Nursing Clinical Placement FAQs

Do I have to find my own placement?

Walsh University provides field experience support for counseling students to help coordinate suitable practicum and internship sites. The field experience team will guide students through this process, offering resources and direction to assist them in securing an approved practicum or internship site. 

Students are encouraged to begin networking with potential internship supervisors who may be willing to work with a student in upcoming semesters.

Nursing Programs

Walsh University is proud to support students with comprehensive clinical placement services in the following programs:

Walsh University’s clinical placement team is actively engaged with our students while being respectful to our healthcare partners during the Covid-19 pandemic.  We will continue to be mindful and work diligently to support our student’s clinical placements. 

Here for You

At Walsh University, we will work closely with you to ensure a successful clinical placement that will complement your coursework while allowing you to master the knowledge and skills learned in the online classroom. For many nursing students, finding clinical sites and preceptors can quickly become one of the most challenging aspects of their graduate program, especially as they attempt to do so while juggling full-time work and personal responsibilities. We offer full placement support to assist students in finding a suitable placement, so that your focus can remain fully on your studies.

How Placement Works

As an online DNP or MSN student, a Clinical Placement Coordinator will work with you to secure a clinical site and preceptor for all clinical rotations. Your coordinator will work alongside you to guide you through the clearance process, direct you to where and how you will upload required clearance paperwork as well as highlight important deadlines and clearance status.

Your Coordinator will also:

  • work with you to ensure you are prepared for the practicum by providing realistic ideas as to the kind of work you will be performing
  • coach you on how to properly network and engage within your local clinical community

Once the placement team has secured all necessary documents and approval for preceptors and sites, the coordinator will notify you of the placement site and status and provide you with contact information.

Online Nursing Clinical Placement FAQs

How are preceptor referrals submitted, and am I required to submit them?

Students who have a placement in mind for any of their clinical rotations should inform their Clinical Placement Coordinator.  We encourage students to be active participants in the placement process as it can make for a better experience and could lead to future opportunities upon graduation.

How does Walsh help me find a clinical placement?

Walsh University collaborates with our nursing students to find suitable placements. You are encouraged to network with potential preceptors and work closely with the placement coordinator to secure your placements.

Can students precept where they work?

Yes. However, the preceptor cannot be the immediate work supervisor of the student. Students cannot log clinical hours at the same time as their work hours.

How many clinical hours are required?

The number of clinical hours required varies by program:

  • BSN to MSN (Family Nurse Practitioner): 750 hours 
  • BSN to MSN (Nurse Educator): 350 hours 
  • BSN to MSN (Psychiatric Mental Health): 600 hours 
  • BSN to DNP (Family Nurse Practitioner): 1,250 hours 
  • BSN to DNP (Psychiatric Mental Health): 1,100 hours 
  • Post-master’s DNP: 500 hours 
  • Post-master’s cert PMHNP: 600 hours 
  • Post-master's cert FNP: 700 hours 
When does Walsh start working on a student’s placement?

Walsh University’s clinical placement team is networking with current and potential preceptors and supervisors year-round. We have a network of professionals working in major health systems, outpatient clinics, public health departments, and schools who have an interest in precepting other students.

Nursing students should begin early in the program to start networking with potential preceptors who may be willing to precept a student in upcoming semesters. There is competition for clinical sites and preceptors nationwide, so early planning is essential. Joining a local NP organization is a great way to start networking within the field, and making connections in order to help you secure a preceptor.

Are there any specifications for preceptors?

Preceptors must be licensed and have national certification to practice in their designated population-focused and/or specialty area. Preceptors must be a Nurse Practitioner (NP), Physician (MD or DO), Physician Assistant (PA), or in certain circumstances a Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS) and have at least one-year of experience in the population-focused area of practice and role.

A preceptor may not be the immediate work supervisor of the student or a member of the student’s family or a personal friend.

How do I know which semesters I will be in placements?

Your assigned faculty advisor will work with you closely to assist in your progression through the program. Your curriculum plan will indicate that progression and in what semesters you will be in clinical placement.

If you need to make changes in your curriculum plan, you and your faculty advisor will work together to determine when you will need clinical placement.

What can I do to ensure a successful placement?

There are a variety of ways to help ensure that you are able to find a successful clinical placement, many of which you may already have completed. For starters, it is incredibly important to have your resume updated and your clinical clearances completed (including your background check) before starting clinical hours with a preceptor. 

Networking is another vital tool you can utilize to help ensure a placement, such as joining your local NP organization. Meeting with professionals in your area can go a long way in helping ensure you find a placement that fits your clinical objectives.

Lastly, try and plan your schedule to fit around the hours of primary care jobs. Most primary care and administrative jobs operate from 9-5, and many do not offer weekend or evening hours. Plan accordingly when looking for a suitable placement.


Have additional questions about clinical placement?

Walsh is proud to support students by providing comprehensive clinical placement support. If you have additional questions, please schedule a convenient time to talk with an admissions advisor using our easy online appointment scheduler.

Looking for information on field experience support services for our Master's in Counseling and Human Development program? Visit our Field Experience page.