What are nursing clinicals?
How does the clinical placement process work?
Hands-on patient care in clinical settings is a requisite component of any nursing degree. During your clinical rotations, under the direct supervision of a licensed nurse practitioner (preceptor), you’ll practice what you learned in the online classroom on real patients. (Registered nurses with three or more years of experience are preceptors for our ABSN students.)
Clinicals are very similar to an internship or being an apprentice; you provide care for real patients while benefiting from the supervision and guidance of your preceptor and indirect supervision and support from the UIndy faculty.
When will I receive my clinical placement details?
You’ll work with a dedicated UIndy placement coordinator who will walk you through the process and be your primary point of contact. Based on your goals, the course objectives, competencies, and where you live, your placement coordinator will identify an appropriate site and preceptor for you within a reasonable driving distance.
What can I expect during my nursing clinicals?
You will receive a notification from your placement coordinator prior to each clinical start date. Once the placement has been confirmed and communicated, you are encouraged to begin working directly with your preceptor to establish a schedule.
How do I prepare for nursing clinicals?
All clinical nursing experiences are slightly different because students work in a variety of health care facility environments. You will begin your clinical rotations after the required background checks and physical examinations have been successfully completed. During your clinical rotation, you will be under the close supervision of your preceptor and the indirect supervision of a UIndy clinical faculty supervisor who will direct, support, and evaluate your progress throughout each rotation. You will be given specific instructions to follow while keeping clinical practice guidelines in mind.
What are my responsibilities as a student during my clinicals?
You will be in close communication with your placement coordinator all the way through to graduation. He or she will ensure you meet deadlines and complete all health and clerical requirements, answer your questions, verify your clearance requirements, and walk you through the nursing clinicals checklist. The checklist details the dress code, clinical tools, and professional expectations to ensure your success in each rotation.
What can I expect from my preceptor?
Your responsibilities will include the following:
- Review objectives to fulfill clinical requirements.
- Provide your preceptor with daily written objectives and evaluation forms.
- Review existing clinical protocols and UIndy’s protocols with your preceptor.
- Document all clinical encounters using a subjective, objective, assessment, and plan (SOAP) format.
- Ensure you are always under the supervision of your preceptor.
Your preceptor is your on-site role model and will help you develop as a nurse or nurse practitioner during your clinical rotation. He or she will:
- Bridge the gap between theory and actual practice.
- Orient you to the practice setting (key personnel, organization, and institutional policies).
- Help you plan clinical assignments.
- Provide one-on-one supervision and daily feedback.
- Review and co-sign all documentation in the clinical records.