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Current Students

Undergraduate rotations

The BSN and ABSN programs are foundations for basic nursing competence. You gain essential clinical experiences to meet state board requirements, including a variety of clinical skills, patient care experiences, and decision-making skills.

Your clinical placements may be in many different settings, including:

  • hospitals
  • inpatient and outpatient
  • mental health
  • public health agencies
  • community agencies
  • public schools

Your patients mirror society and you may care for individuals and families, infants through the elderly, individuals with acute, chronic and mental illnesses, patients able to afford health care and those without means to take care of themselves.

Name tags

Undergraduate students are required to purchase a name tag from Mastermark/Spectra. The name tag is worn with your nursing uniform and must include the following:

Line 1: First name, Last Initial
Line 2: Student
Line 3: UW School of Nursing

Place your order by emailing orders@spectrastamps.comor calling 1.800.237.9351. Identify yourself as a UW School of Nursing student and provide a shipping address.

The name tag costs approximately $15. Mastermark/Spectra will call you after the order is placed to collect payment information.

Dress code & appearance


Wear your student uniform to your clinical site at all times, including when you pick up patient information. All parts of your uniform should be lightweight, easily laundered, and reserved for clinical rotations only.

The uniform includes:

  • UW deep purple medical scrub top and bottom
  • Two UW School of Nursing emblems: the emblem must be sewn or glued onto the upper left sleeve, just below the shoulder of both the jacket and the purple scrub top
  • UW School of Nursing name tag
  • White, short professional jacket (may be worn with name badge over street clothes during preparation time ONLY; when wearing purple scrubs, may be taken off during the clinical day as needed)
  • An easy-to-read watch with a second hand
  • Low, rubber-heeled, closed-toe shoes that are easily cleaned and reserved for clinical only. Dress codes for most clinical agencies do not permit clogs or sandals.


Appearance must be professional. Your uniform should be clean and you should be easily identifiable as a UW nursing student. Hair, jewelry, and other accessories should be worn so they avoid causing safety risks to yourself or patients.

You must also adhere to the dress code of each site. If you arrive at the site in unacceptable attire, you will be asked to leave the facility.

Direct any questions to your instructor or the manager of the unit you will be working on.


The Simulation Center and your clinical sites should be considered “fragrance-free” to protect those with hypersensitivities.

Purchasing information

The white professional jacket is available through the University Bookstore, various uniform stores, through catalogs and the internet. Lab jackets should be lightweight and launder easily. Buy where you feel comfortable.

Scrubs with the required shade of purple are purchased through the UW Bookstore. You are free to purchase the scrubs from other vendors, but you must match the UW purple color.

The UW School of Nursing emblem is sold exclusively through the University Bookstore. Please purchase TWO emblems: one for the uniform jacket and one for the purple scrubs.

Order your name tag early; it will take a few days to be made.

Transportation to clinical sites

Clinical placements through the Consortium and non-Consortium sites are arranged within the greater Puget Sound area, including Seattle, King, Snohomish, Kitsap, and Pierce counties. Transportation, including the cost of transportation (gas, bus fare, ferry fees) to and from the clinical site is your responsibility. You may use your own car, public transportation, or carpool with other students in your group.

Students and faculty can use the Health Sciences Express shuttle for transportation between UWMC, the Roosevelt Clinic, and Harborview Medical Center Monday through Friday.

Commute/transportation issues are not considered as part of the clinical placement process.

Clinical rotation shifts

The majority of clinical rotations are scheduled during daytime hours. However, some rotations may be evenings and weekends. You should reserve the entire day for your clinical rotation (6 a.m.—midnight).

Site requirements

In addition to meeting the UW School of Nursing compliance requirements, you must also meet all clinical site requirements. Prior to your first clinical rotation date, sites may ask you to complete:

  • paperwork
  • mandatory orientations
  • computer training
  • fingerprinting
  • drug screening*
  • evidence of military draft registration

Once you receive information about a clinical placement, give yourself plenty of time to complete the specific site requirements. Failure to do so may cancel your clinical placement.

Clinical Placements Northwest (CPNW)

Undergraduate placements are coordinated by Clinical Placements Northwest.

Review the information on our site for registering for a CPNW account and completing the appropriate training modules and site-specific paperwork or onboarding requirements.

Drug screening

If a clinical site requires drug screening, the cost is the responsibility of the clinical site or student. The UW School of Nursing does not pay for drug screening and will not administer, receive, or review drug testing results.

If a clinical site requires drug screening, the date of the drug screening will be included in the student’s clinical passport without results or other information.

NCLIN 411: Transition to Professional Practice

NCLIN 411 allows you to immerse yourself into the role of the Registered Nurse and begins the transition into the professional role. BSN students take NCLIN 411 during spring quarter of their senior year, and ABSN students take NCLIN 411 during their final summer quarter.

You will be notified of an information session to provide general information about the clinical course, available information about clinical sections, and answer questions prior to the match meeting.

NCLIN 411 course structure

NCLIN 411 is a seven-credit Credit/No Credit course. It is a combination of a weekly clinical seminar plus approximately 210 hours of preparation, clinical practice, and laboratory experiences.

You will have a School of Nursing clinical instructor as well as nurse preceptors at their NCLIN 411 site. The clinical instructor leads the clinical seminars and does site visits with individual students and preceptors. You work side-by-side with your preceptor(s) during their shift.

