Clinical practicum hours are the required clinical education component of American International College’s (AIC’s) online nursing programs. Our clinical placement team will work closely with you to provide a seamless placement experience, making sure your clinical rotations meet College and national guidelines. These frequently asked questions will help you better understand the clinical placement services we provide.
Hands-on patient care in clinical settings is a requisite component of many nursing degrees. During your clinical rotations, under the direct supervision of a licensed nurse practitioner (preceptor), you’ll practice what you learned in the online classroom on real patients. Clinicals are very similar to an internship or being an apprentice; you provide care for real patients while benefiting from the supervision and guidance of your preceptor and indirect supervision and support from American International College faculty.
You’ll work with a dedicated AIC placement coordinator who will walk you through the process and be your primary point of contact. Based on your goals and where you live, your placement coordinator will identify an appropriate site and preceptor for you within a reasonable driving distance.
You will receive a notification from your placement coordinator prior to each clinical start date. Once the placement has been confirmed and communicated, you are encouraged to begin working directly with your preceptor to establish a schedule.
All clinical nursing experiences are slightly different because student nurses work in a variety of health care facility environments. You will begin your clinical rotations after the required background checks and physical examinations have been successfully completed. During your clinical rotation, you will be under the close supervision of your preceptor and the indirect supervision of an AIC clinical faculty supervisor. You will be given specific instructions to follow while keeping clinical practice guidelines in mind.
You will be in close communication with your placement coordinator all the way through to graduation. He or she will ensure you complete all requirements and meet deadlines, answer your questions, verify your clearance requirements, and walk you through the nursing clinicals checklist. The checklist details the dress code, clinical tools, and professional expectations to ensure your success in each rotation.
Your responsibilities will include the following:
- Reviewing objectives to fulfill clinical requirements
- Providing your preceptor with daily written objectives and evaluation forms
- Reviewing existing clinical protocols and American International College’s protocols with your preceptor
- Documenting all clinical encounters using a subjective, objective, assessment, and plan (SOAP) format
- Ensuring you are always under the supervision of your preceptor
Your preceptor is your on-site role model and will help you develop as a nurse or nurse practitioner during your clinical rotation. He or she will:
- Bridge the gap between theory and actual practice
- Orient you to the practice setting (key personnel, organization, and institutional policies)
- Help you to plan clinical assignments
- Provide one-on-one supervision and daily feedback
- Review and co-sign all documentation in the clinical records