... but poor NP students, will still most likely end up being board certified NPs, whether we all like it or not.

So wouldn't it be better to try and ensure peers are better quality by helping them learn?

Yes, finding preceptors is quite challenging btw. Many NPs dont want to take students, because they have had bad experiences. Both the quality of students and the quality of the NPs they become (as they tend to find poor preceptors) will probably suffer; so it makes sense that the discipline will suffer as a whole. self perpetuating scenario imo.

nurses eat our young...😔

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Angeljho is a MSN, NP and specializes in Mental Health Nursing.

387 Posts; 8,535 Profile Views

I think if NP preceptors were compensated for their time, it would make a world of difference. Over and over, I hear the major complaint is that NPs are expected to precept for free and it's more than just extra work for them. But then there's still the problem of NPs having too many students already. Honestly, I think we wouldn't be having this problem if NP schools didn't transfer over to the online scene. Even online schools that are in the same state as the student don't provide those students with preceptors, which is my dilemma.

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