Clinical Placement Process

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The Graduate Clinical Site Coordinator (GCSC) leads the process of coordinating clinical placements for graduate students with assistance from faculty and students.

The following roles and responsibilities of students, faculty and the GCSC have been identified to coordinate placements for graduate students within the School and to clarify communication links between the School and clinical agencies.

Role of Students

Students are admitted to a specific advanced practice area. Students will communicate to their APA Coordinator, by a specified deadline, the names and contact information for potential preceptors in their geographic area.

Students are advised on the following parameters and expectations for the clinical placement process:

  • Providing the names and contact information for a potential preceptor does not guarantee they will be assigned to that site.
  • Students should not contact sites/preceptors directly; this causes communication problems for both the School and clinical agency.
  • When possible, placements will be secured in the student’s geographic “home” region. However, the learning needs and travel times for all students must be considered during the assignment process.
  • Student clinical placement locations will require travel.
    • Students can anticipate travel up to 1.5 hours one-way to a clinical site placement location.
    • Situations may arise when travel one-way may be up to 2 hours.
    • Students are responsible for their own transportation to clinical sites and should consider this factor when calculating and planning for their educational expenses and scheduling demands.
  • A clinical site may be able to provide only a portion of the necessary clinical hours. In those cases, students will have clinical experiences at two different clinical sites during the same semester (up to 3 different clinical sites during a major capstone course).

Role of the Faculty Advisor

Faculty and/or academic advisors should direct students to communicate with the coordinator of their advanced practice area about clinical placement issues. Graduate faculty members are encouraged to advise the Clinical Placement Coordinator as well as the coordinator of an advanced practice area of potential new placement sites and preceptors.

Responsibilities of the Course Coordinator

The responsibilities of the course coordinator of a clinical management course or practicum include:

  • Informing the coordinator of the advanced practice area of potential sites and preceptors.
  • Establishing informal faculty contact as an important part of the relationship between the School and agency placement sites.
  • Collaborating with the coordinator of the advanced practice area to match students to placement sites.
  • Communicating with the preceptor about evaluations of student’s performance.
  • Communicating with students about the need to complete preceptor and site evaluations (link provided by GSCS).
  • Confirming the completion of graduate students’ clinical hours to facilitate student progression and reimbursement of ambulatory community-based preceptors.

Responsibilities of the Coordinator of an Advanced Practice Area

The responsibilities of the coordinator in an advanced practice area include:

  • Advising and assisting with the identification of potential new placement sites and preceptors for students.
  • Compiling written requests for placement sites using the UNC School of Nursing Graduate Student Clinical Placement Request Form.
  • Submitting requests for clinical placements to the Clinical Placement Coordinator as follows:
    Semester Final Requests Due
    Requests for Spring Semester placements Early September
    Requests for Summer Session I and II placements Mid-January
    Requests for Fall Semester placements Late March
  • Requests for clinical placements are responded to in the order in which they are received. A delay in submitting requests may prevent obtaining the best possible or preferred placement site.
  • Receiving a list of secured sites from GCSC.
  • Directing course coordinator to send “Letter of Course Assignment” re: student-to-site match to agency preceptor/contact person.
  • Directing course coordinator or designated person to send orientation materials (course guidelines, evaluation sheets and preceptor guidelines) to agency preceptor/contact person.
  • Informing Clinical Placement Coordinator of changes involving clinical assignments of students

Responsibilities of the Graduate Clinical Site Coordinator or Designated Representative

The responsibilities of the CPC include:

  • Sending requests for clinical site placements to preceptors/contacts as requested by advanced practice area coordinators.
  • Securing placements based on consultation with advanced practice area coordinators and responses from agencies.
  • Informing the Office of Academic Affairs of placements to confirm contracts.
  • Notifying advanced practice coordinators of confirmed sites.
  • Notifying sites when a student drops a course or withdraws from the program.
  • Notifying each coordinator of an advanced practice area of changes in clinical agencies that may impact students in the agency.
  • Notifying Area Health Education Centers Offices of Regional Primary Care Education (ORPCE) directors of placements of NP students in their region at the beginning of each semester.
  • Providing data to Central Area Health Education Centers, as requested, regarding NP precepted clinical hours.