Who will my preceptors be?

Preceptors may be physicians, nurse practitioners, osteopaths, physician assistants or other providers who are approved by your faculty and/or Clinical Placement Coordinator.

Where are clinical sites located?

Clinical sites are located throughout and beyond the Puget Sound area. Sites vary and include:

  • Private practice
  • HMO
  • Health department
  • Indian Health
  • Correctional centers
  • Community clinic health care
  • Pediatrics
  • Veteran's health care
  • urban and rural health
Sites can be difficult to secure due to competition from other health education programs, restrictions from managed care on the scope of practice, current Medicare guidelines and other limitations. Traveling to clinical sites should be expected and travel time may vary, so it is helpful to have a car available to you.

When will I be at a clinical site?

Clinical placement requires that students have a flexible schedule. You can expect to be placed at a clinical site on any day of the week that does not conflict with your course schedule.

What is required of me at my clinical site?

  • You will work with program faculty to determine the objectives for your clinical experience each quarter.
  • You must be compliant with the UW School of Nursing Student Health Policy.
  • You are required to adhere to the standards, policies, and regulations of clinical training sites. These standards include always arriving early/on time to your clinical site, wearing appropriate attire (including name tags and closed-toe shoes), and adhering to the standards and practices of the site.

Can I arrange an out-of-area clinical experience?

"Out-of-area" clinical placements are clinical practicum sites located outside of the greater Seattle area. Out-of-area placements are special requests, usually planned far in advance for a student's final quarter of study (contracts with sites may take six to eight months or longer to establish).

Out-of-Area Request Process

  1. At least six to eight months in advance, initiate a discussion with your faculty/clinical advisers about your interest in an out-of-area placement.
  2. If your faculty/clinical adviser approves the plan:
    • Established Sites: If you are interested in attending a site with which the UW School of Nursing already has an active affiliation contract, the faculty member will make the arrangements.
    • New Site: If you would like to attend a site with which the School of Nursing has not previously worked, please contact your clinical placement coordinator and/or your track lead. Give them the name and contact information of your proposed preceptor and the proposed site. The track lead or clinical placement coordinator will contact the potential preceptor, clarify the plan (start and end dates, days per week, expectations, etc.), and arrange for the affiliation contract, preceptor packet, and other necessary paperwork. Affiliation contracts can take six months to one year to establish, so start early if you want to explore the possibility of a new site. ***Students should NOT contact clinical sites to ask about clinical placements. You may suggest desired clinical placements to the track-specific clinical placement coordinator, but the clinical placement coordinator makes the final decision in conjunction with the seminar instructor(s) and the track lead(s).
  3. You are responsible for making final arrangements as needed, including those required for out-of-state RN licensure, housing, and transportation.

What do I do if there are issues with my placement?

Reasons for Requesting a Clinical Site Change

  • Site exceeds your current skill level
  • Site doesn't meet course objectives/limited preceptor availability
  • You feel intimidated

Steps for Requesting a Clinical Site Change

  1. Dialogue is initiated between you, your faculty/course adviser, and your preceptor to clarify the issues. It is helpful for you and your preceptor to review your clinical objectives. Every attempt must be made to keep you in the current clinical site with hopes that ongoing dialogue will resolve issues.
  2. Your faculty/course adviser makes a site visit. Alternatively, the faculty/course adviser initiates a conversation with your preceptor. During these discussions your will continue to attend the clinical site.
  3. You, your faculty/course adviser and your preceptor will identify the best course of action.
  4. If, as a result of this process, a site change is needed and you leave a site prior to the end of the quarter, your faculty/course adviser is responsible for contacting the preceptor to inform them of the change.
  5. Your faculty/course adviser will inform the Clinical Site Program Coordinator of the final outcome so the placement database can be updated.

Can I set up a new clinical site?

Students are encouraged to bring ideas for site placement possibilities to program faculty. Please coordinate any direct contact with preceptors through the faculty so that they can assure that all requirements are met.

How are credits for my clinical rotations calculated?

The basic rule for determining academic credit is one credit represents a total student time commitment of three hours each week in a ten-week quarter, or a total of thirty hours in a quarter. Total time includes:

  • time spent in class, if any
  • time devoted to individual conference with instructors
  • time devoted to reading or other study, problem solving, writing, laboratory work, exercises, or any other activity required of the student
A specific number of credits must be earned for a degree.

How are clinical placements made?

All clinical placements are made at the sole discretion of the faculty and staff of the program. All students are placed by their respective track’s Clinical Placement Coordinator. You may be asked to detail the type of clinical you desire, the days you are available for clinical, and other factors such as work and school schedules. This and other information will be considered in making your clinical placement. You are responsible for initiating contact with the appropriate faculty member to plan your clinical placement for each quarter. Faculty and staff may have to communicate with several preceptors before securing your site. When there are multiple requests for the same site, faculty and staff will consider the following..

  • Preceptor availability
  • Other student requests for same site/preceptor
  • Your current clinical needs
  • Your previous experience
  • Your strengths and need for challenges
  • Your availability
  • Geographical considerations
To emphasize, we repeat that all clinical placements are made at the sole discretion of the faculty and staff of the track or program.