7 Things You Must Know About Clinical Placements at Xavier

7 things you must know about clinical placements at Xavier

Quality clinical experience is a key element of graduating practice-ready nurses. At Xavier University, we provide some of the best clinical placements of any nursing school in Greater Cincinnati. You will find we have a strong, expansive network of health-care partners that afford our nursing students access to more than 90 patient care locations.

As a student in our second-degree 16-month ABSN program, you will clock 855 hours of clinical practice, which constitutes both lab and practicum time. During labs, you develop your skills in a mock, risk-free clinical setting; whereas, in practicum, you apply your knowledge in the real-world.

It might be helpful to note that our industry often uses the terms clinical placements and clinical rotations interchangeably when referring to practicum.

While in our full-time, four-semester ABSN program, your clinical practice starts during semester one. More times than not, you will take what you learn in lab and then apply it in a health-care setting shortly thereafter. In the beginning, clinical practice is primarily lab focused; but as time goes on, you can expect less lab time and more practicum hours.

1. Practicum Courses

Term 1Term 2
Foundations of Nursing Practice IFoundations of Nursing Practice II
Term 3Term 4
Nursing Concepts in Mental Health INursing Concepts in Mental Health II

Nursing Care of the Adult I

Term 5Term 6
Nursing Care of the Adult II

Obstetric/Women’s Health

Nursing Care of the Adult III

Pediatric Nursing

Term 7Term 8
Nursing Care of Complex Clients I

Nursing Concepts in Community Health I

Nursing Care of Complex Clients II

Nursing Concepts in Community Health II

2. Diverse Experiences

Working with patients in a clinical setting

Our diverse clinical placement sites, which include hospitals, daycares and mental health facilities, allow you to gain practical experience in a variety of health-care sectors and specialties. These clinical experiences serve as the core of your nursing education, exposing you to different patient populations in different practice settings.

Students often enter nursing school with preconceived ideas of where they want to practice but then change their minds after completing clinicals. Do not be surprised if you start off wanting to work in pediatrics, but then shift your perspective after a great experience with a senior patient.

Clinicals are active learning environments where you and members of your cohort perform tasks a nurse would typically do in a given situation. Our clinical groups, for the most part, have an 8:1 student-to-faculty ratio. Some health-care partners, however, limit groups to six students per faculty member.

During your clinical placements, you can expect to work with some of the best health-care teams in Greater Cincinnati. In fact, several of the best hospitals in the area welcome Xavier students into their facilities because they appreciate the rigorous, innovative nature of our nursing programs.

“We are elated to have Xavier students in our facility for clinical placement. We know the talent these nursing students bring to our organization.”

―Marie Leist-Smith, Regional Director of Nursing Practice and Research, Mercy Health Cincinnati

3. Role Transition

During your final weeks of the ABSN program, you will participate in what we call a role transition experience. This is where you gain concentrated clinical experience under the guidance of a preceptor, who is a registered nurse. You will work the same shifts as your assigned preceptor, and as you refine your skills and build rapport with patients, you will take an active, if not primary, role in their care.

4. Health-Care Partners

Nursing students working in clinical placements

When it comes to scheduling clinical placements, there are several variables involved, particularly on the side of the health-care partner. Everything from contractual agreements with other schools to staff nurse availability to patient acuity, plays a role in where you earn your practicum experience. Hence, we often use random selection when assigning students to partner locations.

But given that several of our network-based health-care partners have achieved Magnet status (the gold standard of nursing excellence) at one or more of their hospitals, you should feel confident the clinical placements we provide are top notch.

5. Major Misunderstandings

Based on years of teaching experience, Cheryl Leksan, Associate Director of Nursing at Xavier, has identified two major misunderstandings students have about clinical rotations.

Misunderstanding #1: Nurses do not perform personal care tasks.

When you are in a practicum setting, you must remember that nurses are responsible for all aspects of patient care, which includes bathing and feeding individuals.

Misunderstanding #2: Clinical practicum is just about learning new skills.

Even if you have mastered a specific skill, you should still expect to apply it repeatedly during your practicum. After all, this is what nurses do every day in their profession. As a whole, clinicals get you accustomed to providing competent, compassionate patient care time and time again.

6. Innovative Instructors

Faculty working with nursing student

To produce well-educated, skilled nurses who can deliver safe, high-quality services to individuals, families, and communities, it is critical that students learn from instructors who not only implement effective teaching strategies, but also provide support and encouragement.

As an ABSN student, you will find our instructors work hard to provide positive clinical experiences that are innovative and appropriate. They focus their efforts on facilitating your progress, from basic to advanced clinical competence.

7. Successful Outcomes

Our clinical placements, when combined with rigorous theory courses, help prepare you to sit for the NCLEX-RN® licensure exam with confidence. These experiences also do a good job of priming you for an entry-level nursing position.

According to Susan Schmidt, Director of the Xavier School of Nursing, Xavier students are often offered positions at one of the partner sites where they had a practicum experience. If they do not have jobs lined up before graduation, they typically do within a few months of passing the NCLEX-RN.

As you can probably tell, clinical placements play a vital role in the nursing curriculum at Xavier University. If you have a BA or BS degree and want an education that prepares you for a nursing career in as few as 16 months, talk to admission counselor about our second-degree ABSN program today!

Xavier ABSN simulation lab

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