General Catalog

Clinical Rotations and Practicum

The number of field experience/clinical hours required for each clinical course must be met by the end of the session, regardless of holidays within the session. The total number of field experience/clinical hours required can be found in the course descriptions. Students may be required to travel or alter their work schedule to accommodate preceptor and site schedules in order to fulfill hour requirements.

Master of Science in Nursing - Graduate Clinical Requirements

Prior to registration for clinical courses, the student must meet the following requirements:

  1. Submit a Student Clinical Placement Application prior to the start of each clinical course to the Office of Field Experience. The Office of Field Experience will give priority to assigning clinical placements to those students who have submitted the application and all required documentation by the appropriate deadline.
  2. Submit the following documents to the Office of Field Experience. Students are required to maintain these documents in order to continue in the clinical setting each session.
    • Evidence of Professional Nursing Liability Insurance $1 million per event and $6 million total coverage (must state “NP Student”)
    • Evidence of Health Insurance
    • Health/Safety Requirements as described in the programs respective Clinical/Practicum Handbook
    • It is the responsibility of the student to identify clinical placements and preceptors. Should a student have difficulty securing a site, the Office of Field Experience will provide assistance to secure a placement on the student’s behalf. Priority will be given to those students who have submitted the application and all required documentation by the appropriate deadline.
      • Submit Student Clinical Placement Application Documents: Students must submit a minimum of three qualified preceptors with valid contact information and who have committed to being a preceptor at least 6 months prior to the start of each clinical course. Students will not be permitted to begin clinical courses and will be unregistered until the site and the preceptor are fully approved by the Office of Field Experience within the College of Nursing and Health Sciences. The Office of Field Experience will make every attempt to use a student preferred preceptor/site. If that is not possible, the student may need to withdraw, retake the course, and all associated clinical hours will be lost and need to be repeated the following term. Students will be responsible for all costs associated with repeat courses.

        Out of respect for those providers that have agreed to precept students at their clinical site, students that have accepted a clinical placement provided by the Office of Field Experience, as requested, must complete all hours associated with that placement. Failure to do so will result in referral to the Code of Conduct Committee and may impact future placement opportunities being extended. Students may deny placements provided by the Office of Field Experience should they desire to self-place for a rotation. If an offered placement was declined or not accepted within 24 business hours, excluding holidays, students must provide their own placement for that clinical rotation by deadline. Clinical site/preceptors may require interviews or additional requirements and the student must follow through with these expectations and appointments. Should these expectations or appointments not be met, students must provide their own placement for that clinical rotation by deadline.

      • Health and Safety Documentation: Students are expected to have current health and safety documents, including immunization records on file with the Office of Field Experience. All Health and Safety documents must be submitted to the Office of Field Experience 16 weeks prior to the start of any clinical course and remain current throughout the clinical experience. Insufficient, expired or missing documentation may result in clinical restriction. It is the student’s responsibility to ensure that health and safety documents are up to date and current, and that all other program requirements have been met. Health and safety requirements are mandated by agreement with the clinical sites in which a student may be placed. Therefore, USU cannot make exceptions to waive any health and safety requirements. Students that refuse to provide appropriate health and safety documentation, or request medical waivers (subject to approval),by the appropriate deadline will be responsible to find and secure their own clinical placement experiences that meet the appropriate standards. Students must communicate with the Office of Field Experience prior to reaching out to any clinical site, as there may be pre-established procedures to be followed for that facility. Students must provide documentation from the clinical site (owner, director, CEO) stating that they approve the student to do clinical hours within their facility without documentation of these health and safety requirements. Documentation will be verified by the Office of Field Experience prior to each rotation. In addition, application requirements could include additional background checks, special forms or immunizations, insurance and on-line/in person module training as described in the students respective Clinical/Practicum Handbook. Expired documents must be re-submitted in order to continue in the clinical
    • Students must be able to start clinical hours within the first week of each clinical course. When students do not fulfill the above requirements and are unable to start clinical hours, students will be required to withdraw, apply for reentry, and retake the course. Students will be responsible for all costs associated with any withdrawn/repeat courses.
    • In a case where a preceptor is unable to fulfill their requirements, the Office of Field Experience will make every reasonable attempt to assist the student in finding alternative placement to complete the hours. If this is not possible, the student may need to withdraw, retake the course, and all associated clinical hours will be lost and need to be repeated the following term. Students will be responsible for all costs associated with any repeat courses.
    • Every reasonable attempt will be made to arrange this in the student's geographical area. Students must be willing to travel to any site in their state at their own expense to complete the clinical requirements. Travel time is not an appropriate reason to deny a clinical placement.
    • Students must notify the Office of Field Experience of a change of address immediately as this may impact clinical placement. A student who moves to a state in which the program is not offered will not be able to complete the program. Traveling nurses should ensure their student address is updated to reflect the location in which clinical experiences will take place.

In addition to the student requirements above, USU must receive all components of the preceptor requirements prior to the start of the clinical course. Students may be requested by the Office of Field Experience to reach out to the preceptor to facilitate receipt of these documents.

Clinical Site Fees

USU strives to keep its tuition very low for the students as our mission is to provide affordable education to underserved groups. To uphold this for all students, USU is unable to incur preceptor or clinical site fee expenses that may be expected from a students selected clinical site or preceptor or agency. Although it is not currently standard practice for clinical sites/preceptors to expect payment, students do have the right to complete clinical experiences that require fees, given that the preceptor and site meet the requirements set forth in the respective clinical/practicum handbook. Students are responsible for working out the payment details directly with their selected preceptor/site.