Current Students


Can I choose where I want to go for my clinical rotations?

You are assigned to your clinical sites. For the senior practicum, a matching process allows you to sign up for available clinical slots. Clinical placements are at the sole discretion of the School of Nursing.

Can we arrange our own placements by contacting a clinical site directly?

No. Students should NOT contact the sites directly to negotiate their own placements. Doing so can jeopardize the affiliation agreement between the School and the clinical sites.

What is the breakdown of clinical course hours?

Clinical Course



At Clinical Site*



NCLIN 302: Health Assessment 5 35 30 65 130
NCLIN 306: Basic Skills of Nursing Practice 4 30 80 10 120
NCLIN 403: Practicum – Pediatric Nursing 4 8 70 42 120
NCLIN 407: Practicum – Nursing Care of Ill Adults 5 12 111 27 150
NCLIN 409: Partnerships in Community Health 4 0 80 40 120
NCLIN 411: Transition to Professional Practice 9 15 212 43 270
NCLIN 416: Nursing of Families – Childbearing and Childrearing 4 12 65 43 120
NCLIN 418: Psychosocial Nursing 4 30 50 40 120
TOTAL 39 142 698 310 1,150

*Numbers in the “Clinical Site” and “Other” categories are averages as it changes per quarter. **”Other” includes lab and clinical prep time, time in the skills lab, interactive in-class sessions, orientation and onboarding, and independent work.

Can I be assigned a clinical placement close to my home?

Clinical placements are made to ensure that all students receive the appropriate variety of experiences. Your home addresses cannot be considered in this process. Many of your clinical placements will be accessible by public transportation or by carpooling with other students.

Am I assigned to a different clinical agency each quarter?

It depends on the site. All sites require orientation to their site and to their computer systems. Because the orientation and training take up some of your clinical time and some sites aim to reduce training demands on their staff, some sites ask that students be placed at their institution for at least two quarters. If you are assigned to one of these sites, both your adult acute care clinical placements will be at the same site.

Other sites have no placement restrictions and if you are placed at one of these sites, you may be assigned to a different agency for your second quarter of adult acute care training.

Why can I express a preference for a specific adult acute care sites, when I cannot for community health and ambulatory care, psychiatric mental health, pediatrics, or childbearing families sites?

Adult acute care slots are reserved in group per agency. For example, eight slots may be reserved for Swedish Medical Center and all eight students who matched to this site will complete senior practicum there. For this reason, we allow students to match for a specific site during the match process meeting.

Sites are always subject to change, even at the last moment.

Clinical opportunities in childbearing families, pediatric, community health and ambulatory care, and psychiatric/mental health do not consistently send entire sections of students to a common site. After the match process meeting, students matched into these categories of clinical opportunities will be matched with a specific site in consultation with the section instructor and course coordinator since these sites will be able to accommodate varying numbers of students.

What is required of me while I am on-site?

Faculty will inform you of the objectives for your clinical experience each quarter. Additionally, you are required to adhere to the standards, policies, and regulations of clinical training sites during their clinical education program. These include:

  • participating in site orientation
  • wearing appropriate attire, including nametags
  • conforming to the standards and practices of the site

What if I cannot make it to my site orientation?

All clinical site orientations are mandatory. Mastery of the content knowledge provided in your clinical site orientation by the posted deadline is a requirement for meeting your clinical course objectives. Failure to meet this requirement will result in failure of the course and your subsequent inability to begin/continue in your program for one calendar year.

What if I am going to be late or cannot make it to clinical?

Follow the policy that you and your clinical instructor have agreed upon during the course orientation to communicate absences due to illness or emergencies. All absences must be communicated with the instructor prior to the assigned clinical shift.

What is the difference between sites and units?

For adult acute care opportunities, we reserve blocks in specific clinical agencies. For example, twelve to fifteen months in advance we may reserve eight slots at UWMC, nine slots at Harborview, ten at Virginia Mason, and ten at Children’s Hospital.

Where blocks are reserved, one instructor is assigned to work with all students who are slotted for an agency. This instructor will have different units, shifts, and preceptors to choose from at one clinical agency.

Students for adult acute care slots match themselves for a particular site. Once the group for the site is determined, the students will have the opportunity to state their learning goals and preferences for a particular unit within the site.  Sites are subject to change before the quarter begins.

Childbearing families, pediatric, community health and ambulatory care, and psychiatric/mental health opportunities match students with different agencies across the greater Puget Sound area. Community health and ambulatory care, for example, may have learning opportunities through Public Health, Seattle Public schools, hospitals, or non-profit agencies. Therefore, students will be individually matched with a site and a preceptor once they have matched themselves to the category of practicum experience (e.g. community health and ambulatory care).

Can I be placed in the Emergency Department (ED) as part of adult acute care and pediatrics?

We usually have some options in the Emergency Department through adult acute care sections and sometimes in the pediatric section. ED availability is not guaranteed. It is based on site and staffing availability.

Also, EDs are sometimes not good NCLIN 411 learning experiences for NCLIN 411 students since there are fewer hands-on and patient management opportunities than on other units.

I have a family reunion (wedding/vacation) scheduled during the quarter and my clinical day(s). What should I do?

