The Preceptor of the Year Award honors a member who is an exemplary and outstanding PMHNP student preceptor. They demonstrate professionalism, leadership, and management skills and stimulate active independent and guided learning with constructive feedback. They are excellent communicators and positive role models with well-developed interpersonal skills.
AAPPN would like to congratulate Elizabeth “Beth” Bielstein, ARNP, on being awarded 2020 Preceptor of the Year.
Beth provides great care to her patients – and as a colleague, she always makes herself available for questions, consultation, or just to reflect, vent, and provide comic relief about the daily highs and lows as a Psych NP. She, along with other PMHNP friends and psychiatry colleagues, have helped to reduce my risk of burn out and make my job so much more enjoyable. Thank you, Beth, for your valuable mentorship.
Emma OswaldDNP, PMHNP-BC
Beth is a psychiatric nurse practitioner at the Everett Clinic in Everett, where she has a busy practice working with patients who experience a full range of mental illness, including schizophrenia, Bipolar, OCD, ADHD, Panic Disorder, anxiety, and depression. Some of her patients are also experiencing complexities of advanced age and medical comorbidities.
There is never a dull day in the clinic. In a typical workday she sees up to 12-14 patients.
Beth graduated with her Associates Degree in Nursing in 1994 and worked as an RN for many years prior to becoming an ARNP in 2011.
AAPPN asked Beth to give some advice and insights on being a preceptor:
Why did you choose to be a preceptor?
“I didn’t!” Her precepting journey started in 1995, only a year after graduating, “I was flabbergasted that anyone with an ADN could precept bachelor students.” Since this time, she states it is “impossible” to know how many students she has taught. She makes a rough estimate of about 100 students in her 26-year career, including numerous nursing students, medical residents, and most recently six nurse practitioner students.
Beth stresses that she never made a conscious decision to be a mentor or preceptor, but time and again she has been sought out for this role by managers and new nurse practitioners.
The inklings of teaching in Beth’s future predate her nursing career. Growing up, Beth’s parents told her they thought she was going to be a teacher. Much to her mother’s surprise, she became a nurse, just as her mother had been.
Beth enjoys sharing with and watching students and new nurse practitioners learn and grow. She especially enjoys “seeing when the lights go on” as nurses make connections. Since becoming a Psych NP, Beth especially enjoys helping NPs learn the ropes of their first ARNP jobs, citing the importance of helping new NPs successfully make this transition.
Another one of her most satisfying mentoring experiences was helping an NP who came from a state that didn’t have independent practice. She loved watching her grow into herself and increase her confidence.
What would you tell a NP who is considering becoming a preceptor?
“Make sure you have the time to do it because it is demanding.” She stresses that it will take a lot of attention and you have to slow down to do it right. “You have to honor the student in front of you. If you want to do it and you love teaching, then absolutely do it, it is so rewarding!”
She is always amazed by NP students. Beth never ceases to be in awe of how interesting and interested students are: “They ask the most juicy questions.” Hands down, she feels she has learned more about nursing from teaching than being in a classroom or being a nurse.
What advice would you give nurse practitioner who decides to be a preceptor?
Have a good self-care regimen in place. She stresses the importance of needing to be able to walk away from job and leave it at the office. All too often she sees new students and NPs taking work home and getting depleted.
What do you do for your own self-care practice?
Beth states she is a very spiritual person. She meditates, does yoga, makes a point to have alone time, and reserves one day off a week just for herself. She also emphasizes that it is “okay to do nothing” and truly unplug. Fun fact: the cornerstone of Beth’s self-care is a 30+ year practice of doing yoga!
The best leaders are those who lead by example. AAPPN would like to thank Beth and all of those who have precepted and mentored for your dedication to nursing.