Clinical Placement

Vanderbilt University School of Nursing (VUSN) is implementing a new clinical placement system. You will update your student profile, submit out-of-area placement requests, and manage placement patient logging and time sheets through the system, known as Exxat. Students will receive email invitations to Exxat beginning June 4 and at that time will be able to submit out-of-area requests online. 

If you have already begun your clinical rotations, you will continue to use DocFInity for any out-of-area requests (SPFs and PIFs) and Medatrax for patient logging and timesheets. DocFinity will open June 1 for submissions. 

Vanderbilt University School of Nursing (VUSN) faculty are committed to students and their clinical education needs. We have a dedicated Clinical Placement staff that administratively coordinates the clinical placement for all students. The faculty determine the adequacy of the site and whether the preceptor meets the requirements to ensure you receive the experiences necessary to prepare you in your area of specialty.

If you plan to complete clinical rotations outside of the middle Tennessee area, the Clinical Placement staff, along with program faculty, will collaborate with you to secure quality clinical placements. After a site has been identified, Clinical Placement staff will work to secure all necessary contracts and paperwork.

All students must maintain current proof of health and safety requirements on file with the school during their entire enrollment. All such requirements must be up-to-date in order to begin or continue clinical courses.

For clinical at the specialty level, a valid, unencumbered RN license is required. Depending on your clinical placement location, you may be required to obtain additional state licenses. Due to regulatory requirements or availability of preceptors, VUSN cannot accommodate clinical placements in all areas of the country.

For more information:

Action Plan for Clinical Placement for Specialty Students

 Note: This plan does not apply to Nurse Midwifery students - please see your specialty orientation page for your information

Step 1:
Know your clinical placement category - your placement category is confirmed in your admissions letter, and will be assigned to you in Exxat:

  • Middle Tennessee Area (MTA) . Middle Tennessee Area placemeents are defined as within a 150-mile radius of the Vanderbilt campus, which includes northern Alabama and southern Kentucky.
  • Outside Middle Tennessee Area (OMTA) - Outside Middle Tennessee Area (OMTA) placement refers to any site outside the 150-mile radius of Vanderbilt campus. 

Still unsure of placement category? Contact your Specialty/Program Director.


If you will be completing clinicals in the Middle TN Area (MTA):

  • Step 2:
    Faculty make final determination in all student placement decisions. Your faculty will contact preceptors on your behalf; do not contact any MTA preceptors.
  • Step 3:
    Ensure all MSN clinical requirements are up to date:  www.castlebranch.com

If you will be completing clinicals Outside the Middle TN Area (OMTA):

  • Step 2:
    For specialty specific info on clinical placement,  visit your  specialty orientation page  VUnetID required
  • Step 3:
    When you have identified an appropriate site/preceptor, you'll submit the information through Exxat. More information will be available in the next few weeks.
  • Step 4:
    Ensure all MSN clinical requirements are up to date:  www.castlebranch.com