School still not able to secure us many clinical hours - should I be concerned?

Posted
by sadperson258 (New) New Student

Hello, I am just starting the second semester of an ABSN program. I became concerned when our clinical schedule came out because we appear to have many fewer clinical hours than previous cohorts & other nursing students in the area. The Dean had originally told me this program offered 800 hours, but when I met with her recently, she said they were having trouble getting us clinical placements due to COVID. As a result, we only had 16 hours in the hospital last semester and will only have maybe 40-50 hours this semester. The rest of the time is made up in the sim lab, and overall we will be getting about half the hours that previous cohorts had. (I'm not convinced it's entirely due to COVID since other schools are still getting all their hours--I think they just can't get enough clinical instructors)

I was really concerned about this because I know some states require many more clinical hours than that, most of which need to be in-person. The Dean tried to assure me I'd be able to get licensed anywhere, but she didn't give me definitive proof of that. I've tried contacting other states' BONs to find out their stance on it, but it's impossible to talk to a real person. I'm considering dropping out of this program, even though it would be very hard to start all over again...I want to ensure I can be licensed anywhere.

Lvl4andcounting

Specializes in ICU Hopeful. 6 Posts

We've been lucky that our school has been able to get us into all our clinicals except one set; however, I do know our state board of nursing approved 70% sim lab being an acceptable ratio. I've heard of this in other states. Seems crazy, but.... COVID.

Honyebee, CNA

Specializes in Customer service. Has 1 years experience. 420 Posts

On 9/14/2021 at 11:53 AM, sadperson258 said:

Hello, I am just starting the second semester of an ABSN program. I became concerned when our clinical schedule came out because we appear to have many fewer clinical hours than previous cohorts & other nursing students in the area. The Dean had originally told me this program offered 800 hours, but when I met with her recently, she said they were having trouble getting us clinical placements due to COVID. As a result, we only had 16 hours in the hospital last semester and will only have maybe 40-50 hours this semester. The rest of the time is made up in the sim lab, and overall we will be getting about half the hours that previous cohorts had. (I'm not convinced it's entirely due to COVID since other schools are still getting all their hours--I think they just can't get enough clinical instructors)

I was really concerned about this because I know some states require many more clinical hours than that, most of which need to be in-person. The Dean tried to assure me I'd be able to get licensed anywhere, but she didn't give me definitive proof of that. I've tried contacting other states' BONs to find out their stance on it, but it's impossible to talk to a real person. I'm considering dropping out of this program, even though it would be very hard to start all over again...I want to ensure I can be licensed anywhere.

Yikes. I strongly suggest that you should finish your term then come back. Communicate with your Dean if this is possible. 

It has been difficult. My previous employer stopped accepting students.

LovingPeds, MSN, APRN, NP

Specializes in Clinical Pediatrics; Maternal-Child Educator. Has 12 years experience. 107 Posts

Maternal-child instructor here.

 

Several BONs recognized the difficulty in obtaining student placement due to Covid-19. Our BON, for instance, decided to accept a minimum of 10% of clinical hours being with patients and that all other hours could be virtual clinical or simulation. It was left up to instructors to decide how many hours were in clinical and how many were in simulation so long as the minimum hours were obtained.

 

I decided to do all of my clinical hours for my class in the hospital setting rather than simulation. As an adjunct already working daily directly with patients, I was comfortable that the students and I could do so safely and was not as comfortable with planning simulation or virtual clinical set-up. The other instructors for the semester did more simulation and virtual clinical than patient hours. All of it was accepted by our BON and these students are now nurses.

 

If your Dean has told you that you could be licensed anywhere, then most likely the Dean is familiar with the educational changes allowed by the states due to Covid-19. Also in the US, once you have passed NCLEX, you can apply to be licensed in another state. This is usually done through applying, verifying your active license, and meeting their continuing education requirements for licensure. I'm not familiar with other states wanting to see your undergraduate clinical record to transfer or expand your license to another state.

Edited by LovingPeds
Clarification on Transfer of Licensure after Passing NCLEX.

CLG4

6 Posts

You are  describing my current situation to a tee. I am midway through my second semester of an ABSN program and will have only 48 in person clinical hours this semester. First semester we did not have any in person clinical hours. I am to seriously considering withdrawing and trying to transfer to a different program due to concerns I will not be able to become licensed. No one seems to know if there are a minimum number of in person clinical hours that need to be completed to be eligible for licensure. ( MA/NH). I do have a call to the NH Board, and will try MA as well. Does anyone know if there are minimum requirements?