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i had to set my clinical rotations up as well. my program was not online, but i lived 4.5 hours from campus... so one day a week i was in class, then i would drive home and do my 3 days of clinical time. each school is different in their requirements. for me, i knew that the first rotation was a required outpatient adult internal med rotation. so, the school provided me with a facility agreement (where they show how much you are insured for, through the school, etc.), and a contract between the two facilities, plus an agreement that so-and-so would be my preceptor for x amount of time. i took my paperwork and called up someone i wanted to do my rotation with. at the time, www.npfinder.com
was unavailable. i just found my preceptor in the phone book or online at my local/state np site. then, my next semester, i knew i was going to do an inpatient general medicine rotation, so i called up a hospitalist group at the hospital and asked them if i could set something up with one of the hospitalists. done. same process. new contract, new facility agreement, new preceptor. then my program allows you to choose your last two clinical semesters according to where you need more experience or know you want to work. i knew i wanted to do an icu rotation as an np, so the school actually suggested someone... same process. last clinical semester, i was actually approached by a cardiologist (who i work for now
) about whether or not i had an interest in cardiology when i was finished with school... i said "yes," and i called him up to set up my last clinical rotation. same process. new facility agreement and contract.
some schools provide preceptors for you and some just sit back and let you handle it, but will assist if necessary. my program, for everyone else i was in class with, wanted to set them up for you... but because i was a distance student, i was able to do it on my own.