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Online MSN: Practicum Details

Online MSN Benefits

The online Master of Science in Nursing program provides an immersion experience to give you the opportunity to put what you have learned throughout the program into action. This immersion experience gives you the opportunity to master your new nursing expertise and skills. By putting your MSN coursework into practice in the real world, you will be prepared to step smoothly into your new responsibilities after graduation as a master's-prepared Nurse Administrator or Nurse Educator.

You will choose an appropriate location and preceptor for your practicum experience, with final approval from your instructor. The setting of the practicum should allow you to demonstrate high-level communication, professionalism, evidence-based practice, quality improvement, and Sister Simone Roach's 5 C's of Caring: commitment, conscience, competence, compassion, and confidence. You can complete the practicum at your place of work or a setting close by. Examples of potential practicum sites include:

  • A hospital
  • An outpatient clinic
  • A physician's office
  • A public health agency or community health organization
  • A nursing school or four-year college/university

General Guidelines

It's a good idea to begin thinking about your practicum when you begin the program. By the time you start your specialization courses, you should begin searching for a setting to complete your practicum. It must be selected and approved one term (eight weeks) and no later than 40 days before the beginning of the practicum courses.

Other guidelines to note:

  • You are responsible for knowing and completing all requirements such as immunizations, CPR, and others as designated by the institution before beginning the practicum.
  • Contracts or affiliation agreements may be required, so begin early. These must be completed before practicum hours can be started or you may not be able to complete your practicum during that term.
  • Each practicum consists of logged clock hours of researching, planning, implementing, evaluating, and reflecting on the student's chosen project, with a requirement of 120 documented clock hours throughout the immersion experience.

Choosing a Preceptor

Preceptors can be identified in settings such as the community, professional organizations, places of employment, or educational settings. Your preceptor must be a nurse with at least an MSN (preferably a doctorate) and two years of experience in your specialization at a minimum. All preceptors must be approved by the MSN program director.

Planning Your Practicum

To successfully complete the practicum, you will:

  • Provide your instructor with a list of objectives to be met during the experience.
  • Plan, implement, and evaluate how you met those objectives in a professional/academic portfolio.
  • Keep a clinical log to show how you fulfilled the hour requirements.
  • Prepare a scholarly paper and presentation showing how you applied concepts and met objectives during the practicum.

A practicum offers the chance to take your nursing abilities to a higher level. For more details about this transformative experience, call 877.307.4915 to speak with an Admissions Advisor or request more information.