Hands down, one of the most common question I get in my DMs: ‘I need help finding clinical sites, I am so stressed out, any advice?’ Or ‘I can’t find a clinical site and will have to postpone graduation, can you precept me?’. Ooof, it’s so tough to get messages like that.
My #1 piece of advice for future NP students… only apply to schools that provide clinical sites. I’m not talking about a list of people to cold call. My university already had relationships with NPs and MDs who they could count on to precept and handled any of the legal paperwork or contracts of setting up the site. It was AMAZING! And the sites were tried and true, since so many students went through them, those preceptors were experienced with teaching students. You already have so much to stress about and balance as an NP student, finding clinical sites shouldn't be on your to-do list.
But, if you DO have to find your own clinical sites and preceptors, I recently asked my followers their advice to help you you. Here’s a list. Save this and send to a future NP student!
Start earlier than you think! Like 2 years in advance or as soon as you start your program
Have a list of preceptors and talk to them before even applying.
Always have a backup site if something falls through
Network, Network, Network
Networking is the best way to find placements. Ask providers you work with an RN
You never know who is sitting next to you. A simple convo can lead a lot of places
Reach out to local offices/hospitals, friends, Linkedin and start as early as possible
Shadow different nurse practitioners before starting your NP program, the personal connection gives you an “in”.
Who You Know
Use NPs you already know from where you work, previous classmates, previous coworkers, your child’s or your own PCP.
Get nursing experience in multiple areas, you’ll build an APP network locally.
What Does Your School Provide?
Some schools provide a list of alumni to contact
Message tons of NPs on LinkedIn or Instagram, it works so well. Use all your connections
Helpful Links and Websites
Reach out to local NP organization chapter (like NAPNAP or ANNP)
ENPnetwork.com you states NP organizations website
A Personal Touch
Once you have found a clinical site, show up prepared for your clinicals so that site is more likely to accept students in the future
Good luck to those searching for NP clinical sites and preceptors. And may the odds be ever in your favor.
PNP and FNP students and new grad NPs LOVE my cheat sheets! Check them out here
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