Clinical Placement FAQs

Please note that clinical rotations are required for the RN to MSN, and MSN programs. The Post-MSN to DNP program does require students to complete clinical rotations, however it does not require clinical placement with a preceptor. All clinical and DNP placements must be approved by Simmons faculty.

1. Will I definitely have a clinical placement by the beginning of my last two terms? 

The program does not guarantee clinical placement but does provide a high level of placement support services to each student. Each student will be assigned a Clinical Placement Specialist who will work with the student and local health care providers to establish placement opportunities.

2. What are the types of facilities that I should be looking for in my area?

Family practices, private practices, community health centers, OB/GYN offices, pediatric offices, internal medicine offices, and urgent care centers are all great potential placement sites.

3. How many clinical hours are required?

RN to MSN students can expect to complete a total of 836 clinical hours:

  • 84 clinical hours during NUR 387, approximately 6 hours per week
  • 80 clinical hours during NUR 454, approximately 40 hours of direct contact with mentor and 40 hours working independently on a leadership project
  • 336 clinical hours during NURP 535, approximately 24 hours per week
  • 336 clinical hours during NURP 536, approximately 24 hours per week

MSN students can expect to complete a total of 672 clinical hours:

  • 336 clinical hours during NURP 535, approximately 24 hours per week
  • 336 clinical hours during NURP 536, approximately 24 hours per week

Post-MSN to DNP students can expect to complete a minimum of 1,000 total clinical hours. Clinical hours earned during a student’s MSN program will be counted toward their DNP clinical hours in order to reach the minimum requirement of 1,000 total clinical hours. 

For example, if you completed 750 clinical hours during your MSN program you will complete a minimum of 250 clinical hours as part of your DNP course work.

4. How do Nursing@Simmons Clinical Placement Specialists find placement all over the U.S.? 

Placement Specialists utilize your address to search for nearby potential placements as well as searching databases that help locate potential preceptors. We also partner with students to pinpoint local preceptors within their areas. 

5. Who is responsible for securing my clinical placements? 

Students are responsible for partnering with the Clinical Placement Team to secure placements.

6. Can I complete my clinical placement where I work? 

You may complete clinical hours where you work, however, you may not conduct hours within the same department or under your current supervisor.

7. I have heard my state isn’t fully approved. What if it’s not approved by the time my clinical hours are scheduled to start? 

If your state is not fully approved, you may be required to conduct your hours in a bordering state. It is important that you seek licensure within states that border your own state within about a two-hour drive.

8. Can I still work my regular job while I’m doing my clinical rotations? 

Most students maintain their regular jobs while conducting clinical rotations. It is, however, challenging for most students to balance course work, time in clinical rotations, and full-time employment while at their clinical sites a minimum of three days per week during their last two terms. If you do maintain a full-time work schedule during clinical rotations, it is expected that you will follow the schedule of the clinic. Placements will not be approved based on specific scheduling needs. It is crucial that an employer be flexible with your work schedule, as most offices operate on a Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m. schedule.

9. Do you have relationships with any hospitals, clinics, or doctor’s offices in my area? 

Clinical Placement Specialists will provide this information to students directly, as each area is different.

10. How far away will my clinical placement be from where I live/how far will I have to drive?

Our goal is to place you as close to your home base as possible, however students can be expected to travel up to 100 miles each way, and may not turn down placements due to transportation or distance.

11. Am I alone in finding a placement?

You are not alone in finding placement. The Clinical Placement Team is here to help ensure that you have a great clinical site to support your success in clinical courses.

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