Student Clinical Practice, Policies & Expectations

Progression to clinical placement is a privilege dependent upon successful completion of previous required classroom, lab, and clinical experiences. All practicum placements are coordinated through Clinical Placement Northwest Consortium and independently with non-consortium agencies. At no time is a student to seek their own preceptor or clinical placement. Faculty as well are expected to work through the established channels for Clinical Placement Northwest Consortium placements and through the SoN Clinical Placement Coordinator whenever applicable. Failure to abide by this policy may result in loss of clinical placement opportunities.

Faculty may work with the Clinical Placement Coordinator regarding clinical site preferences and scheduling. Clinical placement assignments are subject to change if necessary to meet agency and SoN needs. Clinical assignments may not be changed by the student. For all Clinical Placement Northwest Consortium placements, faculty are required to work through the Clinical Placement Coordinator for any necessary revisions.

Revised, S. Smith, SoN Dean, Aug 2016

Students are required to maintain compliance with all Northwest Clinical Placement Consortium health and on-boarding requirements. Failure to comply with these requirements will prevent the student from beginning and/or continuing in clinical nursing courses. This may alter progression in the program or lead to the rescission of admission for newly entering students. Students are responsible for the submission, maintenance and record keeping of their own health information. Complete information for students is available in the SoN Student Handbook.

While in clinical agencies and while in laboratory and simulation experiences, students are required to wear the PLU uniform. The PLU uniform may be used in the clinical agencies only when a student is on official school business as assigned by the faculty. Failure to comply with the uniform policy will result in dismissal for that clinical day.

  • Faculty conducting community or non-agency based clinical experiences will provide information concerning appropriate attire for that clinical rotation, according to PLU and clinical agency expectations. Professional appearance and attire is expected for all clinical activities.

Pre- Licensure Uniform: For Pre-Licensure students, the PLU uniform consists of gray scrub pants, scrub top, and optional white lab coat. A gray scrub dress of modest length is also acceptable. The scrub top is embroidered with the PLU logo. A short white lab coat may be required by individual faculty. Shoes shall be mostly-white, closed-toed, impermeable athletic or nursing shoes. Students may wear an all-white, close-fitting, non-textured, short-sleeved or ¾ length sleeve tee-shirt under the scrub top. The scrub uniform and embroidery must be purchased at the PLU SoN’s vendor of choice. Clinical agencies may have additional requirements that must be followed for attendance.

Post-Licensure, MSN & DNP Students: The gray scrub uniform is not required for post-licensure MSN and DNP clinical rotations. Students must have their PLU Student ID Badge over appropriate professional (business/business casual) attire and may wear a white lab coat. Students have the option to embroider the lab coat with the PLU logo via the SoN’s vendor of choice. All students will wear closed toe shoes.

Students and faculty are expected to exercise good personal hygiene, grooming, and to present themselves in clean, well-fitting, unstained uniforms/clothing without holes or tatters. Please refer to the SoN Student Handbook for further information

All faculty and students are required to wear their PLU issued photo identification while in a clinical setting. Faculty and students should request a clinical photo ID badge when they begin their clinical courses from the SoN Senior Administrative Assistant.  Prior to requesting a badge, please note that a photo must be uploaded for a LuteCard, as the clinical photo ID badge will utilize the same photo. For LuteCard information, please visit

Some health agencies require that students wear an agency identification name tag. These name tags are obtained from the agency.

Students are responsible for their own transportation between the university and clinical practice settings. Transportation challenges are not acceptable reasons for clinical absences. Students are encouraged to have backup transportation plans should problems arise with their primary transportation. Parking areas for student use are designated by the agencies. Students are not allowed to transport clients in their private vehicles.

Faculty and students are expected to know and practice data and information security measures when using agency computers or private computers with access to agency data on or off-campus. These measures include, but are not limited to:

  • maintaining strong confidential passwords,
  • ensuring that computers are password protected and those passwords are changed at least once a semester,
  • logging off computer when finished,
  • not sharing computer with others once logged into the confidential system,
  • ensuring that only those who have a right to know have access to the information,
  • immediately reporting any breach in security, including lost or stolen computers, to instructor and appropriate facility staff.

