My e-mail inbox is constantly inundated with messages from students looking for preceptors to lead their nurse practitioner clinical experience. I don’t mind these e-mails, I enjoy hearing from readers, but I am often at a loss when it comes to connecting these NP students directly with a potential preceptor. There is a real shortage of clinical sites for nurse practitioner students. One practice setting, however, is stepping up to help.
Two of the nations largest retail health clinic chains are now offering formal preceptorship programs for family nurse practitioner students. If you are an FNP student finding it nearly impossible to locate a preceptor for your clinical hours, consider going retail for your next rotation.
Complete Your Clinical Experience With Minute Clinic
Minute Clinics, located in CVS stores nationwide, are currently advertising clinical preceptorsips for family nurse practitioner students. A preceptorship in retail health exposes nurse practitioner students not only to the clinical skills necessary to treat patients for basic illnesses and injuries, but also the ins and outs of everyday clinic operations. One advantage of partnering with the Minute Clinic for your next FNP clinical rotation is flexible scheduling. Minute Clinics are open seven days a week giving students ample opportunity to complete clinical hours while working around other scheduling obligations.
Most Minute Clinic preceptorships are assigned through NP programs themselves. However, in some cities students can apply for these opportunities independently. The company allows students in Chicago, Philadelphia, Cleveland, Nashville, Atlanta, Miami, and Phoenix, to apply directly for the preceptorship program on the Minute Clinic website.
The deadline to apply for Fall 2014 preceptorships with the Minute Clinic is June 18th, 2014 so get those apps in quickly!
Take Care Health Systems Offers FNP Preceptorships
Like CVS Minute Clinics, Take Care clinics, located in Walgreen’s stores nationwide, offer clinical rotations for family nurse practitioner students. To participate in Take Care’s preceptorship program, students must attend an NP program that has a clinical affiliation agreement in place with the company. Students whose school is listed as an approved program may apply online for clinical rotation opportunities.
Take Care clinics offer students flexibility within their preceptorship as clinics are open seven day a week, 363 days a year. This leaves students plenty of options when it comes to completing clinical hours amidst an otherwise busy schedule. Not to mention, completing a clinical rotation with either national retail chain could lead to a job offer upon graduation from your NP program.
Unfortunately, the deadline to apply for Fall 2014 clinical preceptorships with Take Care Health Systems has passed, but students may apply for Spring 2014 opportunities through November 1st.
Going Retail Isn’t Right for Everyone
While the prospect of applying for these easy to find (but likely competitive?) clinical rotations is tempting, a preceptorship in retail health isn’t right for everyone. The clinical education offered in the retail environment is limited. There are a host of medical conditions nurse practitioners working in these clinics don’t treat. Your retail health rotation will prepare you for a few basics, diagnosis and management of strep throat, for example, but will leave your education lacking in other areas. NPs working in retail don’t drain abscesses, suture lacerations, or treat abdominal pain. They don’t read X-rays or interpret EKG’s. This isn’t to say that these nurse practitioners don’t know these skills or don’t provide quality of care, these services and procedures simply don’t fall into the scope of the retail health business model.
If your aspiration as a future nurse practitioner is to work in a retail health clinic, a preceptorship at the Minute Clinic or with Take Care Health Systems will give you the skills you need for your career. If you aren’t sure where your NP career will lead, or anticipate the need to treat a broader scope of patients, supplement your retail health rotation by partnering with a strong internal medicine or family practice provider for your next preceptorship.
Will you consider applying for a retail health clinical rotation?
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