Clinical Placement FAQs
You MUST have your active Georgia or Temporary License on file with the WellStar College Continuing Education Division office before the first day of clinical. Participating in clinical as an RN without a Georgia License leaves you subject to legal sanctions and fines by the Georgia Board of Nursing (GBN). For additional information, refer to the Georgia Board of Nursing website.
YOU MUST meet all the health, immunizations, insurance, CPR, etc., requirements before beginning the course. These requirements are mandated by the contract between Kennesaw State University and the agencies that offer preceptors for your clinical experience. Failure to complete the forms by the established date will result in you being dropped from the course. All the agencies providing clinical placement require complete clinical files before providing the name of a preceptor.
Once you have enrolled in the course, you will get an email regarding clinical choices and placement. Placement will be made according to the preferences listed on your application, your work history, and the availability of preceptors within the hospitals. Due to the shortage of nurses in the acute care facilities, we are often limited in the availability of preceptors, so personal preference may not be possible.
You do not have to do your clinical in the same area as your past experience; however, there must be a connection. For example, if you worked in an ICU with adults for six years and have been out of nursing for 10 years raising four children, and you do not want to work in an ICU anymore, medical/surgical area would be a reasonable choice for you. Or, the post anesthesia care unit or a telemetry unit may interest you; based on the ICU experience, this could be a choice. Labor and Delivery would not be an option for you. Your clinical is to be a refresher, not a fresh start.
As determined by the Georgia Board of Nursing (GBN), clinical placement is in one of the following:
- Acute Care Inpatient Hospital
- Long Term Acute Care Facility
- Outpatient Multisystem Surgical Center
- Public Health Department offering Multisystem Care
This allows the maximum opportunity to renew basic clinical nursing skills and demonstrate safe competent practice as mandated by the GBN. If you have an advanced clinical practice credential or nursing degrees beyond entry level, special consideration in your clinical placement may be accommodated by the GBN. This will require documentation, justification, and a specific request. This will take additional time to process so please plan accordingly.
Start of Online Clinical Placement:
Fall: Middle of November
Spring: Middle of June
Start of On-campus Clinical Placement:
Spring: Middle of June
You have up to six weeks to complete your clinical hours
Yes, you must stay in the same area and with the same preceptor for the entire 160 hours. From past experiences with refresher nurses that have tried to use two different areas or two different preceptors, they only get half the experience. Each area or preceptor expects that you demonstrate your competency before the preceptors are comfortable with releasing you to perform independently; the experience then becomes repetitive and not as enjoyable for you.
The clinical agency where you are assigned will identify the nurse who will serve as your preceptor. The preceptor is an experienced nurse who wants to be a preceptor. Preceptors volunteer to function in this role. Most of the clinical agencies are recruiting nurses and hope to attract you to stay with them as a full-time employee, so your experience with them is very important.
You are NOT required to work for the agency you use for clinical; however, they hope you will want to work for them. The agencies do spend a lot of energy and people power while serving as preceptors for refresher nurses. They do hope that in return you will consider seeking employment with them after completion. Be sure to remember that just as you are not required to seek employment with your preceptor agencies, they are not required to offer you employment.
You may work only when your preceptor is working, but you do not have to work every day they are working. You may not use a substitute preceptor. For example, your preceptor is working on Monday—your child has a special program at school, and you do not want to miss it. Simply do not schedule yourself to work and make sure your preceptor and faculty supervisor are aware that you are not working on that day.
You will have six weeks to complete 160 hours of clinical. This will give you some flexibility. If you are in a hurry to complete in four weeks, you will most likely have to work two weekends to finish. Remember most nurses work every other weekend and complete 80 hours per two-week pay period. If you choose not to work weekends, you will need longer to work your time into a reasonable schedule.
The shifts are 12 hours. You must begin and end the entire shift just like the regular staff. You may not start at 8:30 because you must car pool kids at 7:30, nor can you leave at 2:30 to pick them up. This will be harder for some people, but with careful planning, it can generally be accomplished without too many hardships. Remember this is only for 160 hours—not a lifetime. Vacations and out-of-town trips should be avoided during the six-week clinical period.
The faculty supervisor will be working with you and your preceptor in an evaluation role monitoring your progress and determining successful completion of the clinical portion. The faculty supervisor will check in with you and your preceptor by phone several times over the course of your placement. Please refer to the preceptor packet provided to you for more details about the role and responsibilities of the refresher nurse, the preceptor and the faculty supervisor. Remember the faculty supervisor is your first contact if you have difficulty in the clinical area.
Uniforms are different from hospital to hospital and sometimes from floor to floor. Until your placement is decided, you will not know your uniform. Generally white pants, top, and solid white shoes are always acceptable. Scrubs and colors vary greatly. Some hospitals provide name tags—others do not. You will be directed on how to obtain a name tag in orientation once your location has been assigned.
No, we cannot ensure job placement, but many of our nurses have found positions during their refresher course.
Additional fees may be required by clinical sites.