Faculty and students may be required to complete computer security training courses prior to or during clinical setting placements.

Students and faculty are required to comply with the letter and spirit of the Health Information Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) at all times. Students should not discuss in any public forum (including public spaces such as elevators, hallways, cafeterias or electronic forums such as blogs or any social media such as Facebook or Twitter) client information or anything occurring in the clinical setting having to do with patients, even if names/clinical sites/treating practitioners, etc. are omitted. Students should refrain from leaving the clinical site with identifying information such as patient stickers, census sheets, etc. Students should monitor with the utmost care any written statements about patients, whether in a personal journal or in the context of classroom assignments such as clinical logs or reports. When stored in the form of data, such as saved assignments on a computer, portable drive, or disk, the student takes full responsibility for the security of this data. Students are strongly advised to protect such data with passwords and the School requests students to leave computers, portable drives or disks bearing any patient information at home. Names and personally identifying information are not to be used in any written assignment or data collection.

Failure to maintain the security of agency computer systems, and failure to maintain patient confidentiality in any forum is considered a breach of professional and ethical standards. For students this will be reported to the RAP Committee and may result in dismissal from the School of Nursing.

The use of social media and other electronic communication has become commonplace in our everyday lives. Every day new outlets, platforms, and applications are created and individuals are increasingly participating in blogs, social networking sites, video sites, online chat rooms, and forums in both a personal and professional manner. “The very nature of this medium, however, can pose a risk as it offers instantaneous posting opportunities that allow little time for reflective thought and carries the added burden that what is posted on the internet is discoverable by a court of law even when it is long deleted” (NCSBN, nd.).

Prelicensure nursing students may not access any personal electronic device in the patient care areas of any clinical learning setting.  Students who require personal electronic devices for medical reasons must notify their clinical instructors for guidance/planning of the use of these devices during their clinical learning experience.  Students should coordinate with their clinical instructor on their preference for emergency contact methods.  PLU SoN clinical instructors may provide their number or arrange for the clinical unit number to be provided to the student for emergency use only.  Students may give their phones to their clinical instructors to answer in case of an emergency.  Students should use unit phones to call the clinical instructors throughout the clinical day.

Prelicensure nursing students may access personal electronic devices outside of the patient care areas (break room, staff lounge, cafeteria), but are not allowed to capture images or take photos in the clinical facility, even in these neutral areas.  Nursing students are welcome to utilize social media but may not post any pictures on social media wearing a PLU SoN clinical uniform or with the PLU name badge visible. Students are not allowed to access social media during the clinical learning experience.

In order to protect vulnerable patients, students should not participate in clinical if they are exhibiting symptoms of a communicable disease, including fever, productive cough, diarrhea, vomiting, etc. Students are required to contact their clinical faculty if they are unsure if they should be in the clinical setting for health reasons.

All students and faculty must complete all of the e-learning modules located on the account, on an annual basis. Tracking of compliance is completed electronically on the website and automatically shared with our partner clinical agencies. Failure to maintain compliance with completing the modules will result in denial of access to our healthcare industry partner sites for your clinical teaching. Students are also denied access for clinical practice without completed modules.

Students and faculty are required to meet agency specific clinical orientation and EMR training prior to the official start of the clinical rotation. It is the student’s responsibility to check PLU email and Sakai notifications several weeks before the beginning of the term as this is the method of communication for such announcements

All students will receive feedback (written and oral; formative and summative) from faculty regarding their performance during the clinical rotation (Pre-licensure Clinical Evaluation Tool). The length of a clinical rotation will dictate the frequency of formal evaluation sessions. In all clinicals, students are evaluated at least twice – at the middle and end of the course. Students should be aware that evaluation of clinical performance is ongoing.

Students who are not meeting minimum standards of performance are counseled in a timely manner by the instructor and are given written notification of unsatisfactory performance via completion of a Performance Progression Alert. Students may at any point be removed temporarily or permanently from clinical sites for egregious, dangerous, or unprofessional conduct. Satisfactory clinical performance is a requirement of all clinical experiences and is required for a passing grade in the associated course.