Ideas for finding clinical sites.

  1. In August I'm due to start my peds clinical. The catch is, at my school we can't do inpatient or perform the clinical at our place of employment. I am supposed to cold call offices and ask if I can do my clinical with them. Since I've never had to "sell myself" I'm a little nervous about cold calling.

    My question is for those of you have landed clinical sites by cold calling, what did you say or do that got you in the door? Any advice on types of facilities more willing to take students? If you could share your ideas and thoughts I'd appreciate it. Unfortunately at the time of my school's peds clinical rotation 2 other universities in the area will also be looking for sites, so I expect it to be competitive.

    :spin:
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    About BChapp3182

    Joined: Oct '04; Posts: 200; Likes: 92

    34 Comments

  3. by   traumaRUs
    Join your nurses APN organization and by doing this, you will usually get a membership list of APNs in your state. Then, go down the list and start calling asking for the NP and go from there. Good luck...I know its difficult sometimes to find clinical sites.
  4. by   core0
    Quote from BChapp3182
    In August I'm due to start my peds clinical. The catch is, at my school we can't do inpatient or perform the clinical at our place of employment. I am supposed to cold call offices and ask if I can do my clinical with them. Since I've never had to "sell myself" I'm a little nervous about cold calling.

    My question is for those of you have landed clinical sites by cold calling, what did you say or do that got you in the door? Any advice on types of facilities more willing to take students? If you could share your ideas and thoughts I'd appreciate it. Unfortunately at the time of my school's peds clinical rotation 2 other universities in the area will also be looking for sites, so I expect it to be competitive.

    :spin:
    My question would be why do you have to find your own clinical sites. I would expect the school that you are paying a fairly large amount of money to to have sites. If you find one on your own that you want to do fine, but the school should have adequate sites for all your rotations.

    David Carpenter, PA-C
  5. by   adria37
    I have had a fit trying to find sites. I ask nurse co-workers for tips. I was outside and was introduced to a new OB/Gyn doctor and ask him flat out if I could do a clinical rotation with him. I start in 2 weeks.

    I agree, with the money we have to pay for tuition, the school should provide sites but that isn't they way it is here. I am taking 1 class- 3 hours this summer and tuition was 1064.00 in the fall I it will be more because of all the fees. The one that makes me the maddest is the athletic coaches salary, I go to an off campus site (FNP) the fees double the tuition.
  6. by   BChapp3182
    I purposly went to a brick and mortar school vs. an online school because I assumed clinicals would be arranged. Especially at $5,000 per semester! It's kept "hush-hush" that they don't provide sites until your a year into the program and they pop it on you. Really, it's my own fault for not checking before enrolling. Now I've found out that all the programs are this way in south florida. Most online ones are too....what's a student to do...
  7. by   core0
    Quote from BChapp3182
    I purposly went to a brick and mortar school vs. an online school because I assumed clinicals would be arranged. Especially at $5,000 per semester! It's kept "hush-hush" that they don't provide sites until your a year into the program and they pop it on you. Really, it's my own fault for not checking before enrolling. Now I've found out that all the programs are this way in south florida. Most online ones are too....what's a student to do...
    What do the accrediting agencies say about this? In the PA world there was one school that required students to find their own site. The accrediting body passed a rule that the school couldn't require this. One of the primary ways to go on probation or lose accredidation is to fail to have enough quality sites for all students. The other rule that has caused some controversy among PA students is that you have to provide the same services to students at away sites. That means the program has to visit the site, assess it and approve it. This has led some sites to cut down on sites students have found especially if out of the country.

    Nursing programs have to demonstrate that the program can provide a sufficent amount of clinical sites for all their students to get the necessary exposure. Why should NP sites be any different. If the student has a site in mind then fine. But if you are running an educational program (whatever it is) then the program should not force the student to find a site. The job of the program is to provide the education not the student.

    David Carpenter, PA-C
  8. by   traumaRUs
    David - that is true of the ADN and BSN programs but I know of NO program in IL where the school sets up clinical sites for you. I was on my own too.
  9. by   zenman
    Just for the record, I noticed that Rush University's online psych NP program had a person who secured clinical sites for students. I bet they also do so for the other NP student. Very nice of them and a big positive in their favor.
  10. by   neneRN
    A friend of mine just finished her peds rotation; had to find her own as well- she split her time between the public health dept and our pedi ER (separate from adult). But she was allowed to select MDs as well, didn't have to be an NP.
  11. by   core0
    Quote from traumarus
    david - that is true of the adn and bsn programs but i know of no program in il where the school sets up clinical sites for you. i was on my own too.
    this is from the criteria for evaluation of nurse practitioner programs


    iv.b clinical resources support np educational experiences.
    elaboration:
    adequate faculty, clinical sites, and preceptors are available to support the np clinical, educational experiences. the program/track provides evidence of contractual agreements with agencies or individuals used for students’ clinical experiences. these contractual agreements are part of established policies that protect appropriately the clinical site, the educational program, and students while at sites. contracts include maintenance of liability insurance.

    documentation:
    required
    - provide a list of clinical facilities utilized specifically for the np program/track and site-based clinical preceptors (type, degree, and certification). include the name of the site, type of site (e.g., community health, private practice, rural clinic), & client characteristics.
    - provide a sample of a contractual agreement, including a statement on liability coverage
    - provide the policy covering student rotations at clinical sites.

    so according to this a program must provide adequate clinical sites. to me telling a student to cold call peds sites does not meet this criteria. i am not sure what the penalty is if any for failure to meet this. to put this in perspective, the same behavior by a medical school, pa school, or nursing school would result in either probation or suspension of the program. why is this behavior allowed from np schools?

    i would guess that as part of the application process i would ask to see a list of clinical facilities that the program uses. if there is a paucity of sites consider going elsewhere.

    to the op as a practice that gets asked frequently to rotate students and turns most of them down, it is going to be next to impossible to cold call and get a response. connections are going to be the key here. former students or np's in practice are probably your best bet. most of the time you are going to get the practice manager who has no interest in students.

    david carpenter, pa-c
  12. by   traumaRUs
    Zenman - I stand corrected. It is wonderful that Rush provides clinical sites.

    David - my program was fully accredited but again, I did not get a list - I had to find my clinical sites by word of mouth. I was able to (fortunately) use my work place and get hours there by coming in on my off duty time.
  13. by   juan de la cruz
    Part of the problem is that the criteria David posted is probably taken from NONPF. This organizations does not accredit NP programs. They do release guidelines and standards but enforcement is the issue. The only accrediting agency for nursing schools and colleges that covers MSN and NP programs I know about is CCNE and this is totally voluntary on the school's part. CCNE is pretty tough though. My school went through their accreditation while I was doing my NP training and they look over everything from clinical placements to program content. I actually was observed by one of their surveyors while on my ER rotation. Our school passed but not without recommendations for corrective action. I think we should seriously look into accrediting NP programs mandatorily but then again, who will be in-charge of this task since we have so many subgroups in the entire NP umbrella that these groups will probably fight among themselves before they can reach an agreement! Just my opinion though.
  14. by   jer_sd
    to take ancc certification exams the school must have accreditation from CCNE or the NLN.

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