Graduate Clinical Placements
Graduate clinical rotations occur during the final 2-4 semesters of the MS Program depending on the specialty track. The clinical faculty for each specialty track collaborates with the Clinical Placement Office (CPO) to assign individual student placements. Clinical sites are carefully selected to ensure students meet program objectives and eligibility for national board certification. The clinical placement decision-making process collectively prioritizes individual student’s educational needs.
Student Requirements & Expectations
All students must meet clinical compliance requirements prior to program entry.
- Students who do not maintain clinical compliance throughout the program are not permitted to attend clinical until the non-compliance issue is resolved.
- Students are expected to be proactive in maintaining clinical compliance to prevent loss of clinical time and subsequent delays in program progression.
- Students are expected to attend clinical according to the schedule of the assigned preceptor.
- Students are expected to have access to reliable transportation to commute to their assigned clinical site.
- Students are required to complete all course-required clinical hours (per the course syllabus) prior to the start of the subsequent semester to prevent a delay in progression or program completion.
- Failure to meet the requisite clinical hours in a clinical course may result in delayed program progression.
- Students are expected to maintain a professional demeanor when communicating with faculty, Clinical Placement staff, preceptors, and outside agencies.
- Students are expected to abide by the Professional Standards. Failure to comply with CON directives and professional standards may result in a report of alleged misconduct to the Professional Misconduct Committee.
Clinical Placement Planning Process
The clinical experience is an essential aspect of graduate clinical education. The requisite number of clinical hours may vary by specialty and are mandatory for meeting eligibility requirements for both program completion and national board certification exams.
- Clinical Placement Survey. The CPO distributes a Clinical Placement Survey in the autumn semester prior to the clinical year. All graduate students are required to complete the placement survey. The survey data assist the CPO and clinical faculty to make collective placement decisions for each specialty cohort. The aggregate survey data informs placement decision-making; however, specific preceptors, clinical sites, or geographical locations are not guaranteed. While the CPO does take student preferences into consideration, securing high quality clinical experiences that meet regulatory criteria is paramount.
- The clinical placement process runs continuously throughout the academic year. CON Faculty & Staff will always communicate with students via the student’s firstname.lastname@example.org email account. Students are responsible for checking email@example.com email at least once every 24-48 hours to ensure acknowledgement of time-sensitive communication.
- The CPO will notify students by firstname.lastname@example.org email if the student needs to complete an institution-specific application for placement in an upcoming semester. An untimely response may result in a missed application deadline and lost placement opportunity.
- Students must use their #@osu.edu email contact on all placement applications.
- Students may be asked to complete multiple applications; however, completing an institution-specific application does not guarantee a clinical placement.
- Note: Some clinical sites will request student resumes and/or a placement interview prior to accepting a student for clinical placement. Students should have an up-to-date resume readily available upon request and be prepared to attend a placement interview.
- Students Residing Out-of-State
- Students residing outside of the state of Ohio are responsible for identifying potential clinical sites. If no clinical site can be identified in the student’s home state, it may be necessary for the student to complete the clinical rotations in a neighboring state.
- Potential preceptors or clinical sites will be vetted and approved by the course clinical faculty and/or specialty track director (SPD).
- If a preceptor/clinical site is approved, the CPO will work to secure necessary clinical contracts. It can take up to 3-6 months to secure a clinical contract, which underscores the need for advanced planning.
- Students Residing in Ohio
- The CPO assumes primary responsibility for clinical placements in Ohio.
- Students may not contact potential preceptors or potential clinical sites unless the CPO or clinical faculty has given the student prior, express permission. This is critically important for all Central Ohio sites. Many hospitals and health systems have an internal process in place for clinical placements. Failure to abide by institution-specific placement protocols may result in the loss of CON clinical placements.
- Students may network with personal contacts (friends, family, co-workers) to identify potential preceptors. Students will notify the CPO of potential preceptor leads to be vetted and approved by clinical faculty.
- Assignment Notifications. The CPO aims to notify students of their assigned clinical placement information and onboarding instructions within the month prior to the start of a clinical semester.
- Clinical placement decisions are final once the student is notified of the assigned placement.
