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How Long Does it Take to Find Preceptors?

NP Students   (138 Views | 2 Replies)
by autnurse autnurse (New) New Nurse Student

autnurse specializes in sub school RN, w/ interest in peds & mental health.

5 Profile Views; 1 Post

Hello everyone,

I was recently accepted into Walden University's FNP-MSN program. I've been lurking here for a while and have seen a lot of negativity about Walden and I'm not 100% sure I will be attending; I am mainly concerned about locating preceptors. I was wondering if anyone else who has gone to Walden or another school where you have to find your own preceptors could tell me how long it took them. I don't want to make any rash decisions but am concerned because I don't have many connections, especially with family practices, seeing as I currently work as a substitute school nurse and also as a teacher.

I would appreciate any help; thank you very much.

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LadyT618 has 15 years experience as a MSN, APRN, NP and specializes in Home Health, Primary Care.

1 Follower; 618 Posts; 6,512 Profile Views

Have you applied to other schools?

I attended Walden for my MSN in Nursing Education and had to sit out a semester because I could not find a preceptor for my final project. However, I attended the University of South Alabama for my Post Master's in AGPCNP. Though they did not formally set up my clinicals like other high priced programs do, they did provide a list of preceptors used by former students in my state and I was able to locate 2 of the 3 preceptors I found (the third I found by way of the ENP network online). I would recommend asking your students' parents about their physicians and see if any of then are willing to be preceptors and go from there. I know someone who went to Walden's MSN-AGPCNP program and she was able to find preceptors (she worked performing long term care assessments, not that ideal in making connections either). You just have to hit the pavement and start asking around. Google is your friend. Looks for pediatricians, family medicine docs, internal medicine docs, OBGYNs in your area and start either cold calling or actually going in person and asking...leave your resume. That's what I did until my school coughed up that list.

My mantra for this daunting task is "never give up!" It is not impossible to find preceptors. Don't go into this thinking that. 

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Freckledkorican is a RN and specializes in BSN, RN.

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I am in my second semester at GW and we have to find our own preceptors. I live in Northern VA and it is a tough place to find available ones. I started searching in November 2019 for my first clinical rotation (adult) this summer. I joined the ENP network and was fortunate enough to find an available preceptor within the first week. She is located outside of Baltimore, about an hour away from me, but I have no problems with the commute.

Now, I am searching for OB/GYN and pediatric preceptors for the fall. I have been actively searching for one week. There aren't any of those types of preceptors available in the ENP Network within driving distance for me, so I've called clinics, emailed office managers, faxed my cover letter and resume, and dropped by about 50 clinics in total so far in VA and MD. Thankfully, I managed to find an available OB/GYN preceptor (crossing fingers it doesn't fall through) and I think I may have found an available pediatric preceptor. I'll find out about that one next week.

It is not impossible, but sometimes it feels like it. Like you, I don't have any connections either, so I thought I was going to search forever. Make sure your cover letter catches their attention. I approached it as selling myself. Same with your CV. All these clinics probably see hundreds of them every month, so you gotta be creative.

I wish you good luck!

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