Undergraduate clinical rotations

Undergraduate Clinical Rotations

The BSN and ABSN programs are foundations for basic nursing competence. You gain essential clinical experiences to meet state board requirements, including a variety of clinical skills, patient care experiences, and decision-making skills.

Your clinical placements may be in many different settings, including:

  • hospitals
  • inpatient and outpatient
  • mental health
  • public health agencies
  • community agencies
  • public schools

Your patients mirror society and you may care for individuals and families, infants through the elderly, individuals with acute, chronic and mental illnesses, patients able to afford health care and those without means to take care of themselves.

Dress Code/Appearance


Wear your student uniform to your clinical site at all times, including when you pick up patient information. All parts of your uniform should be lightweight, easily and quickly laundered, and reserved for clinical rotations only.

The uniform includes:

  • UW deep purple medical scrub top and bottom
  • Two UW School of Nursing emblems: the emblem must be sewn or glued onto the upper left sleeve, just below the shoulder of both the jacket and the purple scrub top
  • UW School of Nursing nametag
  • White, short professional jacket (may be worn with name badge over street clothes during preparation time ONLY; when wearing purple scrubs, may be taken off during clinical day as needed)
  • An easy-to-read watch with a second hand
  • Low, rubber-heeled, closed-toe shoes that are easily cleaned and reserved for clinical only. Dress codes for most clinical agencies do not permit clogs or sandals.


Appearance must be professional. Your uniform should be clean and you should be easily identifiable as a UW nursing student. Hair, jewelry and other accessories should be worn so as to avoid causing safety risks to yourself and/or patients.

You must also adhere to the dress code of each site (e.g., some sites do not permit jewelry, body piercings, etc.). If you arrive at the site in unacceptable attire, you will be asked to leave the facility.

Direct any questions to your instructor or the manager of the unit you will be working on.


The Learning Lab and your clinical sites should be considered “fragrance free” to protect those with hypersensitivities.

Purchasing Information

The white professional jacket is available through the University Bookstore, various uniform stores, through catalogs and the internet. Lab jackets should be lightweight and launder easily. Buy where you feel comfortable.

Scrubs with the required shade of purple are purchased through the UW Bookstore. You are free to purchase the scrubs from other vendors, but you must match the UW purple color.

The UW School of Nursing emblem is sold exclusively through the University Bookstore. Please purchase TWO emblems: one for the uniform jacket and one for the purple scrubs.

Order your nametag early, as it will take a few days to be made.

Transportation to Clinical Sites

Clinical placements through the Consortium and non-Consortium sites are arranged within the greater Seattle area, including metropolitan Seattle, King, Snohomish and Pierce counties. Transportation, including the cost of transportation (gas, bus fare, ferry fees) to and from the clinical site is your responsibility. You may use your own car, public transportation, or carpool with other students in your group.

Commute/transportation issues are not considered as part of the clinical placement process.

Clinical Rotation Shifts

The majority of clinical rotations are scheduled during daytime hours. However, some rotations may be evenings and weekends. You should reserve the entire day for your clinical rotation (6:00am—midnight).

Clinical Site Requirements

In addition to meeting UW School of Nursing compliance requirements, you must also meet all clinical site requirements. Prior to your first clinical rotation date, sites may ask you to complete:

  • paperwork
  • mandatory orientations
  • computer trainings
  • fingerprinting
  • drug screening*
  • evidence of military draft registration

Once you receive information about a clinical placement, give yourself plenty of time to complete the specific site requirements. Failure to do so may cancel your clinical placement.

North Puget Sound Clinical Consortium

Undergraduate placements are coordinated by the North Puget Sound Clinical Placement Consortium.

At the beginning of your first academic quarter, undergraduate students must register for an account at https://www.cpnw.org/ and complete a set of training modules (e.g., bloodborne pathogens, patient rights/safety, standard precautions, etc.).

This website will also eventually include links to any site-specific onboarding paperwork requirements.  For now, please refer to your clinical instructor for onboarding/site-specific paperwork requirements and orientation times.

Questions? Contact support@cpnw.org.

Drug Screening

If a clinical site requires drug screening, the cost is the responsibility of the clinical site and/or student. The UW School of Nursing does not pay for drug screening and will not administer, receive, or review drug testing results.

If a clinical site requires drug screening, the date of the drug screening will be included in the student’s clinical passport without results or other information.