As a RN student that is set to graduate 02/21, I am searching for a preceptor, or even a way to find one, within an ICU. I am fortunate that my program will find a preceptorship for me, however, with everything that has come along with covid it seems those amazing experiences in exciting units are fewer and further between.
I want desperately to secure a preceptorship in an ICU. I know, probably next to impossible right now. The thing is, I'm 36 years old, a mother of 3, and I'm just not getting any younger. Nursing is a second career for me. Well, third if you count being a SAHM. When I entered the program, I had originally intended to go to be a FNP. I wanted the experience of a nurse before transitioning into/becoming a "provider," as I felt the added experience would be far more beneficial to me than going the PA route.
...Then, in December, my mother had a congenital heart defect discovered. Within 2 weeks of Dx she was on the table having AV replacement. Her surgery took longer than expected, and her recovery has gone well (but not as well as expected). The short version of the long story was that the time that she spent in the step-down unit(s) was the most captivating nursing experience I've had. Watching the autonomy of these highly capable RNs really resinated with me. This is my path in the coming years, or at least I hope that it will be.
The bottom line is, I have no understanding of how to get a preceptorship in this field. Almost ANY ICU job listing, even the internships I had planned to apply for, REQUIRE or STRONGLY PREFER RNs with ICU preceptorships. We are post-covid, and most ICUs are locked down tight. I can't seem to find ANY information on how to begin to find one, and I will need to do my preceptorship in my final RN class, which begins in 5 WEEKS! I am so discouraged right now.
I don't have ANY problem paying my dues, but at the same time I can't find any direction on how to begin to go about this. As I said, my program will set me up with "something," but I just thought, after as hard as I have worked FOR my school they would be more eager to assist me. I have been our cohorts leader and set up numerous activities for the CH. I have maintained regular communication with administration (my dean, my assistant dean and my campus president) and have coordinated regularly for/between administration and my CH. Things from ensuring clinical clearances were sorted to getting CH members to complete on-site facility-specific education requirements, to assisting with tutoring for struggling students. I have done far more, honestly, but you get the idea... All while maintaining a 3.6+ throughout the program and level 3-ing all of my ATIs [prob not THAT big of deal, but I mean to say I have not let my grades suffer in doing everything possible to ease the load on administration], and I guess I just thought they would be of more assistance.
I am also a member of the NSNA and have reached out to the association and my local chapter, and they don't have any suggestions either.
I suppose, what I'm asking is:
-Is it impossible to find an ICU preceptorship right now?
-If not, do yo have any TIPS on how to go about this?
-And, if so, will that kill my chances of going into ICU after graduation?
Any insight would be GREATLY APPRECIATED!!