Frontier Nursing University’s Clinical Outreach and Placement team is available to help students throughout their clinical program. Clinical Outreach and Placement Director Stephanie Boyd leads a team that includes three clinical advisors and a clinical services coordinator. The unit aids students by providing assistance and resources for locating clinical sites. It also provides support and customer service to preceptors, answering their questions and troubleshooting challenging situations.
The Clinical Outreach and Placement unit encourages students to be proactive and creative in their search for clinical sites. Sharing tips and success stories, they hope to inspire students to take the initiative and get an early start on identifying a clinical site.
“Students have a dedicated team of staff and faculty who work with them every step of the way,” Boyd said. “The majority of our students will tell you that talking about the clinical site identification process earlier and more often is such a benefit to them.”
The success of early planning with students might also be part of the solution to identify and create an even larger network of preceptors. Boyd’s team, which monitors a nationwide preceptor database, is particularly focused on increasing the number of FNU alumni who share their knowledge by precepting Frontier students. The process to do so began by developing the infrastructure, which includes Clinical Services Coordinator Brittany Bachman, who provides one-on-one support to preceptors, helping them navigate the process of precepting.
FNU preceptors are surveyed annually to gain insight into their experience precepting a Frontier student. Cumulative data, along with individual narrative responses, help Boyd and her team identify areas of improvement. The survey results, which are overwhelmingly positive, also serve as an additional way to promote and encourage potential preceptors who might have reservations about the time, process, or overall experience of precepting.
In addition to recruiting FNU alumni to become preceptors, the university is also giving added attention to a grassroots effort to encourage students to think about giving back after they graduate. Giving back can take many forms, including monetary gifts or, in the case of precepting, gifts of time and expertise. Graduates are eligible to precept one year after their graduation date.
“FNU students know the importance of having great preceptors to help train and mentor them,” said FNU alumna Kendra Faucett, DNP, CNM, CNE, FACNM. “As alumni, sharing their time and expertise through precepting is incredibly rewarding.”
The primary reward comes in the form of helping students learn and develop their skills, of course, but a fun secondary reward is the Featured Preceptor of the Term recognition. Each term, Boyd’s team selects a preceptor to recognize based on nominations from students and faculty.
Whether assisting students or preceptors, the key element in the work of the Clinical Outreach and Placement team is communication. Team members manage booths at national nurse practitioner and nurse-midwifery conferences where they engage and inform potential preceptors. The team also plans to start sending quarterly e-newsletters to active preceptors as a means to keep the lines of communication open and to share key information with those preceptors.
“The majority of our preceptors tell us they precept because they want to give back to their profession,” Boyd said. “The survey responses indicate preceptors feel very supported by FNU. As we increasingly share this information, I am confident that our alumni will want to pay it forward to the next generation of students by answering the call to precept as soon as they are eligible.”
Frontier Nursing University’s Department of Clinical Outreach and Placement strives to serve both students and their preceptors. All preceptors are surveyed by FNU to learn about their experience precepting a Frontier student and to learn how to create the best possible experience for all parties involved. A total of 746 preceptors responded to FNU’s 2022 survey.
This is what they had to say about their experience as preceptors for FNU students:
- When asked how satisfied they were with their experience serving as a Preceptor for an FNU student, nearly 60 percent of respondents said “very satisfied” and nearly 40 percent said “satisfied.”
- When asked how well-prepared the FNU student was when they began their clinical experience, over 40 percent of respondents said they “exceeded expectations” and about half of the respondents said they “met expectations.”
- When asked whether or not they felt supported by FNU if they have concerns or issues while precepting, about 95 percent of respondents said yes.
- When asked if they found the process of setting up their Preceptor Profile information easy to understand, about 95 percent of respondents said yes.
- When asked how likely they were to serve as a preceptor for an FNU student again, nearly 80 percent of respondents said “likely.”
Visit this link on our website to learn more about becoming a preceptor.
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