Advice on how to get precept dept of choice

  1. Hello, long time listener, first time caller:
    Preceptorships are coming up next semester, and i have put in my first choice as ED. i absolutely loved my out-rotations there, and an RN even offered to be my preceptor when the time came. The problem is, there are 5 other students that have opted for the ED also, and there are only 2 spots open. Does anyone have any advice? Is there anything i can do to make myself shine? Can i write a well-thought out letter? Should i annoy the heck out of my instructors? Should i write an annoying, shiny letter to my instructors?
    i have already discussed with my instructor earlier this semester about my preference, and she told me my grades looked fine, and she wouldn't be worried at all if i was in that dept. We have to perform ATI tests in different areas to show where we are in school, and i haven't had to re-take any of them (i can elaborate about ATI if needed). My grades are NOT the best, however, they have been good enough.
    Anyway, thanks for your time in advance, and if anyone has any insight, that would be awesome. Or even a great story about how they DIDN'T get what they wanted, but it worked out well anyway. Thank you!!!
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    About angiebelle

    Joined: Oct '09; Posts: 18; Likes: 5
    RN- peds and orthopaedics; mommy; musician; from US
    Specialty: special-needs kids


  3. by   turnforthenurse
    I would see what your school does to consider precepting placements.

    We had to take a med-surg HESI exit exam. In the beginning it didn't count, and I had brain fry from finals that same week that DID COUNT, so I didn't really put my best effort on that test. I got like an 800, the passing is an 850 and recommended is a 900. well my school turned around and decided for everyone who got an 850 or above, they would pretty much get their precepting choice in a more specialized area (OB, peds, psych, critical care). if you scored less than an 850, you would either be placed on a med-surg or step-down unit, like I was (I was placed on a cardiovascular stepdown/vascular ICU). I was mad that they suddenly decided to make that HESI exam count because I really wanted the MICU or SICU but oh well!
  4. by   DolceVita
    If a nurse offers to be your preceptor and you would like him/her to be that preceptor:
    1) Have them inform their nurse manager in writing -- a one line email or whatever THEIR internal process is
    2) When they have done that then you give their name, position, location telephone number and email to the person that assigns preceptor positions.
    3) Follow up, follow up, follow up

    OR Find out who chooses the positions and ask them specifically what you can do to get the preceptor choice you want. Find out who is in the ED now being precepted and ask how they got it.

    Your school may not choose to work with that person. At my school they like to choose nurses that went to our school or are known to the faculty. If you think about it you will understand why.

    When competing for a space you certainly could write a note to the person assigning preceptors. Just make sure it is genuine and respectful. Follow up -- by going to their office during office hours (don't just email them).

    By the way, I got exactly the preceptor placement I wanted. It happens I also have really good grades and work like crazy in nursing school. So I think that helps.
  5. by   ~Mi Vida Loca~RN
    It depends on your schools set up. In our program there isn't anything we can do. In fact if you try to set up your own you will be dismissed from the program. It is luck of the draw. Not even your past CI can help you out. My Previous one tried but the school decides. If you were to bug the lady in our program there us a good chance you would get a remediation.

    I'm a little ticked at my program right now. We found out 8-10 students will be placed in LTC for their preceptorship. There aren't enough spots in the hospital, and one of the major companies is only taking 6 of our students. Between the 2 hospitals. Rumor is the new lady hired is good friends with another college in the area and has opened up more spots for them. There are 4 hospitals in my area an another one 40 mins away. So this has me worried. The preceptorship is where we really get to be a "nurse" with 1:1 help in an acute care setting. It will be what goes on our resume. The LTC facility will not give us what we are needing. The hospitals here are big on telling us to really shine in our preceptorship and really practice all those skills.

    I am not trying to say anything bad about LTC nursing, it's just not the same, and as a new nursing RN student we really need those hours in acute care with the preceptor if we want to be in a hospital. If I can't get a job in the hospital I want to work at the jail. anyway that is my preceptorship worry right now. Something we weren't made aware of ahead of time. Find out in 2 weeks.
  6. by   CuriousMe
    Our school has competitive placements for our 600 hour precetorship. What we were told is:

    First, succeed in everything the school gives you. So, great grades in both theory and clinicals (our clinicals are pass/fail).

    Next, no finding your own preceptor.

    Lastly, go above and beyond. ECG class at the hospital, ACLS & PALS certification, etc

    I also was sure to speak with my professors all throughout nursing school to let them know what unit I wanted to work in and why.

    It worked for me, I got a critical care placement.
  7. by   turnforthenurse
    Quote from CuriousMe
    Our school has competitive placements for our 600 hour precetorship.
    wow 600 hours?? that's a lot!! we were only required to do 120 hours of actual clinical time (and we had about 32 hours total of lecture time)
  8. by   CuriousMe
    Quote from melosaur♥
    wow 600 hours?? that's a lot!! we were only required to do 120 hours of actual clinical time (and we had about 32 hours total of lecture time)
    It's spread over 6 months. During the last 6 months of our senior year we don't have lecture, just a lot of NCLEX based assignments, different papers to write and a weekly clinical seminar on top of our preceptorship. I love that we have so many hours of preceptorship!!
  9. by   DolceVita
    600 hours of actual nursing?
  10. by   CuriousMe
    Quote from DolceVita
    600 hours of actual nursing?
    A minimum of 500 hrs of actual nursing....the rest can be seminar, extra classes at the hospital, professional development, etc
  11. by   DolceVita
    I wish I had that many hours -- I would love that.
  12. by   CuriousMe
    Quote from DolceVita
    I wish I had that many hours -- I would love that.
    I love it as well! It's one of the things that makes me laugh every time I read someone posting that BS students don't have as much clinical time!