There are five clinical courses associated with both the FNP an ANP options. The first course, Advanced Physical Assessment (NS 830) is the foundation to the remaining clinical courses. Two support science courses, i.e., NS 838 Advanced Pathophysiology, NS 836 Pharmacology for Nurse Practitioners, must be taken prior to Primary Care of Children and Adolescents (NS 840)/ Behavioral Health Care for Practitioners (NS 841). NS 834 (Advanced Nutrition) can be taken concurrently with NS 840/841 or prior to these courses. The student will complete 50 on-site clinical hours with an approved preceptor and clinical site for the assessment course (NS 830); 120 hours on-site clinical hours are to be completed in NS 832. The student will complete 160 on-site clinical contact hours for each of the remaining clinical courses. All clinical experiences require an approved preceptor and clinical site.
Planned clinical experiences, with competent mentoring and support are essential components toward your learning necessary clinical skills for the nurse practitioner role. We expect that under careful and thorough supervision from your clinical preceptor, you will apply what you learn while working with clients in actual primary care settings. Under course faculty and preceptor guidance, you will be expected to integrate clinical experiences with theoretical content learned from the core and support courses, and from clinical class discussion, readings, clinical rounds, evidence-based practice standards and practice guidelines. In addition to your assigned course readings, you will need to spend additional time preparing for clinical by reviewing current textbooks, relevant professional journals and web-based information sources.
In order to begin clinical courses, you must establish a preceptor and clinical site relationship. The process for establishing preceptor relationships and clinical site identification is explained below. Note: This process can take up to two months to complete, so do not wait to establish your clinical contacts. Use of military preceptors or sites may require lead-time of six to 12 months to complete the contract arrangements. It is important for you to read, understand and follow these directions upon entry into the NP programs so plans may be made well in advance to locate an experience that will be of benefit to you as you progress through the program.
All clinical experiences in the NP programs are to occur with competent preceptor mentoring and support in order to ensure students obtain clinical skills appropriate for the NP role. Therefore, all clinical preceptor(s) and clinical site(s) must be pre-approved by the NP Coordinator.
Approval of a clinical preceptor and clinical site must be obtained prior to beginning each NP clinical course. The student is responsible for identifying a preceptor(s) who is/are appropriate for each clinical experience. Since our students live in many cities throughout the United States, you must begin to locate a general practice preceptor and clinical site that best suits your educational needs. You should begin interviewing and delineating appropriate general practice preceptors and clinical sites as soon as you have been accepted to the NP programs at Clarkson College. This is even more crucial for students who are entering Nurse Practitioner Certificate programs at Clarkson College.
One of your first tasks in preparation for entry into the clinical tract will be to locate and secure the written intent of at least one general practice primary care provider prior to registration in NS 830 (Advanced Physical Assessment). This person (or persons) will act as your preceptor as you progress through the 50 contact hours to learn advanced clinical assessment skills. You may wish to also use this person in future clinical courses.
To assure that you are able to fulfill your clinical obligations for each course, it is important for you to carefully screen and select preceptors who have the time to devote to you and who are willing to allow hands-on practice and clinical recording using their patients.
Basic preceptor qualifications that must be met for all clinical courses in the NP major option include the following:
Clinical Site Qualifications
Appropriate clinical sites include primary care offices, outpatient primary care clinics, public health or rural health clinics. Emergency rooms may be used (with approval) on a limited basis.
YOUR CLINICAL EXPERIENCE CANNOT BEGIN UNTIL YOU HAVE BEEN GIVEN PERMISSION BY THE CLARKSON COLLEGE COURSE FACULTY.
In addition to obtaining a preceptor and clinical sites, the NP student is responsible for:
Course, student and faculty evaluations are an expected part of any educational experience. These evaluations are important not only because they are required by regional and national accrediting bodies but they provide information that leads to future improvement of the student, program and Clarkson College. Grading in the clinical track includes consideration of your preceptor’s appraisal of your skills, clinical logs, the quality of your written assignments, your contributions to group discussions and your performance on written and/or on-site clinical examinations. Discussion of each evaluation method follows.
Preceptor(s) Evaluation of Students
While the clinical faculty is responsible for issuing the final course grade, preceptor appraisal is an important aspect of the faculty’s evaluation of each student. The course faculty contacts preceptors at least once during each clinical course for appraisal of each student’s clinical performance. You are expected to inform each preceptor prior to the beginning of the clinical experience about course-related information. When discussing the clinical courses, you should assure that the preceptor is willing to participate in written narrative appraisal of your progress.
At mid-term, the student will download the clinical evaluation form and give it to each preceptor. These forms are to be completed by your preceptor(s) within a two-week time frame. The preceptor is to return the completed form to the course faculty. The clinical evaluation form will be downloaded near the end of the course. This form is to be given to the preceptor(s) for them to complete and return to the course faculty by the end of the course.