Clinical Placement

Clinical Placement Office Hours

The Clinical Placement team is hosting office hours twice a week beginning Thursday, September 8. Please drop in to the Zoom link below to ask general Clinical Placement questions or get help with an Exxat issue.

Your clinical rotations are a critical part of your curriculum at VUSN. The Clinical Placement office works collaboratively with you and with program faculty to ensure you have a productive clinical experience. Faculty evaluate both clinical sites and preceptors to verify that clinical experiences are consistent with course and certification requirements as well as with Vanderbilt’s mission. Due to regulatory requirements or a lack of available and appropriate preceptors, VUSN may not be able to accommodate clinical placements in all areas of the country. Please discuss your preferences with your specialty faculty to be sure you understand all possible options.

In recent years, COVID-19 has had a significant impact on healthcare organizations and educational institutions. Learn more about Vanderbilt School of Nursing’s COVID-19 policy.

Below are more details about Clinical Placement, based on your student status:

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During your PreSpecialty year, you will be placed in group clinical experiences. These may be in a hospital or community setting in the Greater Middle Tennessee area (MTA).

VUSN cannot guarantee you will be able to complete clinical rotations unless all agency requirements are met. Once a clinical placement site assignment is made, you are expected to attend clinical at the assigned site. VUSN is under no obligation to honor a student’s request for an alternate site, and if an alternate site assignment is possible, such change may result in a delay in clinical progression

During your MN program, you will be placed in group clinical experiences. These will be in a hospital or community setting in the Greater Middle Tennessee area (MTA).

VUSN cannot guarantee you will be able to complete clinical rotations unless all agency requirements are met. Once a clinical placement site assignment is made, you are expected to attend clinical at the assigned site. VUSN is under no obligation to honor a student’s request for an alternate site, and if an alternate site assignment is possible, such change may result in a delay in clinical progression.

The School of Nursing finds and assigns your midwifery clinical sites; you are not required to find your own clinical sites for the midwifery specialty. Clinical experiences are designed to assist all students in meeting the American College of Nurse-Midwives Core Competencies for Basic Midwifery Practice. 

Students in the midwifery program will have at least one clinical rotation outside of the Nashville area in part to expose them to regional differences in nurse-midwifery care. Sites can be around the country at some international military bases. Given the large number of midwifery students across the country, agencies and providers have asked that all placements be coordinated by a school representative. Students are not to reach out to sites to arrange their own placements. If you identify a possible placement, please contact the specialty director who will work with the clinical placement office staff to determine if this is a feasible site. Due to regulatory requirements or a lack of appropriate preceptors, VUSN may not be able to accommodate clinical placements in all areas of the country. Please discuss your preferences with your specialty faculty to be sure you understand all possible options. Learn more about the Nurse-Midwifery curriculum and program.

If you are admitted as an MTA (Greater Middle Tennessee Area) student, Vanderbilt’s Clinical Placement Office works with your specialty faculty to secure clinical sites. Clinical sites located within a 150-mile radius from the School of Nursing are considered to be within this area. As a result, you may have rotations in Kentucky, Alabama, and East or West Tennessee, depending on the sites’ appropriateness. Your faculty take into consideration a number of factors in assigning students to sites, including home address, specialty needs, and clinical interests.

Given the large number of health profession students in the area and the competition for sites, agencies and providers have asked that a school representative coordinate all Greater Middle Tennessee area VUSN placements. Students are not to reach out to local sites to arrange their own placements. If you identify a possible local placement, please contact your specialty director or course coordinator first; they will work with the Clinical Placement office staff to see if a placement is possible.

If you are admitted as OMTA (outside the Greater Middle Tennessee Area), your faculty and the Clinical Placement staff work collaboratively with you to locate OMTA sites. You are encouraged to develop a list of possible sites, as you often have a better knowledge of the area and can use personal networks and connections to identify a preceptor/site. Your faculty and clinical placement staff will meet regularly with you to evaluate your progress in identifying possible clinical sites and to brainstorm potential placements. Once you have secured a preceptor’s agreement for a rotation, you must submit information through the Clinical Placement system, Exxat. This enables your faculty to vet your preceptor, in accordance with accreditation requirements, and ensures the potential clinical experience is appropriate and meets both the specialty requirements and your educational needs.

Once your faculty has vetted the preceptor, the Clinical Placement office ensures all appropriate agreements are in place and all agency requirements met before a student may begin their rotation. Vanderbilt requires an affiliation agreement (contract) with all sites where a student will rotate. This includes the practice site as well as any ancillary sites, such as hospitals, surgery centers, and nursing homes. You may not go with the preceptor to a site where the school does not have an active affiliation agreement. Even when Vanderbilt has an agreement with the site, the Clinical Placement office must confirm it is still valid.

Your faculty must approve any secondary sites for your clinical experience to ensure that the sites are necessary or appropriate to your clinical objectives. VUSN limits the number of sites and contracts per student. Due to the large number of placements each term, your faculty reviews requests for rotations for a minimal number of hours (typically less than 80) on a case-by-case basis. If approved, then our Clinical Placement team begins the contract process.