Depending on the site, these shifts may range from eight to twelve hours and occur during days/evenings/nights/weekends/holidays. You must be prepared to be available any combination of days and shifts.

NCLIN 411 clinical match process


Open, transparent standardized process for students to sign up for an available clinical slot for NCLIN 411 with a computerized random ordering of students for sign-up.

Meeting values & expectations

  1. Teamwork and collaboration among students, faculty, and staff is highly valued.
  2. School meeting ground rules will be in effect for the meeting.
  3. All students are and will be expected to conform to the Essential Qualifications for BSN/ABSN Admissions, Continuance, and Graduation. The UW Student Conduct Code is embedded in and an expectation for the BSN/ABSN Essential Qualifications. Conformance to Essential Qualifications is one of the three requirements for students to make satisfactory progress in the degree program.

Available placement categories

Giant posters will be on the wall with a line for each available slot in five categories:

  1. Adult Acute Care
  2. Pediatrics
  3. Childbearing Families
  4. Psychiatric/Mental Health
  5. Community Health and Ambulatory Care

During summer quarter, some of these categories may be combined, such as Pediatrics/Childbearing Families.


  1. You will review and agree on meeting ground rules. Special attention will be focused on respect for everyone in the room and no side conversations during the process. Please bring something to work on or bring your lunch; we will need relative quiet and calm in the room to move through the process as accurately and efficiently as possible.
  2. We will:
    1. Take attendance to reconcile the names of all expected students for NCLIN 411;
    2. Project an Excel spreadsheet that contains the names of all students planning to take NCLIN 411;
    3. Use Excel to generate random numbers in a column next to the name of each student;
    4. Call student names in order; students will go up and place their names on an open slot.
  3. The process will continue until all students have chosen a slot.
  4. The posters will be photographed before any students exit the room; photos will be sent by email immediately to the cohort.
  5. Information on the posters will be transcribed by a Student and Academic Services staff member and sent out to students in DRAFT form.
  6. A FINAL list of students/slots will be sent to the cohort and to department chairs.
  7. After the final assignments are sent out, clinical instructors for each section will contact their students for site/unit/preceptor matches. Please wait until you hear from your clinical section instructor.

Nursing student clinical matches are complex due to the number of nursing schools and the number of nursing students in the Puget Sound area. In addition, the education of nursing students is very prescriptive both from a national accreditation standpoint and from Washington state rules. In recent years, issues around clinical matches became so complex and inefficient that Clinical Placements Northwest (CPNW) was formed.

The mission of CPNW is to manage these complexities and balance the needs and interests of the clinical agencies with the needs of the Schools and their students and faculty while maintaining compliance with state laws and national standards for accredited schools, as well as any regulations healthcare agencies must adhere to.

In thinking about clinical matches, considerations that must be accounted for and balanced are:

  1. Schools of Nursing (in general)
    1. All schools in the North Puget Sound (and some schools straddle the South Puget Sound) placement needs.
    2. This year, CPNW member schools are requesting to place 1,200 undergraduate students in 3,500 placements.
  2. UW School of Nursing
    1. Student progression, student learning needs
    2. Compliance with the state of Washington rules that dictate that we may not place more than ten undergraduate students in a section. This has real-world implications for the number of slots we offer by section, given the need to balance teaching loads with FTEs while we make sure that available faculty has the required and appropriate expertise to teach students in certain settings with certain populations.
    3. Instructor expertise
    4. Instructor availability
  3. Healthcare agencies/care settings
    1. Agency staffing levels – enough qualified staff to precept students
    2. Patient/client type and number must be sufficient to allow for learning opportunities for nursing students
    3. Healthcare system prioritization of its own “new” nurses for precepting. (i.e., agencies may prioritize the use of experienced staff nurses to precept/orient their own new employees versus student nurses.)
    4. Healthcare system capacity to precept students given internal and external pressures they may be facing as an organization, such as implementing a new Electronic Health Record system and the need to train their own staff during a particular time period or preparing for accreditation.
    5. Constraints and restrictions placed on accommodating students across health sciences and related disciplines, such as legal restrictions as set out in agency-specific Affiliation Agreements with the School of Nursing and the response of our Attorneys General to such negotiated agreements.
  4. Clinical Placements Northwest (CPNW)
    1. The School of Nursing is, by necessity, a member of and must work with CPNW for “gridded” slots. Agencies make known potentially-available slots, and Schools of Nursing must submit reservations twelve to fifteen months in advance for “gridded” slots. (“Gridded” slots are most likely, but not exclusively, inpatient slots.) To add to the complexity, CPNW-member agencies also have what they call CPNW-Non-gridded slots; i.e., agencies want control over these slots through the consortium, but do not put them in the “grid.” Finally, there are agencies that do not belong to CPNW (e.g., Seattle Children’s Hospital, others). That creates a delay in us knowing how many slots we have for certain sections. So, for example, every year we reserve CPNW slots for pediatrics, but we do not get as many as we would like from CPNW. So, we wait to see what CPNW-gridded peds reservations we will “get” and when confirmed, we approach Seattle Children’s and other agencies to get the CPNW non-gridded slots and the Non-CPNWslots for additional pediatrics slots for students. Any delays on the part of CPNW or its member schools delay the systematic response to all.



      “Lead” Time for Reservations

      CPNW Gridded Twelve to fifteen months in advance
      CPNW Non-gridded Twelve to fifteen months in advance
      Non-CPNW N/A Varies; nine to twelve months in advance is typical