Conducting Clinical Experiences Independent of an Established Healthcare Agency

Clinical experiences that are developed, organized, and conducted by qualified faculty independent of an established healthcare agency provide innovative options for faculty-directed, community-based nursing practice. Such clinical experiences are an option when appropriate to the course for which the clinical experience is developed. It is the faculty member’s responsibility to ensure that the clinical experience provides a sound and professionally appropriate clinical learning experience and that all necessary preparations are in place. The following general guidelines apply:

  • The faculty member will conduct the necessary groundwork to investigate options for developing the clinical experience, including contacts with key personnel, organizational relationship building, assurance of alignment of goals, site visits, logistics and organizational planning, ongoing communications, and all necessary follow-up.
  • The faculty member will ensure that the course coordinator and other clinical faculty are informed and supportive of the proposed clinical experience, and that the experience meets course and clinical objectives.
  • Clinical experiences that foster longer term relationships with the host organization are preferred, with clear identification of the goals and contributions of the clinical experience. An exception is the delivery of one-time community-based health screening-type clinics, which may take place at a variety of locations.
  • The faculty member will conduct sufficient advance planning and organization to ensure a successful experience for the students, clients, and the host organization.
  • The clinical experience must be within the scope of practice of the faculty member’s licensing/certification; within the faculty member’s scope of expertise; appropriate to the students’ clinical practice developmental level; and must provide a significant clinical learning experience. If a host organization is involved, the organization must be agreeable to the clinical experience and all of its operational details and requirements.
  • When a host organization is involved, an affiliation agreement with the host organization is required and must be established in collaboration with the SoN Clinical Coordinator. This must occur with sufficient advance notice to allow negotiation of necessary details.
  • The faculty member must provide any necessary direct supervision of students during all phases of the clinical activity. If student supervision is to be collaboratively conducted with other personnel or providers, it is the faculty member’s responsibility to ensure that student supervision is adequate, supportive, and reliable for the students’ clinical needs.
  • All required and generally expected components of nursing practice will be provided as appropriate to the activity. Assessment, planning, implementation, evaluation, and documentation will all be conducted at a level consistent with professional standards and guidelines for population needs and the type of care provided.
  • Mechanisms for necessary referrals and follow-up care will be determined in advance and conducted as appropriate to client needs.
  • Client care documentation will be completed in accord with nursing practice standards. Documentation will be maintained by the faculty member in a manner that ensures the security and confidentiality of client records.
  • Evaluation of effectiveness of the clinical experience will occur in a timely manner with each episode of delivering the clinical experience. Such evaluation of effectiveness will be appropriately documented, will include student and host organization input, and will be included as part of the Annual Course Summary report. Necessary adjustments for improvements will be evidenced in any ongoing or repeat delivery of the clinical experience.
  • Standard components of clinical onboarding, faculty contact mechanisms, incident reporting, student clinical conduct, clinical performance evaluation, student and host organization satisfaction, and other expectations of SoN clinical experiences must be maintained.
  • Records of the clinical experience must be available for review by SoN faculty colleagues, accreditation, or other regulatory bodies.

S. Smith, SoN Dean, August, 2015, RAD Committee, 12/9/15