FINDING A CLINICAL PRECEPTOR AND SITE
Finding a Preceptor
- Begin looking for a preceptor 5 to 6 months in advance of clinical
- Consider asking your personal doctors or nurse practitioners or those of a family member
- Ask friends or family who may have contacts
- Ask old professors if they have any contacts
- Check with your State Board of Nursing to see if there are any NP groups in your state. Attend meetings if possible
- Check to see if your state has an Area Health Education Center (AHEC) at: http://www.enpnetwork.com/. Many have Health Professions Student Coordinators who may be able to assist you.
- Check the eNP website at http://www.enpnetwork.com/. You can search under their Preceptor Directory
- Use the AANP “Find a Nurse Practitioner” search to make a list of NPs in your area
- Find health care practices in your area using a search engine. Don’t overlook smaller charities or health care centers. Look for health care providers in children’s homes, nursing homes, and other organizations
- Use social media to enhance your search. Facebook and LinkedIn both have networking groups for NPs seeking preceptors. Follow health care groups and organizations in your area on twitter and tweet to them about your search for a preceptor.
- Join national and local professional organizations and use their message boards to ask about preceptors
- Volunteer for smaller institutions where there may be a preceptor for you.
Approaching Potential Preceptors in Person
- If possible, visit the site in person and introduce yourself to the office personnel
- If you can, introduce yourself to the health care professionals in the office
- Offer them information about the PMHNP program at Robert Morris University and about becoming a preceptor. Have your resume handy to give to them.
- Ask them if a member of the RMU staff may contact them about becoming a preceptor
- Forward the interested site and preceptor’s name and contact information to firstname.lastname@example.org
- Follow up with the site and preceptor to thank them for their time and to see if they would like further information
Contacting a Potential Preceptor by Phone
- If you cannot speak to the nurse practitioner or physician ask to be put through to their voice mailboxes or request an email address. Leave a message briefly stating that you are a licensed NP working on a PMHNP certificate at RMU and would be very interested in learning more about their practice and the possibility of having the NP or doctor as a preceptor. If you have a referral, leave the name of the person referring you to their practice.
- Say that you will be mailing an information packet to the practice about the PMHNP program and becoming a preceptor. Include your resume in the package. Mail the package right away
- After a few days, call again to ask if they have received the information and if they have had time to look it over. Ask if they would like to meet to talk more about becoming preceptors. If they do not want to meet, ask if they would like to talk to a current preceptor to answer any questions and give them an overview of what being a preceptor is like.
- You may have to call the practice or stop by several times before you get a response. Try several times before giving up.
- If the physician or NP does not want to be a preceptor, ask if he or she knows anyone who may consider it.