Clinical requirements will vary from program to program. The process for finding clinical sites is different depending on whether you are enrolled in our Accelerated BSN program or one of our graduate programs.
As a BSN student, you will begin clinical rotations once a week in your first semester and spend more hours in clinical rotations as you advance each semester. Your clinical rotations will feature small group clinical experiences with a clinical faculty member. You will also complete a one-on-one clinical preceptorship toward the end of the program.
Clinical sites are located across the Washington D.C., Maryland and Virginia area, so you will need to have reliable transportation to and from your clinical sites. Your clinical placements will be arranged by program staff, so you will not need to worry about finding clinical sites. By the end of your program, you will have completed more than 500 clinical hours.
Graduate nursing students (those in our MSN, DNP or Graduate Certificate programs) are required to complete clinical rotations or practicum experiences with a preceptor approved by GW Nursing faculty. You will be responsible for identifying and securing your own clinical site and preceptor (except for students in the Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner program options).
Clinical placement at GW Nursing is a partnership between students, faculty and the clinical placement team. Before identifying appropriate clinical sites and preceptors, you must first understand the clinical objectives of your program. Our clinical placement team will help secure the clinical sites you submit.
Finding Your Preceptor and Clinical Site
You should begin looking for clinical sites at the beginning of your program. To find clinical placements, you should network with local practitioners, alumni and other students. Local and state nurse practitioner associations may offer additional resources for students seeking clinical placement. You should be prepared to share your resume and the GW Nursing program clinical requirements with a potential preceptor.
Once you identify a site and preceptor, you must complete a request form in the clinical placement CORE system. This allows GW Nursing faculty to review the clinical site and preceptor to determine if it is appropriate for a clinical course. As an admitted student, you will have access to all required clinical placement documents on Blackboard.
Submission of the request form drives the clinical placement process, so you must submit one for any and all clinical rotations. Requests are typically due three to four months before the clinical semester, and submission deadlines will be outlined for you upon successful admission to a program. The clinical placement team will work with your identified clinical site and preceptor to obtain the required affiliation agreement and preceptor documentation. A completed contract with GW Nursing is required for all clinical sites. The university will complete the clinical agreement, collect preceptor documentation and clear students for clinical rotations.
It is imperative that you stay in contact with your clinical site and preceptor from the time they are identified until you begin your clinical rotations. Communication is key to successful clinical placement, and it improves the relationships between the student, university and the clinical site.