Preceptor placement


Hey all. I'm in my senior year and next semester will be doing my preceptorship. My advisor was of little help and I'm not sure what my best move would be. My school does not offer any sort of ICU or critical care nursing course, and I've been told that ICU or CCU experience is good to have under your belt. In terms of where I want to work in the future- I HAVE NO IDEA! (which makes this extremely difficult.) I don't like working under pressure (mainly when I don't feel prepared or knowledgeable) so I think the ICU/CCU would be a good experience because while shadowing a nurse I will be able to see what they do, and become more comfortable in such situations. I have an interest in OR but I'm not sure that's offered and I don't think much would be gained from an OR experience. I guess I'm wondering if Med Surg or step-down would be my best option in order to see most of what goes on? Any advice is appreciated!

vanilla bean

861 Posts

I did my preceptorship in med-surg, and although it was not my first (or second, or third...) choice, I can say that my time spent in that setting helped me out in a big way when it came to preparing for and sitting for NCLEX.

In my opinion, my med-surg preceptorship was an invaluable experience even though I do not ultimately want to work as a med-surg RN. I felt my time spent there was providing me with the beginnings of a good, solid foundation and I started to develop good time management skills and had a good all-around experience working with adults.

Regardless of where you end up in your preceptorship, try to make the most of it and gain from it what you can. Good luck to you!


547 Posts

Has 3 years experience.

To the OP - you've been through nursing school and you've seen many different clinical sites. You have to think back and see what you could see yourself doing, at least in the beginning. When you say that you don't like working under pressure when you aren't prepared and/or knowledgeable, you are going to have to realize that as a new grad that is exactly what you are regardless of where you work. Nursing school does not equal working as a real nurse. There is a learning curve associated with being a new nurse and it depends on a variety of factors such as type of unit, support of staff, preceptor, etc... Whomever told you that working in the ICU will afford you more time to get knowledgeable probably didn't know what they were talking about. For a new grad the ICU probably has the steepest learning curve because you need to learn so much. Yes, the nurse:patient ratio is lower in the ICU, but the depth and breadth of interventions required per patient is the reason for that. So just because you have 2 patients doesn't mean you are going to have lots of free time to sit and read, especially when you are first starting out. If I were you, I would seriously work on the whole working under pressure thing, because most likely anywhere you go to work in the hospital is going to have some degree of stress associated with it. With that being said, give yourself a break. Be confident in what you know, but realize that there is a ton of things that you don't know right now but will learn along the way. Your nurse manager will know you are a new grad and nobody is going to expect you to manage a 5-7 patient assignment on day 1.