Did you know Facebook is very useful when looking for a preceptor? It works for way more than unwinding from school or work while scrolling through memes, quick food recipes and your old friends’ pics.
If you’re a NP student who is looking for a preceptor, you’ve probably called every clinic in your area during business hours, and if you’re reading this, it probably hasn’t worked!
Want to know why?
Many practicing Nurse Practitioners have quotas to see between 2.3 – 2.7 patients per hour. To add, sometimes MDs try to see 3 patients per hour. Also, most clinic administrators are running around non-stop due to the usually excessive amount of paperwork and phone calls that need to be made.
With all that being said, it’s logically nearly impossible to breakthrough any clinic. Of course, administrators, office managers, and possible preceptors are going to say no, or not return calls. The reason is because it’s the easy answer to make in the moment. They might even want/need students for clinical rotations, but may still be too busy to actually think about giving it a shot.
A good conclusion then would be that, to succeed on your search, you have to go to where your potential preceptor’s attention is already.
And guess what, it’s probably on Facebook. Ask yourself: Who isn’t on Facebook? Even everyone’s mom is!
So here’s why you should look for your preceptor on Facebook:
Everyone is already on Facebook
Some may think that Facebook isn’t as popular anymore, or that it is unprofessional to reach out to a preceptor through Facebook. Statistics say otherwise!
Currently, Facebook is still growing in users, and has become the central location for people to find their news, shopping, sales, and interactions with companies, organizations, and work.
NP student, you have to take advantage of the fact that this platform is incredibly full of people and develop new relationships with them that can be very useful later on. The best part of reaching out to potential preceptors through Facebook is that they can respond on their own time. Most preceptors probably receive direct notifications to their phones, and will see them after working with patients, which is why we told you that business hours aren’t the best ones to try and get their attention.
Facebook groups are powerful
What better place for a Nurse Practitioner looking for a preceptor, than a NP Facebook group? Join a few of them and introduce yourself, including what you need and also what you can offer. That can be a great attempt to create an awesome network.
The best part of all this is, there are licensed Nurse Practitioners in some of those groups too, and you never know who may be able to take you, so you have to reach out! There’s a good chance your school has a Facebook group where you can try to connect with older members who have already graduated and hit their one-year of eligibility.
If there’s no Facebook group of your school, why not create it yourself? Make it happen!
Direct messages are great, but not alone
The main task here is that you find potential preceptors and send them a well-structured message (we will provide you one in a bit, so keep reading), but turns out only sending one direct message is not enough to succeed!
What happens is that, requests from unknown sources (non-connections) are filtered by the network’s system and need to be approved. Now, these approval requests are hard to notice on mobile devices.
So what can you do to be noticed? Our pro-tip would be: First message, then friend request (if possible), then message again. You’re much more likely to get a response this way!
Here’s a template our students have used and gotten good results with (remember to make it your own and adjust it to your situation):
Sending two continuous messages is easier to digest for most people.
We all know that the current system for nurse practitioners to find and schedule clinical rotations is broken and unfair. We know that all other types of healthcare professionals (MDs, PAs, DOs, RNs, etc.) receive scheduled clinical placements. It’s absurd the way the current system operates. However, at this point, we have to face it and do our best to get things done, while still fighting for a change!
Start leveraging Facebook, and responses from preceptors will increase. It’s worked for us at NPHub, and I know it can work for you as well! Also, always be confident enough to ask for help, you’re not alone in this struggle. Even if a preceptor can’t take you, ask them for a referral. There’s always a way around or through!
We’re here to help you find that rotation, so reach out to us any time on: