Clinical Placement Services

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Clinical resources are offered at no additional charge.

wilkes university nursing clinicals in the community

We identify and secure quality clinical placement sites within your local community.

wilkes university nursing clinicals checklist

A clinical checklist is provided to ensure your success.

Frequently Asked Questions About Clinical Placement Service

What Are Nursing Clinicals?

To accompany online classroom learning and test taking, nurses also need clinical experience to practice what they’ve learned in theory. Hands-on patient care is a requisite component of a nursing degree and must be practiced on real patients in clinical settings. 

During clinical rotations, nursing students are under the close supervision of their preceptor. They are given specific instructions to follow while keeping clinical practice guidelines and best practices in mind. Students are placed in a variety of health care facility settings.  Clinicals are very similar to an internship or being an apprentice; you assume the role of the nurse and provide care for real patients, but you benefit from the supervision and guidance of your preceptor and other health care professionals. 

Nursing students must complete a certain number of clinical hours as determined by the American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP) and the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC). Please note, these are not paid positions, but they count toward the degree. 

How Does the Clinical Placement Process Work?

The Clinical Placement Team will collaborate with you to secure quality placement sites and preceptors. In addition to completing a Placement Intake Form, you will be responsible for completing all of your clinical clearance requirements prior to the start of your first clinical rotation.

What Value Will the Clinical Placement Team Provide?

The Clinical Placement Team identifies and secures quality placement sites within your local community. This process allows you to focus on the coursework and the core competencies that will direct your placement experience.  As an active participant in the placement process, providing referrals from your local community increases your chances of securing quality sites and preceptors.

When Will I Receive My Clinical Placement Details?

You will receive a notification from your dedicated Clinical Placement Coordinator prior to each clinical start date. Once the placement has been confirmed and communicated, you are encouraged to begin working with your preceptor directly to establish a schedule for the term. 

How Do I Prepare for Nursing Clinicals?

You are not alone in preparing for nursing school clinicals! Your Placement Coordinator will be with you through the entire process by answering your questions, providing a clinical orientation, verifying your clinical clearances and walking you through the clinical checklist. The nursing clinicals checklist details the dress code, clinical tools and professional expectations to ensure your success throughout each rotation. 

What Can I Expect During Nursing Clinicals?

All nursing clinical experiences are different because student nurses work in a variety of health care facility environments when doing their clinical rotations. We recommend working in different types of settings so you can decide which areas you want to pursue. And by doing so, you can make multiple connections and network for future jobs. 

Students begin their clinical rotations after the required background checks and physical examinations are successfully completed. Nursing clinicals can require students to work shifts as long as 12 hours. Due to the long nature of these shifts, our nursing programs are flexible so students can simultaneously complete their clinical requirements.  

During your clinical rotation, expect to work under an experienced nurse or qualified health care provider who will coach you throughout the process. Nursing students gain clinical experience by learning common nursing skills such as inserting IVs, taking blood pressure readings, administering medicine and so much more. 

What Are Nursing Clinical Placement Requirements?

Wilkes students will have a list of clinical clearances they need to complete before they can start clinical rotations. While each site will have different prerequisites, there are some general requirements that are universal. 

Immunization

To protect the health and safety of patients, other nursing students and healthcare staff, all students in nursing clinical rotations must provide proof of immunization. There is usually an initial immunization form that must be completed before beginning the degree program, and each year following requires some additional immunization documentation.  

Some placement sites may also make it mandatory to have the seasonal flu shot as an extra safety measure. Your placement coordinator can go over the details with you.   

Mask Fitting

Student nurses must have a face mask fit test to ensure their mask fits their unique face shape properly. Mask fit tests are valid for two years from the date of testing. Our placement coordinators refer students to local centers where they can go for their mask fittings. The cost of this test is not covered in the tuition and is the responsibility of the student.  

If you experience a change in your facial structure before the two-year retesting date, you must arrange a new mask fitting.   

Background Check

All nursing students must complete a background check which includes a criminal reference check. The check is usually valid for a full year from the date of issue and must be valid through the entire academic year. Your local police must perform your background check and any costs associated with it are your responsibility. Many police departments offer a student discount for background checks; check with your local police to learn more.  

If you have a criminal record, please reach out to us directly, as it may affect your nursing clinical placement and your eligibility to become a registered nurse.  

CPR Certification

All students in Wilkes University online nursing programs must show proof of a valid CPR certification. We do not accept online CPR course certification. The CPR certification is valid for one year from the date of issue and must cover the entire academic year. Our helpful counselors can guide you to recommended providers for CPR certification in your local area.   

We also strongly recommend First Aid certification, but we do not require it.  

Additional Training and Forms

Depending on your placement site, there is usually some specific training that must be completed before starting your clinicals. Students must provide proof-of-completion certificates as part of their pre-placement requirements. Your placement coordinator will go over the necessary training with you to make sure you have covered everything in your clinicals checklist.