Need HELP with preceptorship questions!!

  1. Hello everyone,

    i am a senior nursing who just got my preceptorship assignment (where you work full time shadowing a real, living breathing nurse ) and i am terribly disappointed that it is in a med-surg unit (i have already done 2 tours of med-surg). now, don't get me wrong, i think med-surg nurses are some of the hardest working nurses out there, but they told us that if we got good grades, we would get first crack at the primo preceptorship assignments (icu, ed, nicu, picu, oncol, neuro, etc, etc). well, i KILLED myself studying since i've been in school and got straight-"a"s (i also have 2 little kids). i know that some other students with worse gpas got much better assignments. this is my last shot at critical care before i graduate since the only parts left are psych and community health. my questions are:

    should i pitch a fit??? (i suspect that i am being discriminated against becuase i am older and have 2 kids although i specifically stated i would work any hospital/any shift).

    does it even matter? will i not get a job in critical care if i don't do my preceptorship in critical care? will the interviewers hold it against me? i am in a bsn program in a large metropolitan area with many hospitals.

    is it just me or is there a lot of favoritism in nursing school??? i feel like there is always some drama going on in my program.

    Thanks for any advice!

    ps i am an emtb/former software engineer not a soccer mom trying to kill some time :wink2:
    pps i love smileys!!!
  2. Visit ck_nurse profile page

    About ck_nurse

    Joined: Oct '06; Posts: 19; Likes: 3
    Psych RN/Charge RN
    Specialty: 2 year(s) of experience in Inpatient Psych, Eating Disorders, Tele


  3. by   Tweety
    Don't pitch a fit.

    Did you specifically ask for critical care, or did you say "any hospital any shift" leading them to believe it was o.k. to place people ahead of you who requested critical care.

    If you requested critical care, calmly ask "how were these assignments made, because my GPA was much higher than some others who got critical care ahead of me? I'm just curious because I'm very disappointed".

    Wouldn't hurt to ask.

    If hospitals have a policy of hiring new grads in specialities, they aren't going to hold it against you that you didn't precept there.

    Good luck!
  4. by   Daytonite
    Hi, ck_nurse!

    Let me tell you what I know about the hiring process of new grads since I was a manager in several places, one of which had a much sought after new grad orientation program. If you are in a large city with many different hospital choices, don't sweat this. A preceptorship works two ways. It not only gives you a chance to see if you are suited to the unit you are working on. It also gives the facility managers a chance to see what kind of employees the preceptors are going to make. Not everyone who works at their preceptorship gets an offer of hire. I can tell you from a manager's prospective that when hiring someone, there is more to it than looking for a good nurse. We were also looking for good employees. Some people just aren't going to make good employees.

    I think you have a number of choices. If you want to work in one of the critical care areas of this particular hospital, then you can work in an casual way to do it. Visit with the managers of the units you like and talk with them casually about a possible position after graduation. You could tell them without shaking out the dirty laundry that you felt that a med/surg background would be good, but more and more you feel a desire to get into intensive care. Let these people know you are interested in a position after graduation, but don't be too pushy. I can tell you from being a manager that if they are truly interested all they have to do is go to your current preceptor to get the goods on you. So, keep any complaints or opinions you have about what happened to yourself. Loose lips sink ships, if you know what I mean.

    You can always go to other hospitals. What you do is two or three months before graduation contact nurse recruiters in these hospitals and put in applications for employment. Don't wait until the last minute to do this or all the good job positions will be filled when you finally get around to it. If these hospitals also do preceptorships, there are going to be some students they are not going to want to hire. Look for a hospital that has a new grad orientation program if you can find one. Don't just take the first job that's offered unless it's one you really want. With a BSN you have some bargaining power unless you are in a BSN infiltrated area. I can tell you, however, that I'm in L.A. and it's unbelievable how many hospitals out here can't get full time RNs on staff, not to mention a BSN to boot!

    Hospitals that offer preceptorships are often looking for potential employees, so remember that. Places get very ingenious about recruiting nurses. You've got to look beyond all the enticements. In fact, sign on bonuses, preceptorships, and other goodies that are offered should be looked at as red flags and considered very carefully. While you are doing your preceptorship, keep your eyes open and watch the staff. Are they happy at this place? Or are they complaining about things? It might turn out to be not such a great place to want to work because of internal problems that you never knew about. Your first priority with any job is to be treated fairly and respectfully by the powers running the place. I got a job at one very large facility which turned into one of the worst jobs you could image! They treated everyone like a number and a warm body.

    Welcome to allnurses!