Clinical Placement Information

Learn the clinical placement procedure for the Family Nurse Practitioner master’s and certificate of advanced study graduate programs.

Nursing student checking the eyes of a patient

Choosing a site

Appropriate clinical sites within the graduate Family Nurse Practitioner program include a primary care focus within a non-acute health care setting, such as family practice offices, clinics, pediatric offices, internal medicine offices, and women’s health practices. Appropriate preceptors must be advanced practice providers or physicians with at least one year of clinical experience. Graduate students are expected to play an active role in identifying and securing appropriate clinical sites/preceptors in conjunction with the clinical coordinator.

Clinical sites all have their own onboarding requirements before clinical rotations can begin. For some sites, these requirements include a full background check which does require some additional time to complete. Students must comply with all onboarding requirements of the site they will be attending. Failure to do so may result in an inability to complete the program successfully.  

Site approval deadlines

Students should have a clinical site approved with a clinical contract in place by October 15 for spring placements and March 15 for fall placements.

Site placement assistance

If a graduate student is not successful in identifying and securing an approved site/preceptor one month before this deadline, it is the student’s responsibility to notify the clinical coordinator of this issue. The clinical coordinator will assist the student in securing a placement within 75 miles of campus. If the clinical coordinator secures an appropriate site for the student and the student declines the site due to commuting time or hours available, the clinical coordinator will not secure another site for that student for that course.

Students who choose to decline an appropriate clinical site that has been arranged and are not able to identify and secure an alternative appropriate site/preceptor will receive a failing grade for the course, which may jeopardize the student’s ability to complete the program in a timely manner.

Vaccination Policy for the Graduate Program

Before beginning the graduate nursing program, all students must comply with current SUNY, NYS, and clinical/program-specific vaccination requirements. Students are responsible for ensuring their vaccination status is updated throughout the program. Failure to do so may result in an inability to complete the clinical and course requirements in the program and lead to program dismissal.

All graduate nursing students must be current with COVID vaccinations per CDC recommendations. We do not place any graduate students into clinical settings who are not fully vaccinated for COVID-19. The inability to complete a course because of an incomplete COVID vaccination status may result in course failure and program expulsion.

All nursing students must be vaccinated for influenza annually. Medical exemptions are the only vaccination exemptions recognized in NYS. Students with a documented medical exemption are required to submit the medical exemption form before any clinical courses are taken. This form must be completed by a New York State licensed physician, physician assistant, nurse practitioner, or licensed midwife. Documentation must include verification of the specific medical contraindication. The form will be reviewed by the Clinical Coordinator and Program Director and a determination of acceptance or lack of acceptance for the exemption will be made. Students may be required to produce additional documentation if a sound exemption is not established. In the event that the medical exemption is not accepted the student has the right to appeal the decision to the Chairperson of the Department.

Influenza is a serious respiratory disease. Each year in the United States, influenza kills thousands of people and causes hundreds of thousands of hospitalizations. Influenza vaccination is required of all HCWs in New York State to protect staff and patients from influenza, its complications and death. Influenza can be shed and transmitted for 24 or more hours before symptoms appear. Nurses infected with influenza, even with mild or non-existent symptoms can spread the virus to others who may be immunocompromised leading to severe illness or death. The ANA Code of Ethics for Nurses supports nurses having appropriate flu vaccination, including Provision 3, which states, “The nurse promotes, advocates for and protects the rights, health and safety of patients.” Nursing students who refuse the flu vaccine will be required to sign a vaccination declination form and to wear a mask in a clinical setting throughout the influenza season. In addition, clinical sites may refuse placement of nursing students who are not vaccinated appropriately.

In the event that a clinical site refuses placement of an unvaccinated student, it is the student’s responsibility to make arrangements for an appropriate clinical experience and have this site and preceptor approved by the Clinical Coordinator. It can take several months to process the required paperwork and contracts for a clinical site and the student will not be able to begin clinical until those requirements have been satisfied. The student will be responsible for the cost associated with any of these arrangements including additional faculty supervision time if necessary. The inability of a student to secure an appropriate site that will accept him/her in a timely manner may result in course dismissal/failure. The program will not attempt to secure an additional clinical site for the student under these circumstances.

If the student changes his/her mind and accepts the influenza vaccine after a clinical site declines his/her placement due to lack of vaccination the student will still be responsible for securing an additional appropriate clinical site if that site is no longer available.