9 Do’s & Don’ts for Approaching a FNP Practicum Site

The MSN – FNP Specialty Track practicum courses at Chamberlain are where it all comes together. The practicum experience lets you put knowledge into practice and emerge from the program as a confident, extraordinary family nurse practitioner.

Identifying FNP practicum sites can be challenging – and may require you to “cold call” healthcare providers. Consider the following list of “do’s and don’ts” to put your best foot forward and make a positive first impression. The connections you make may lead to an enriching, rewarding practicum experience!

Do: 

1. Set up an appointment with a potential site supervisor by telephone or e‐mail before visiting the site. Be clear and knowledgeable in your communication. Include useful information such as your name, school and program, and the dates of your desired practicum experience.


Photo Credit: @jennysharpe

2. Strive to make your initial communication as individualized to the site as possible.  Seek information about the correct contact and address them by name. If this information is not known, demonstrate knowledge of the facility. 

3. Do your homework. Before your visit, research your potential practicum site through their website if they have one. 

4. Dress appropriately and professionally when visiting your site, as you would for a job interview. 

5. When you approach a potential practicum site, you are presenting yourself as a representative of Chamberlain’s MSN - FNP Specialty Track and as a possible employee of that facility. Show the utmost courtesy and respect, and display the highest level of professionalism with every employee you encounter. Remember: Chamberlain practicum sites do not receive any compensation for their participation in your education. You are, in effect, asking your site representative to do a favor for you.  

Don’t:

1. Show up at a site unannounced, even if you have dealt with the site or its representatives in the past. 

2. Send mass emails to multiple sites at the same time. This is considered spam, and can reflect a severe lack of courtesy. 

3. Operate under the assumption that your practicum site has the resources and willingness to host you.  

4. Make statements that reflect frustration or a disadvantage, such as “I have been trying for months to find a site” or “I have been rejected by one site after another.” Such statements might cause the site to question your suitability to work with them.  

Don’t get discouraged if the first site you visit doesn’t give you a ‘yes’. Many factors play a part in a site’s decision to precept a nurse practitioner student, including the availability of staff, company restructuring or the suitability for your specific educational needs.  Keep using the tips above until you find the right site!

Want more inspiration for your FNP practicum site search? Check out some of these helpful resources:

8 Graduates Share Advice on How to Find a FNP Practicum Site
MSN – FNP Specialty Track Practicum Handbook
AANP Find a Nurse Practitioner

Important information about the educational debt, earnings, and completion rates of students who attended this program can be found at www.chamberlain.edu/gemsn.

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