December 16, 2020
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"Find me a preceptor": The real cost of looking for a preceptor on your own

Nurse practitioners have to go through a lot of hurdles to find a preceptor, and accomplish their professional and educational goals. We admire all of them because they chose to walk a path that requires courage, determination, and patience.

However, one of their biggest obstacles is also the one that is most unfair. They have to go out and find a preceptor on their own. Most of the time, this preceptor is not provided to them by their school.

This situation makes it extremely difficult for NP students to succeed. Most NP programs will tell you that if you put a little effort, and do some digging, you will find a preceptor. But for many people, that’s just not the case.

Those same NP programs will also tell you that using a preceptor matching service, such as NPHub, is a waste of time and money. But of course, they’re not the ones that have to do the work.

If you’re reading this article, you might be on the fence about NPHub (or other similar services).

That’s understandable. We don’t want you to be more stressed out than you already are, but we do want to help you see the bigger picture.

Searching for a preceptor: supply and demand

In order to find a preceptor on your own, you have to put in a lot of hours. You could spend that time studying, working, or being with your loved ones.

However, since the school didn’t provide you with a solution, you are now in a difficult place. Stuck and with a lot of uncertainty. Not knowing if you will be able to graduate on time.

This situation arises from a simple economic principle: supply and demand.

“Supply” is the number of available preceptors in your area. “Demand” is how many NP students like you exist in that area.

Can you guess what the problem is here? There are more NP students than available preceptors. It’s also hard for NP students to contact those preceptors, or to find preceptors outside of the limited supply that your school can provide (if they provide them at all).

It’s not your fault that you can’t find a preceptor on time. Many NP programs and people who don’t know better will have you believe that you are to blame.

Maybe you didn’t send enough emails, or made enough calls… Maybe you should have tried harder.

Don’t fall for that. It’s not you. It’s the system.

At NPHub, we’re always trying to help with this problem by bringing in new preceptors. We handle all the paperwork, we sign them up, and we make it easier for them to find students.

Our job is to bring preceptors to you.

However, if you can’t or don’t want to use our service for whatever reason, we will always try to help you achieve your goals. That’s why we also write articles like these:

The NPHub guide on where to ask for a preceptorship

The NP Clinical Rotation Guide: FAQs for Beginners

The Best How-To Guide on Finding Preceptors on Your Own

The real cost of looking for a preceptor on your own

We do what we do because we understand that the preceptor demand is high, and the supply is low. We also understand that this problem can cost NP students a lot of time and money, even if it doesn’t seem like it at the beginning.

In order to find a preceptor by yourself, you’ll probably have to spend some money. For example: Memberships to NP organizations cost money, and it’s never guaranteed that you’ll succeed.

We are in favor of you signing up for NP organizations like the AANP, but for the right reasons!

We don’t want you to do it because you’re stressed out and running out of time. We want you to do it because you want to be a part of a community.

Students come to us after spending days, weeks, and even months looking for available places to do their clinical rotations. A great deal of them are suffering from high levels of stress and fatigue.

The truth is that most of our students come to us when they’re desperate. Sadly, most of them don’t find out about NPHub until it is almost too late. For many of them, we are the last resort.

We have seen how their search for a preceptor becomes detrimental to their mental health. This doesn’t happen to everyone, but it does happen. Our mission, as a company, is to make the preceptor matching process a lot easier so that the student can get back to a place where they can focus on being the best nurse practitioner they can be.

So, there you have it. The real cost of looking for a preceptor by yourself is not only time and money, but your own well-being.

Why is it so hard for NP students to find a preceptor?

In our experience, the first thing that comes to mind is that preceptors are not getting compensated for their efforts. This is why many NPs are unwilling to precept students.

Most clinics expect preceptors to teach students out of kindness, but this is unreasonable and not financially affordable for many working NPs out there. Besides that, other preceptors in other fields do get paid for their time, so why wouldn’t NPs deserve the same?

Our solution to this problem is to make it easy for preceptors to teach students. And yes, we pay our preceptors because they deserve compensation for their hard work!

Some preceptors are also picky regarding which students they want to take on because there are just too many NP programs out there. We solve this problem by connecting the right preceptors with the right students. We try to create a win-win situation for everyone.

A third reason is, of course, supply and demand, as we explained above. That’s the main issue, and sadly, until the system changes, we will keep seeing these problems in the NP community.

How can NPHub help you?

Most of the students that leave reviews for our service say things like:

“Thank you, using NPHub has saved me a lot of time and effort. You’ve helped me with a very stressful situation. I didn’t think it was possible until I signed up.”

We wish this wasn’t the case. We wish that most students would be able to find rotations on their own, easily, and without the stress.

Our main goal has always been to make students happy. We provide a service that, honestly, should not be necessary.

Unfortunately, many universities, and many NP programs, are not doing what they should do to help NP students. We would love to just work with universities to provide students with preceptors without them having to pay extra money for it, but some universities won’t want to take accountability and provide that service, or just aren’t ready or set for it.

If you start searching for preceptors online, you’ll see a lot of negative opinions towards companies like NPHub (and the students that use them):

“Students shouldn’t have to resort to preceptor matching services”

“It’s outrageous that these companies are paying preceptors to teach”

These people don’t seem to understand that we live in a world where NP students are expected to do all the heavy lifting, most of the time without any help.

We created NPHub not because we wanted to take advantage of students who are suffering.

We created NPHub simply because we want every NP student to graduate on time, and universities help them do it or work with us to offer that service.

Have any questions about how we work? See these articles:

The 10 most important questions NP students might have about NPHub

Why NPHub Offers The Best NP Preceptor Matching Service

NPHub’s Refund Policy: FAQs About Cancelling Your Rotation

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