- Quality preceptors and clinical sites are a limited and precious resource. Despite best efforts, assigned clinical placements may not be congruent with student preferences, but instead, consistent with educational objectives and regulatory standards.
- If a student has a concern about the assigned clinical placement, the student should address their concerns to their clinical course faculty as the first point of contact. Faculty will advise the CPO if further action is needed.
- Refusing a clinical placement assignment can result in an allegation of professional misconduct and/or the risk of delayed program progression by not acquiring the requisite number of clinical hours required for the semester.
- Once confirmed, no one student will be displaced from an assigned clinical placement to accommodate another student.
Clinical sites are located in health care facilities throughout the students’ states of residence or in an adjacent state that maintains State Authorization with Ohio.
- Students are expected to have access to reliable transportation to commute to their assigned clinical site. Students can expect to commute anywhere within the state of residence or a neighboring state with State Authorization.
- Depending on the length of the commute, students may opt to arrange temporary overnight accommodations.
- The College of Nursing faculty must approve all clinical sites before the student begins clinical.
- The CON must have a current clinical contract with all clinical sites.
Volunteer preceptors are fundamental to graduate nursing clinical education. CON preceptors are highly regarded clinical partners of OSU.
- All preceptors must be approved by the College of Nursing before the student enters the clinical setting.
- Approved preceptors have a minimum of 1-year practice experience and hold an active, unencumbered license and board certification in the relevant specialty population and setting.
Out-of-State (Non-Ohio) Clinical Placements
The College of Nursing must have a State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement with the Board of Nursing of the state in which OSU graduate nursing students attend clinical experiences.
- On-campus students may petition the Graduate Studies Committee for an out-of-state clinical placement.
- All students must have an active, unencumbered RN license in the state where they plan to attend clinical.
- Online students should notify the Clinical Placement Office prior to relocating to a new state during the program to ensure that the new state of residence has a State Authorization Agreement with OSU.
Students with Disabilities
- Students requesting accommodation for disability for classroom needs are responsible for notifying the Clinical Course Head by the end of the first week of the semester to discuss specific needs. Self-identification is the only way to assure that the faculty member can make the appropriate accommodation. Students should provide a letter from the OSU Student Life Disability Services http://slds.osu.edu (098 Baker Hall, 113 W. 12th Avenue; (614) 292-3307; VRS: 614-429-1334) to verify the disability.
- Students requesting accommodation for disability for clinical setting needs are responsible for notifying the CPO and Clinical Course Head as soon as the need for accommodations is anticipated. Advanced planning is critical to maintain seamless program progression. Self-identification is the only way to assure that faculty and staff can aid in planning for appropriate accommodations. Students should provide a letter from the OSU Student Life Disability Services http://slds.osu.edu (098 Baker Hall, 113 W. 12th Avenue; (614) 292-3307; VRS: (614) 429-1334); to verify the disability.
- To be considered a disability under the Americans with Disability Act (ADA, 1990), covered persons must have physical or mental impairments that substantially limit one or more major life activities. Supportive documentation by a health care provider must be produced. Pregnancy is not considered an impairment or disability according to the Americans with Disability Act (ADA, 1990) and section 4112.01 of the Ohio Revised Code (ORC).
Discrimination & Harassment
- No matter how minor the incident, students should notify faculty immediately for any concerns regarding disability discrimination, sex- and gender-based discrimination, pregnancy discrimination, or sexual harassment/assault that occur in the clinical setting. Faculty will ensure student support and assistance with reporting as indicated.
Unexpected Life Events
Certain life events may occur unexpectedly that impact a student’s ability to complete the clinical course requirements for a given semester. Unexpected life events may include, but are not limited to: serious illness or injury, death of a family member, adoption/birth of a child, divorce, job loss, or deployment.
- Upon discovery, or anticipation of, an unexpected life event that may impact a student’s ability to complete the clinical course requirements (including the requisite clinical hours), students should immediately notify the CPO and Clinical Course Head.
- Clinical faculty and staff will provide resources for support, potential solutions, and/or reasonable accommodations to support students in meeting course objectives.
- If course requirements still cannot be met successfully, students may request a modification of their curriculum plan. In some instances, a leave of absence (LOA) petition may be needed.