A Process for Nurse Practitioner Students to Find Preceptors and Clinical Sites

Sunday, 8 November 2015: 4:20 PM

Maria A. Lofgren, DNP, MSN, BSN, ARNP, RN, NNP-BC, CPNP
Department of Nursing, University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, Iowa City, IA, USA
Lou Ann Montgomery, PhD, RN
Department of Nursing Services and Patient Care, University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, Iowa City, IA, USA

A Process for ARNP Students to Find Preceptors and Clinical Sites

Maria Lofgren, DNP, ARNP, NNP-BC and LouAnn Montgomery, PhD, RN-BC

As a result of the Affordable Care Act, nurse practitioner programs have steadily increased across the country.  To meet the demands for more providers, many academic institutions have developed distance learning programs leaving students to find preceptors and clinic sites on their own.  At UI Hospitals and Clinics, many of our rising-star staff nurses were enrolled in such programs and needed clinical sites. Because of perceived and real barriers to placing students for clinical rotations within our institution, they often sought placement elsewhere, which often lead to them taking a position outside our organization upon graduation.  In an effort to remove barriers and promote employee retention even if their future role changed, we developed a process to help both the students and the academic ARNP faculty navigate through our system to obtain clinical experiences provided by competent healthcare providers.  The Department of Nursing’s affiliation agreement that already existed was used and an addendum contract for the placing department was developed with hospital legal services.  All UI Hospital and Clinics ARNPs were asked via a survey for permission to be placed on a master list of staff willing to be preceptors for ARNP students.  A checklist was developed to guide the ARNP students through the steps of the placement process.  The checklist involved three major categories: requesting official placement from school, information on how to secure a preceptor, and other required regulatory paperwork.  Once the checklist was completed, the addendum was routed for signature from hospital administrators and the department head of the preceptors. 

Since the inception of this process in 2012, ARNP students not employed by UI Hospitals and Clinics have also navigated through our system.  To date, we have established affiliation agreements with twenty one ARNP academic programs in nine states.  There have been 63 ARNP students covered under 103 addendum contracts for clinical experiences.   Future plans include exploring alternate clinical experiences for students beyond 1:1 preceptors, developing recruitment and recognition strategies for preceptors, and migrating the paperwork process to an electronic workflow.

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