Nurse-Midwifery/Family Nurse Practitioner

Clinical Placements

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Clinical Placement Information for Dual Nurse-Midwifery / Family Nurse Practitioner Students

The NM and FNP program directors, faculty, and clinical placement staff work to ensure all students have productive clinical experiences. For the nurse midwifery portion of your program, the School of Nursing finds your midwifery clinical sites. You are not required to find your own clinical sites for the midwifery clinical courses. Preceptors and clinical sites are chosen for their ability to provide students with clinical experiences consistent with course and certification requirements and the mission of the school. Midwifery clinical experiences are designed to assist all students in meeting the American College of Nurse-Midwives Core Competencies for Basic Midwifery Practice.  For the FNP portion of the program, students work with the FNP faculty and clinical placement office to secure a clinical rotation that exposes the student to patients across the lifespan. These placements are arranged by the FNP faculty liaison and clinical placement office after it is determined that it will be a proper learning experience based on the competencies outlined by the National Organization of Nurse Practitioner Faculties (NONPF).

Students in the dual midwifery/FNP program will have at least one clinical rotation outside of the Nashville area in part to expose them to regional differences in nurse-midwifery and lifespan care. Given the large number of advanced practice nursing students across the country, agencies and providers have asked that all placements be coordinated by a school representative. During the NM portion of the program, 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. During the FNP portion of the program, students will meet with the FNP faculty liaison to discuss possible site locations and determine the best approach for arranging the placement. 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.

PreSpecialty (BA/BS in non-nursing field) Year Rotations

Students during their PreSpecialty year will be placed in group clinical experiences. These group experiences may be in a hospital or community setting in the greater Middle Tennessee area (MTA).

Fall I of the Dual Nurse-Midwifery/Family Nurse Practitioner Specialty

After completing our health assessment lab courses, students have one clinical day in our Vanderbilt practices within a 30 minutes radius of Nashville. 

Spring Semester I of the Dual Nurse-Midwifery/Family Nurse Practitioner Specialty

In the first spring, students have two clinical placements.  One placement is focused on primary care for the adult, and one placement is focused on antepartum and gynecologic care. These placements are within a 4-hour radius of the School of Nursing. Students may have rotations in Kentucky, Alabama, and east or west Tennessee, depending on the appropriateness of the site. Faculty take into consideration a number of factors in assigning students to sites, including learning needs, home address, and clinical interests.

Summer of the Dual Nurse-Midwifery/Family Nurse Practitioner Specialty

Clinical placements in the summer are focused on intrapartum, postpartum, and newborn midwifery care. These placements are in hospitals, birth centers, and home birth practices around the United States or at US military bases. Students are on call or in the clinical setting to provide labor, birth, and newborn care at all hours, including nights and weekends.  When on call, students must be within 30 minutes of the facility and have reliable child and/or pet care for each 12-24 hour shift.  

Students have different summer and fall II sites. Faculty intentionally select each student's sites to vary volume, populations, and preceptor skills sets to provide a diversity of learning experiences. At least one of the summer/fall II rotations will be outside of the Middle TN area. During this time, students will also begin meeting with the FNP faculty liaison to discuss potential sites for the Spring semester II.

Fall II of the Dual Nurse-Midwifery/Family Nurse Practitioner Specialty

The clinical rotation in fall II, known as Integration, provides the opportunity for students to integrate all of their knowledge and training in providing full-scope midwifery care across the lifespan within inpatient and outpatient settings. Students work closely with preceptors to master all the Core Competencies for Basic Midwifery practice, applying prior course content and skills while providing person-centered, culturally-appropriate midwifery care.  Outpatient visits are usually within business hours. Labor and birth care occur at all hours of the day and night and involves on-call time as well as scheduled shifts. 

Spring II of the Dual Nurse-Midwifery/Family Nurse Practitioner Specialty

The clinical rotation in spring II serves as the experience for two clinical courses that run concurrently– N6555 and N6585. Between these two courses, students will work in a primary care site that sees patients across the lifespan for a total of 420 clinical hours. In these courses, students work with preceptors to master the management of common health problems and the development of comprehensive plans of care for patients across the lifespan. These clinical rotations may take place within or outside of the middle Tennessee area, based on availability.

Clinical Requirements

For clinicals at the specialty level, an active and unencumbered RN license, valid for the state in which the student is doing the rotation, is required. Depending on the clinical placement location, students may be required to obtain additional state licenses. Costs associated with additional licenses are the responsibility of the student. 

All requirements for enrollment must be completed and on file at the time of enrollment and kept current throughout the student's clinical practica. Clinical preceptors and/or agencies may require a drug screening, fingerprinting, additional criminal background checks, or other requirements specific to that site. Costs associated with these processes are the responsibility of the student. The clinical placement office will notify students of any additional requirements associated with their rotation.

Students may not begin their clinical rotations until they have met all the site requirements and have received confirmation from their faculty and the clinical placement office that they are cleared to start. Faculty and clinical placement must approve any additional sites/clinics for the student's clinical experience to ensure that the sites are appropriate to the student's clinical objectives and a contract is in place with the site.

Transportation and Lodging

Students are responsible for their transportation to and from all clinical facilities as well as lodging while at distant sites. While Nashville does have a public transportation system, not all of our sites are accessible via public transit. Ride-sharing services do not run in many of our rural sites. Students will need a reliable car and the ability to drive throughout the program.

International Placements

Many of our clinical sites work with vulnerable populations in need of culturally-appropriate health services. At the current time, our only international placements are at US military bases.  This is for several reasons:

  • Midwifery practice is variable by country, and we focus on preparation for US practice as this is the information on the American Midwifery Certification Board exam and linked with safe practice after graduation.  Our goal is to prepare you to meet the Core Competencies for Basic Midwifery Practice as determined by the American College of Nurse-Midwives. These competencies are compatible with the International Confederation of Midwives Essential Competencies. 
  • Vanderbilt is strongly committed to making sure all of our global health initiatives enhance short-term and long-health in ways the community values.  Student availability varies by semester and without a sustained presence, we are unable to ensure the community would have lasting benefit. 

Students can participate in non-clinical global health programs, and VUSN offers a Global Health Certificate that involves in-depth study of global health and a mentored project. The VUSN global health website is available here. We have had many dual students obtain a global health certificate with their MSN. 

Due to State Board of Nursing or State Higher Education requirements, clinical placements may not be available in every location. We make every reasonable effort to accommodate a student’s placement requests.