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Nurse Practitioner Clinical Sites

The nurse practitioner online program that I am enrolled in requires the student to find clinical sites and preceptors. Are there any suggestions or comments regarding finding clinical placement? Thanks!
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Robert’s Answer

It turns out that this is a problem across the nation. Programs promise you an education but do not follow-through by helping you to find a preceptor. The correct approach would be to require all NP schools to provide preceptors for their students. In the meantime you are stuck looking for a preceptor. I'd suggest finding any and all NP groups within a 100 miles of your location and go to their meeting and talk to possible preceptors. Get on eNPnetwork.com and utilize their search for a preceptor function. Talk to your nursing colleagues and see if anyone has a suggestion or link to a possible preceptor and follow it up. While a lot of work customized cover letters with your resume included have worked for our practice. If you are in Washington State, USA I can give you some more specific suggestions if you contact me. I'm the executive director for the state NP group. Good luck!

Thank you comment icon Hi Robert, I have sent out over 100 emails contacting people all across the state, made around 30 calls, visited numerous places and asked everyone I know and I am still coming up short for a preceptor for Summer. I would very much be interested in any suggestions you may have. Thanks! Laura
Thank you comment icon Hi Laura, That is a good start. Have you been to local meetings to network? Do you have a student resume that you can use to highlight what you might be able to contribute to a practice? What is your school doing to help? If you are with an online school it can be very hard. You can private message me through the contact us section on auws.org, the Washington State NP group. Let me know the part of the country you are in. I may have some geographically specific suggestions I can make. Robert Smithing, MSN, APRN, FAANP
Thank you comment icon Thank you, Robert, I emailed you through the site as requested. Hopefully it finds you :) Laura
Thank you comment icon Hello Mr. Robert! I am a FNP student and living in Everett, Washington. Would you mind helping me? Michael Jordan
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MANDY’s Answer

Robert is correct. Finding preceptors is very difficult when you don't have many contacts in the field, and many schools don't offer much help.
I am fortunate to be a part of a University that arranges placements for our students. Still, we also have the benefit of two large public hospital systems in the metroplex.
I would also consider creating a professional linked-in profile (if you haven't already) trying to reach out to alumni from your program. They might have contacts in your area...it's worth a try.
The other thing to keep in mind is that some preceptors will ask for reimbursement for their time. My University doesn't allow preceptors to be paid. Be sure you know the policy for your program.
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