My Two Cents: Thoughts About The Direction of Our Great Profession and the Preceptor Problem... Part I: A Message to Nurse Practitioner Schools:
I love being a Nurse Practitioner and am a huge advocate for Advanced Practitioners in general, but there are things that concern me about the direction we are going as Nurse Practitioners (NPs). In my current roles, I’m in a unique position to really see the issues from many different angles. In this first blog, I’m directing my thoughts to NP schools. These are the places where it all begins: our alma maters. Are there some things the schools could do to help with this problem? These are my thoughts on a subject of which I have become quite versed. Follow up blogs will address the same issue in regards to the student, the preceptor and the practice sites. I believe there are things we can do in all of these areas to address the problem of the Preceptor Shortage.
We all see schools pouring out students but then see countless students struggling to find preceptors. This is not news to anyone in our profession and the situation is getting worse. This problem affects all of us in the field! The balance is just too far off and, if this continues, I am concerned it will damage our profession. Current research studies demonstrate positive outcomes for nurse practitioners (NPs), but if we can’t train quality NPs this trend is not likely to continue. I’m concerned that we are setting ourselves up for trouble.
I frequently hear practice sites saying things like, “We only train med students, so we don’t take NP students; We don’t take students from XXX University; We are too busy to take students; It is too much work to take students,” or just plain, “We don’t precept.” The current system is unsustainable. Something has to change before it’s too late.
Here are my thoughts on the challenges we face in this growing profession and some ideas on how we might change them:
To the Nurse Practitioner Schools:
As a longtime NP with a desire to help and make positive changes to her beloved profession, Lynn often writes opinion pieces about the NP profession.
"Why NPs train on the backs of physicians"