Need Advice on Last Semester Clinicals

Nurses New Nurse


Hello...I hope that some of you who have already graduated can give me some insight. I am in my 3rd semester of a 4 semester ADN program. Today, we were given sheets to fill out for our clinicals next semester (our last semester). We have a couple of choices that we can choose from.

We can do a preceptorship and have to work the shift of the nurse that we are precepting. That is fine. The departments that we have to choose from that we can do this are ICU, Med-Surge, PACU, OR, and ER.


We can do a varied clinical experience. This experience we will be doing three 36-40 hour weeks of clinical in Med-Surge with an instructor from our school. We will also be doing a week long (36-40 hours) in either a long term facility or hospice (our choice) and another 3 weeks in either ER, Home Health, Public Health Agencies, Dialysis, Hospice, or Doctor's Office. **If we have a 3.0 GPA in just our nursing courses, we can also do what they call an Honor's Clinical anywhere we choose.

I have over a 3.0 GPA and could do the honor's clinicals . I really want to work in Labor and Delivery so if I choose the varied experience, I will do my Honor's Clinical in l&d. (otherwise, I will not get in L&D anymore before graduation since we cannot choose that area for preceptorship).

I was just wondering what everyone else's experience was with the preceptorship. Did everything work out alright with your preceptor? And did you enjoy the area that you decided to precept in? Or did you get in and decide that you hated it and was stuck? Has anyone did the variety clinical experience and how did that go?

I know that when I graduate that I want to work in labor and delivery eventually but figure I need to work in Med-Surge for a couple of years just to get my skills and everything down before venturing out.

Any advice or insight would be greatly appreciated...I have to turn everything in to my teacher by Monday, October 4th.


Probably the best input you can receive will depend on where you are, geographically. In some areas of the country, the preceptorship might help you get to work faster--you wouldn't have to wait around for the next "class."

In others, having that "honors" experience on your transcript might be more valued.

Perhaps you could chat with a recent grad of your program about their decision and experience (hindsight being 20/20....), or with an advisor from your school, or with a recruiter at a hospital where you wish to work.

One thing about recruiters. If he or she isn't a nurse who recently worked in a hiring position (i.e., nurse manager), then find a nurse manager at the hospital where you want to work, explain your opportunities and ask what they would suggest.

This gives you an added opportunity: the NM now knows your face and knows you are interested in doing whatever it takes to be able to work on his or her unit. Hopefully, this will pay off!

Good luck--and congrats on your excellent progress.

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