Is There an NP Preceptor Shortage?
Lately, I've been collecting pleas from nurse practitioner students needing help lining up preceptors. These calls for help come in through national NP e-mail lists and the ADVANCE forums
, blog comments and Facebook fan page
Here's this morning's, posted to the forums:
Hello, my name is Monelle and I am currently working as a RN in San Jose California. I am a student, getting my Clinical Nurse Specialist Acute Care degree and my Family Nurse Practitioner. I am in my 2nd year of CNS school and am needing to find a NP preceptor for clinicals starting this summer. The first class will begin at the end of May and go through the summer, I only need 96 clinical hours for this class.
I'd like to see if an NP or CNS would be so kind to allow me to work with them for my clinicals, I would happily compensate them.
Thanks so much,
Looking for an appropriate preceptor this way seems like a shot in the dark to me -- like hoping to find a job by posting your resume to Monster.com.
Has anyone out there actually found a preceptor this way? Is there a shortage of preceptors? Don't NP programs help students find preceptors? What happens to these students? Do they eventually find preceptors? Do they drop out of school?
I turned to our ongoing New Grad/Student NP Survey for a bit of insight. Not surprisingly, here's what I found:
- 67% of new NPs and NP students who said all or almost all of their NP program was distance learning (online) also said that their program requires students to find their own preceptors.
- Of those who said none or almost none of their program was online, 31% said they were responsible for finding their own preceptors.
- Conversely, only 20% of those in distance-learning programs said their school arranged or help to arrange preceptorships.
- 55% of NPs in traditional programs said preceptors were provided by their school.
This does make some sense to me: Students need to find preceptors geographically nearby, and it's less likely that a distant institution will have a list of options where students live.
What do you think? Is finding your own preceptors too onerous?