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I need help deciding on my preceptorship!!

kjhBSNRN kjhBSNRN (New) New

So we decide in two weeks what we want our preceptorship in, I know many oncology nurses who LOVE their job. I have always wanted to work in oncology, and I love the idea of seeing a patient either get completely better and getting to know them or helping them pass on. However, I'm afraid if I do my preceptorship there that I may lose (or not learn, because we have yet to do much) many of my skills. I don't want to be completely unmarketable when I graduate.

So My top 3 choices are Oncology, Burn, Emergency or ANYTHING at the VA. If you have worked in any of these areas or have any advice I'd greatly appreciate it!!

Asystole RN, BSN, RN

Specializes in Vascular Access, Infusion Therapy.

If you want to go into Oncology then go there, good chance of being hired there if you do well.

Your unmarketability will be that you are a new grad, not where you precepted.


Specializes in Critical Care/Coronary Care Unit,.

Completely agree with pp.

Thanks, so do you think that the fact that I may not get to do a lot of my skills will not hurt??

Asystole RN, BSN, RN

Specializes in Vascular Access, Infusion Therapy.

Nursing school did not teach you all the skills and knowledge you will need to be a Nurse. Nursing school teaches you how to obtain the skills and knowledge you will need and more importantly...teaches you what you do not know and to respect that fact.

You will do fine as long as you understand that.


Specializes in NICU.

In my experience as a recent new grad, if a hospital is willing to hire you it's NOT because of your skills as a new grad. It's because of your passion for the position, your willingness to learn, your attitude, and yes, your performace in nursing school and possibly your current employment in the hospital system. The skills that you learned are definately not at the top of the list. I, for example, spent my preceptorship on a Gyn-Onc floor, but was hired into a NICU. To say that I had zero NICU skills when I was hired is very accurate.

If you are passionate about oncology and would like to pursue it as your specialty, by all means do your preceptorship there. I wouldn't worry about it limiting you to employers in other areas at all.

Ruby Vee, BSN

Specializes in CCU, SICU, CVSICU, Precepting & Teaching. Has 40 years experience.

when my unit accepts a student for preceptorship, we all consider it to be one long "share day." it's a chance for you to look over the unit and decide whether you want to work with us, and for us to decide whether you're the type of person we want to work with. no one expects a new grad to have skills -- any skills. we anticipate teaching you the skills you'll need to function in our unit. what we're looking for is someone who has a good attitude, is willing to do the work and to work the hours, and someone who is a good team player.

if your passion is for oncology, then by all means take the oncology preceptorship if it's offered to you. then go to work and soak up every bit of knowledge you can. demonstrate a willingness to help out in any way you can rather than sitting down and playing on facebook when you're caught up on your patient. in fact, stay off the computer unless you're charting vital signs or i's & o's or looking up your patient's disease. offer to help anyone who looks stressed, and make sure the nurse you're working with knows where to find you at all times. be pleasant and helpful to everyone you encounter, because you never know who will be part of the hiring decision. it might be the cna or the secretary who either gives you a high recommendation or complains that you always disappear when there's poop to be cleaned up or phones to be answered. i know one student who did a preceptorship with us who did not get hired because she was consistently rude to the housekeeper. i know another who did get hired because the usc told the manager that he always greeting visitors at the door to the unit and helped them find the patient they were looking for and found out from the nurse if it was a good time to visit. (there was other feedback, of course, but you never know what will be the deciding factor.)

good luck. i did oncology for five years, and loved it for 4 1/2 of those years.

I am a new nurse and I think that no matter where you go you will probably be learning a lot of transferable skills in that first year. I mean I have not stopped learning things for the first 3 months so far that I will be able to apply to any floor/department.

If you follow your passion and don't stop asking questions you will learn things that will help you everywhere else... if you don't follow your passion, everytime someone asks you about your position you'll start your sentences with "Well I wanted to go into Oncology, but......" and you would likely not be a happy camper.

tho i may be wrong...