Quote from llg
I'll give you a glimpse of life on the other side of that question -- as my job is to coordinate student placements at my hospital.
I am very frustrated with the proliferation of programs that leave it up to the student to find their own clinicals. The clinical portion of an education is very important and requires time and effort to provide. Hospitals are increasingly being asked to provide experiences and supervision for students from a wide variety of programs -- adjusting to fit the demands of each school -- supplying the education for the students for free. The school collects the money while the hospital provides the education.
Receiving too many requests to handle ... my hospital has decided not to accept such students unless there is a special reason to do so. For example, we will bend over backwards trying to meet the needs of our current employees who are enrolled in such programs. They are our top priority for such placements. We also place a high priority on students from schools with which we have ongoing relationships and who have provided us with students and employees in the past.
Our lowest priority is the student who calls up out of the blue, with no previous connection to our hospital, who asks us to provide her with a free education in exchange for nothing. I'm always surprised by the ones who call at the last minute and expect us to have all the extra resources sitting around that we can donate for her convenience.
In most cases, I don't really blame the students for their lack of appreciation for the hospital's perspective -- but I do blame the schools. I think it is highly unethical of them to market these programs and collect the students money -- and then to leave it up to the students to find hospitals to donate their resources to provide the student's education. When you give the school your money to take a course, the school should be providing you with access to the resources you need to complete the requirements.
If I were you, I would keep that in mind as you try to arrange your placements. Do you currently work for a suitable institution? (If not, you might want to get a job somewhere.) Where would you like work in the future? etc.
llg-Thank you very much for your answer to my question. I totally agree with you. I had a feeling this might be a problem, and that is why I put the question on the board. I am curious about how other online students find clinicals. Tomorrow I have a phone conference with my advisor, and I asked her to please look up all the affiliations in my area where they can get me clinicals. So I am looking forward to her answer. I hope you don't mind if I ask you a few questions since this is what you do. I will appreciate your honesty and your time.
Does one call nurse recruitement when you are lookng for a placement?
I am not working now. Would it make a difference if I was working as an RN on a psych unit while I am taking the pre clinical coursework? I have no experience except as a school nurse teacher, an elementary school teacher, clinicals in my BS program and a recent refresher course. So I would have to be oriented and preceptored first anyway. Would hospitals be more apt to hire me if I am going to school in the area of psych nursing ? Or wouldn't that matter to them?
What do you think a hospital would think if I signed a contract to work for them after I get my degree?
What if the student was willing to give her time, without being paid, to work as a licensed RN on a psych unit?
What if the student was willing to pay the hospital in order to be preceptored?
I know these sound like very untraditional solutions. But I am an untraditional student, and I want to do this very very badly. If this school cannot provide me with clinicals and I can't find any on my own, I will probably transfer my credits to a school in my area that is associated with a hospital. I am very committted to being a psych nurse, and I will do anything I have to do to be one.
What geographical area are you working in? If you don't want to say, it is ok. If you want to ask me anything else, please ask. You can post it here or PM me. I need all the advice I can get. I appreciate you taking all the time to write what you have. Thanks again. Krisssy RN MA