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Free teaching labor

Nurses   (1,682 Views | 18 Replies)

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TriciaJ has 39 years experience as a RN and specializes in Psych, Corrections, Med-Surg, Ambulatory.

12 Followers; 3,381 Posts; 35,018 Profile Views

When I was a student we did out clinicals with an instructor.  We were told facilities actually staffed based on student presence (they down-staffed).

After becoming a nurse, I was paid to precept orientees but not students.  During one psych position, the students were paired with a nurse for the entire term, the instructor maintained a strong presence and the students were mostly well-prepared for their clinical.  The ones who weren't were dealt with by the instructor.

When I worked on a med-surg floor at a different hospital, it was customary for the students to be dropped off a paired with a nurse on a daily basis only.  Some instructors maintained a presence, provided support and sought feedback from the nurses.  Other instructors were never seen and sought no feedback.  Those are the situations we resented; we were just providing free babysitting.

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kbrn2002 has 25 years experience as a ADN, RN and specializes in Geriatrics.

3,000 Posts; 29,292 Profile Views

23 hours ago, TriciaJ said:

When I was a student we did out clinicals with an instructor.  We were told facilities actually staffed based on student presence (they down-staffed).

After becoming a nurse, I was paid to precept orientees but not students.  During one psych position, the students were paired with a nurse for the entire term, the instructor maintained a strong presence and the students were mostly well-prepared for their clinical.  The ones who weren't were dealt with by the instructor.

When I worked on a med-surg floor at a different hospital, it was customary for the students to be dropped off a paired with a nurse on a daily basis only.  Some instructors maintained a presence, provided support and sought feedback from the nurses.  Other instructors were never seen and sought no feedback.  Those are the situations we resented; we were just providing free babysitting.

Those are the situations that really anger me.  I'm not being paid to teach those students, no am I qualified to do so. I remember every clinical instructor I ever had being all over the 6 or so students in the group. Even the last semester when we were supposedly ready to be on our own nothing was done without the instructor's presence or at  least approval.  How is it OK for people being paid to teach not to be anywhere around their students?

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RNperdiem has 14 years experience as a RN.

1 Follower; 4,222 Posts; 29,690 Profile Views

Back when I worked full-time, I did precept a couple of students. They were hard-working, very bright and went on to have stellar careers. The only downside is that being an introverted person and having someone in my space for twelve weeks while explaining everything all day was exhausting.

Precepting a student was considered to first rung on the ladder to eventually precepting new nurses hired to the unit.

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Daisy4RN has 20 years experience and specializes in Travel, Home Health, Med-Surg.

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When I first started nursing (approx. 20 yrs ago) we received $1.00 more per hour for students and zero for new hires. I haven't seen that extra pay lately. I also found it highly annoying to have students with no Instructor around. As students we were told to always remain busy, don't sit in the staff chairs, and find the Instructor if the nurse was busy if we had questions or needed assist/supervision with new interventions etc. I think that nurses should get extra pay because it is usually a lot more work to have a student and this would benefit both nurse and student. But I am afraid those days are long gone for the most part.

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BeachsideRN has 2 years experience as a ASN and specializes in NICU.

1,720 Posts; 17,068 Profile Views

I don't mind students typically but sometimes the timing and/or placement is very inappropriate. I was barely a RN for 6 months and was fresh off orientation at my new unit when I got my first student. It was very awkward and uncomfortable. I wasn't confident in my own practice at that point to be teaching. Two years later, I actually enjoy having students most days. I enjoy teaching them especially in the NICU because everything is uncharted territory for them. It helps that we are a very small unit and most of our patients are really intermediate care and not NI status for very long. I know it will never be considered to be a student differential but it would be nice to have a heads up that we are expecting students before the teacher waltzes them through the door and drops them off.

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Ruby Vee has 40 years experience as a BSN and specializes in CCU, SICU, CVSICU, Precepting & Teaching.

11 Followers; 66 Articles; 13,948 Posts; 172,212 Profile Views

On 3/11/2019 at 9:40 PM, Theresasnakeinmyboot said:

When I was in nursing school I always thought it was weird that my preceptor or the people teaching me for the day didn't get paid more. Now that I'm a nurse and can confirm how much more work it is to have a student I'm even more surprised. Do hospitals get paid to have nursing students? do any hospitals pay their nurses more when they have students? I didn't find any answers to these questions on the forum and I was surprised these questions didn't come up more in my googling. Am I the only one that thinks nurses are being taken advantage of by teaching for free?

We often hear from students who are absolutely convinced that they are doing the nurse's work for free, and that they are truly helpful to the nurse.  You don't know how old it gets to hear that over and over.  When they become nurses and find out just how much more work it is for a nurse when they have a student, they don't write back and update us.  So I have always figured that there are plenty of new nurses out there who just let the students do their job for them, without bothering to teach.  It's nice to hear that isn't true.

For an experienced nurse, teaching can be a great experience.  For a not-quite experienced nurse, teaching is a good way to consolidate your knowledge and an excuse to look things up when you're not 100% sure.  For a new nurse, it's an overwhelming burden.  

WE do get paid an extra $.50 per hour for precepting new graduates.

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382 Posts; 13,852 Profile Views

My hospital paid $2 an hour and I believe it just went up to $3 an hour to precept an orientee. Since my hospital is a teaching one, we get loads of nursing students. I am one of only a couple of nurses that refuses nursing students. There is no way I will take on the responsibility of a student, while your clinical instructor is chilling on the side. I have seen quite a few instructors who take it seriously and really teach. On the other hand, there is no reason for the entire group to be shadowing the nurses. Some nurses enjoy teaching and showing the students different things. 

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