Review the clinical placement agreement form you signed as part of your admission to the School of Nursing. Please note that absences due to personal, work, religious reasons are generally not considered.

How will I know where to go and what to wear for my first clinical day?

Course and site orientations are arranged during the first week of the quarter during your regular clinical time. Your clinical instructor will meet with your clinical group and discuss details including:

  • clinical hours
  • unit
  • dress code
  • parking
  • specifics to the agency
  • course objectives

Almost all clinical sites have a mandatory student orientation during the first couple of weeks of the quarter.

How large is my clinical group?

Hospital sections generally have a ratio of eight to nine students and one instructor. Mental health, outpatient and community settings vary in size from four to one to nine to one. A clinical instructor from the School of Nursing will be with you at the site at all times during the first year of the program.

Can students choose a clinical agency where they are currently employed?

Yes. Students may select a clinical agency where they are currently working as an employee. However, students will not be matched to a unit where they currently work.

If you work for a float pool you may not be matched to the same site where you work. It is important to differentiate your role from an employee vs. a student to allow the maximum educational experience and learning opportunities for you as a student and avoid confusion by staff members on the unit if you are in your employee vs. student role.

Can I switch placements with another student?

Switches can be made as long as experience variety is still maintained. Students cannot switch to ensure that they receive a string of adult acute care clinicals vs. mental health, or remain in settings that care for children without experiencing care for other age groups.

For courses with attached labs (NCLIN 302 & NCLIN 306), the lab and clinical must be switched. You cannot switch between NCLIN 306 MedSurg I and NCLIN 407 MedSurg II.

Requests to switch clinical sections must be sent to Jenn Rathe ( within a prescribed time period. All other changes are made at the discretion of the course coordinator.

When will students start NCLIN 411?

Students must be available to start their NCLIN 411 clinical rotation the first day of spring quarter and must be available during the entire spring term for clinical days. Students must be flexible to work around their preceptor’s schedule, attend clinical site orientations, training, etc. You will not be scheduled for practicum hours Monday evening or Tuesday evening since you will be on campus and in classes all day on Tuesday. Therefore, you should not schedule any type of employment on Monday or Tuesday nights.

Who will be my preceptor during my senior practicum?

Careful consideration is given to the match between students and preceptors. These preceptors are experienced nurses who have volunteered for this role and are eager to work with nursing students in the context of a senior practicum.

Can we choose our site and unit at the NCLIN 411 match meeting?

No. You will sign up for a section during the match meeting. Once the sections have been sent to you in “draft” form, you have a chance to trade sections once with another student.

After the final arrangements are made, your clinical section instructor will contact you individually or as a group to discuss site/unit/preceptor matches. That is the time to discuss your learning objectives, talk about your professional experience in health care and other areas, your career goals, and your preferences for specific opportunities in your clinical section. The final decision for your site/unit/preceptor is with the clinical instructor and the clinical agency.

Will we be able to carpool to our NCLIN 411 sites?

Generally no, since you will be working according to your preceptors’ schedules and are not on the same units/shifts.

Why are personal factors (e.g., work schedule, childcare, commute time) not considered in the choices I have for NCLIN 411?

Please review the clinical placement agreement form that you signed during your initial orientation.

If I would like to get a NICU site for NCLIN 411, which category should I choose: childbearing families or pediatrics?

NICU options are usually part of the childbearing families section throughout the greater Puget Sound area. Availability is based on staffing and site availability.

Can students know more about types of NCLIN 411 clinical opportunities in advance of the match process meeting? What types of experiences are available to help inform our choices?

We will make every effort to provide details in advance of the match meeting. Clinical placements may change up to and into the first week of the NCLIN 411 quarter.

Faculty make every effort to notify you of your clinical placement and connect you with your staff nurse clinical preceptor prior to the beginning of the NCLIN 411 quarter, but situations change and we must all be willing to be flexible. For example, you may be assigned to a particular clinical unit and the preceptor identified by the institution or unit experiences a medical or family emergency and will no longer be available.

Are there any NCLIN 411 sites outside of the Puget Sound area?

No. All NCLIN 411 placements are within the greater Puget Sound area. We use agencies in Seattle, the eastside, north of Seattle (including Everett), and south of Seattle (including Tacoma).

What are the objectives for NCLIN 411?

Students must demonstrate the following abilities:

  1. Synthesize knowledge in using the nursing process to provide care for a community, group of clients, or a single client with complex health problems.
  2. Organize nursing care effectively, set appropriate priorities for nursing actions, and develop competency as coordinator of care who manages care transitions and is an active participant on the inter-professional team.
  3. Learn new technical skills or protocols relevant to the care of clients and communities.
  4. Communicate effectively with clients and families in a manner sensitive to condition, age, gender, and social and cultural status.
  5. Collaborate with other health care providers in planning, implementing, and evaluating care.
  6. Evaluate one’s own practice.
  7. Be self-directed in the use of appropriate resources, including research findings, to solve nursing care problems.
  8. Implement, monitor, and evaluate holistic, patient-centered care that reflects an understanding of human growth and development, pharmacology, medical management, and nursing management across the health-illness continuum and across the lifespan.