Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Nurse Practitioner Preceptors

Something I forgot to add about selecting schools is the ability for them to set you up with preceptors. Fortunately, this is something I have never had to worry about. Even with a large student body, all of our preceptors have been prearranged. Through four clinical rotations, my four preceptors have been wonderful. This year I will have three more rotations and I have already communicated with those preceptors.

I know just about all online schools will make you find your own preceptors and clinical rotations. However, a coworker who is also a nurse practitioner student at another school locally, told me they are required to find their own preceptors, and she is having a problem finding a pediatric rotation.   

If you are picking a school, think about whether the school arranges clinical rotations for you, or do you have to find your own rotations and preceptors. This will take time and effort. In addition, many docs and nurse practitioners seem reluctant these days, because being a preceptor does take time and does not make their day any easier. Depending on your specialty, you will also need to find several rotations that might include, primary care, pediatrics, orthopedics, dermatology, gerontology, cardiovascular, occupational health, etc, etc.   

Preceptors are a vital resource in the learning process. They need to have patience, time and a love to take someone under their wing.


MamaDoodle said...

I had to find my own preceptors and it was definitely a hassle, but I was always able to find one. Despite the hassle, there were some benefits to finding my own, mainly that I was able to evaluate the situation and kept looking when it seemed that the preceptor wasn't going to give me a good learning experience. Many of my fellow students who weren't doing the program at a distance had their clinicals set up by the school and ended up in situations that were less than stellar without any options for seeking another preceptor. Some of them actually moved out of the city so they were eligible to find their own for the last semester.

But it's definitely something to consider. If you DO select a program where you're required to find your own clinical rotations, start networking ASAP. My best preceptors were found using contacts I've built throughout my nursing career.

NP Odyssey said...

Good advice. I would never have the time or patience to look for a preceptor.