Frequently Asked Questions: Clinical Placement
This should answer many questions you have regarding clinical placement. I hope you will find it encouraging and alleviate some of the anxieties refresher nurses express.
1. What do I need to know about an Active or Temporary License to practice?
Let me take this opportunity to remind you that you must have your active Georgia or Temporary License on file in the continuing education division office before the first day of clinical. Participating in clinical as an RN without a Georgia License leaves you subject to legal sanctions and fines by the Georgia Board of Nursing. For additional information, refer to the Board Licensure handout.
2. What other documents are required?
YOU MUST meet all the health, immunizations, insurance, CPR, etc., requirements before beginning the course. These requirements are mandated by the contract between KSU and the agencies that offer preceptors for your clinical experience. Failure to complete the forms by the established date will result in you being dropped from the course. All the agencies providing clinical placement require complete clinical files before providing the name of a preceptor.
3. How are clinical placements decided?
Once you have enrolled in the course, you will get an email regarding clinical choices and placement. Placement will be made according to the preferences listed on your application, your work history, and the availability of preceptors within the hospitals. Due to the shortage of nurses in the acute care facilities we are often limited in the availability of preceptors, so personal preference may not be possible.
4. Do I have to do my clinical time in the same area as my prior experience?
You do not have to do your clinical in the same area as your past experience; however, there must be a connection. For example--- if you worked ICU with adults for six years and have been out of nursing for 10 years raising 4 children and you do not want to work in ICU anymore, medical/surgical area would be a reasonable choice for you. Or, the post anesthesia care unit (PACU) or a telemetry unit may interest you; based on the ICU experience this could be a choice. If you wanted Labor and Delivery, it would not be an option. Hospital are refreshing you, not starting you at the beginning.
5. Where am I required to complete clinical?
As determined by the Georgia Board of Nursing (GBN), clinical placement is in one of the following: An Acute Care Inpatient Hospital, A Long Term Acute Care Facility (LTAC), Outpatient Multisystem Surgical Center, and Public Health Department offering Multisystem Care. This allows the maximum opportunity to renew basic clinical nursing skills and demonstrate safe competent practice as mandated by the Georgia Board of Nursing (GBN). If you have an advanced clinical practice credential or nursing degrees beyond entry level special consideration in your clinical placement may be accommodated by the GBN. This will require documentation, justification, and a specific request. This will take additional time to process so please plan accordingly.
6. When do I start my clinical time?
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7. Must I stay in the same area for the entire 160 hours of clinical?
Yes, you must stay in the same area and with the same preceptor for the entire 160 hours. From past experiences with re-fresher nurses that have tried to use two different areas or two different preceptors they only get half the experience. Each area or preceptor expects that you demonstrate your competency before the preceptors are comfortable with releasing you to perform independently; the experience then becomes repetitive and not as enjoyable for you.
8. Who is my preceptor?
The agency will identify the nurse who will serve as your preceptor. The preceptor is an experienced nurse who has a desire to function as a preceptor. Preceptors volunteer to function in this role. Most of the clinical agencies are recruiting nurses and hope to attract you to stay with them as a full time employee, making your experience with them very important.
9. Am I required to accept employment in the facility where I do my preceptorship?
You are NOT required to work for the agency you use for clinical; however, they hope you will want to work for them. The agencies do spend a lot of energy and people power while serving as preceptors for refresher nurses. They do hope that in return you will consider seeking employment with them after completion. Be sure to remember that just as you are not required to seek employment with your preceptor agencies they are not required to offer you employment.
10. How is the schedule of days determined?
You may work only when your preceptor is working. You do not have to work everyday that they are working. You may not use a substitute preceptor. For example: Your preceptor is working on Monday—your daughter has a special program at school and you do not want to miss it. Simply do not schedule yourself to work and make sure your preceptor and faculty supervisor is aware that you are not working on that day.
You will have six weeks to complete 160 hours of clinical. This will give you some flexibility. If you are in a hurry to complete in four weeks, you will most likely have to work two weekends to finish. Remember most nurses work every other weekend and completing 80 hours per 2-week pay period. If you choose not to work weekends, you will need longer to work your time into a reasonable schedule.
The shifts are 12 hours. You must begin and end the entire shift just like the regular staff. You may not start at 8:30 because you must car pool kids at 7:30, nor can you leave at 2:30 to pick them up. This will be harder for some more than others but with careful planning is generally accomplished without too many hardships. Remember this is only for 160 hours-not a lifetime. Vacations and out-of-town trips should be avoided during this six week period.
11. Who is the faculty supervisor?
The faculty supervisor will be working with you and your preceptor in an evaluation role monitoring your progress and determining successful completion of the clinical portion. The faculty supervisor will meet with you and your preceptor, make visits to you in the clinical area, and check in with you by phone. She is always available by cell phone. Please refer to the preceptor packet provided to you for more details about the role and responsibilities of the refresher nurse, the preceptor and the faculty supervisor. Remember the faculty supervisor is your first contact if you have difficulty in the clinical area.
12. How will I know what uniforms to purchase?
Uniforms are different from hospital to hospital and sometimes from floor to floor. Until the placement is decided, you may not be sure as to the ‘uniform’. Generally white pants, top, and solid white shoes are always acceptable. Scrubs and colors vary greatly. Some hospitals provide name tags – others do not. You will be directed how to obtain a name tag in orientation once your location has been assigned.
13. Do you ensure job placement after completion of the program?
No - we have no agreement with the facilities such that we could ensure job placement.
* clinical info Sept 2009