As part of the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh's Accelerated Nursing Option, students complete 728 clinical hours during six rotations. Clinical time is important to successfully apply the theoretical concepts of nursing to clinical situations.
Accelerated nursing students complete clinical rotations at appropriate healthcare agencies near their home communities under the direct guidance of qualified registered nurse preceptors. Clinical experiences are supervised by UW Oshkosh faculty. Due to the complexity of securing unique one-to-one precepted clinical experiences, students may be required to travel an hour or more from their home address to clinical sites.
Adult Health I Clinical
The first clinical rotation of the curriculum is completed during the two-week campus residency period. Students complete this rotation in a hospital in Oshkosh or a nearby community. In a group of 4–5 students with a UW Oshkosh clinical instructor, students care for adults with medical/surgical health problems.
Nursing care units include: cardiac, neurological, rehabilitative or medical-surgical. Students plan and manage care for 1–2 patients, completing health histories, physical assessments, and performing specific nursing skills.
During Adult Health I, students complete 56 clinical hours over two weeks.
Preceptor-Model Clinical Rotations
The next five clinical rotations are completed via the preceptor model. Students learn under the direct supervision of a registered nurse preceptor who is an employee of a healthcare agency.
Clinical placements are coordinated and secured by the Accelerated Nursing staff. Students are not expected to secure their own preceptors or clinical agencies. College of Nursing faculty members supervise the precepted clinical experiences remotely and during on-site visits.
The Accelerated Option Student Services Coordinators seek preceptors who meet specific qualifications at appropriate agencies.
For all five of these rotations, accelerated nursing students work the same schedule as their nurse preceptors; the schedule may include days, evenings, nights, weekends, and/or holidays. Due to the compressed format of the curriculum, students need to be available 24/7 to work their preceptors' hours. For May cohorts, precepted clinical courses begin in late September continuing through late April/early May. October cohort clinical courses begin in late February, continuing through late September/early October.
Written assignments for clinical rotations are submitted to the UW Oshkosh clinical instructor. Students participate in live online discussions with the clinical instructor and other students during the precepted clinical rotations.
The Student Services Coordinators make every effort to secure placements at appropriate agencies relatively close to the students' home communities. However, a particular agency may take students in one specialty area but not another or may have its own constraints, limiting the number of students who can be accommodated. Not all agencies have qualified preceptors available to supervise students. Students must be prepared to travel up to fifty miles, one way, for clinical experiences. In extenuating circumstances, the distance may be greater than 50 miles.
Adult Health II Clinical
The Adult Health II Clinical rotation is completed concurrently with Adult Health II Theory. Theoretical concepts covered in this course include nursing care for adults with:
- cardiac disorders
- renal disease
- gastrointestinal, liver and pancreatic disorders
- neurological disorders
- cancer, burns and trauma
Clinical units will have a combination of patients with some of the above problems to facilitate application of theoretical concepts to clinical situations.
During Adult Health II, students complete 112 clinical hours over five weeks.
Pediatric, Obstetric, Mental Health and Geriatric Clinicals
Accelerated nursing students are assigned to two of the above four clinical rotations. Although students may have a preference or higher interest in one area than another, assignments are made by the Student Services Coordinators based upon preceptor availability and the number of students needing clinical experiences. Particular clinical specialty experience during a nursing program, or lack thereof, is not a significant factor related to job placement upon graduation.
The format for these two clinical rotations is the same as for Adult Health II. However, the theory courses for the four specialty areas do not necessarily run concurrently with the clinical rotations.
End goals for these clinical courses reflect greater independence and problem solving when caring for patients.
Preceptor guidance and supervision is maintained throughout the rotation, even as the student becomes more independent. Students become more actively involved in discharge planning and multidisciplinary teamwork to assure the needs of patients are met, both in the hospital and after discharge.
During Pediatric, Obstetric, Mental Health and Geriatric Clinicals, students complete 112 clinical hours over four weeks.
Community Health Clinical
All students in the Accelerated option complete the Community Health Clinical Rotation concurrently with Community Health Theory. Students are partnered with a community health nurse preceptor, completing clinical hours in a community or public health agency such as a county health department, free clinic, home health agency or school.
During Community Health Clinical, students complete 168 clinical hours over six weeks.
Senior Clinical Synthesis
Approximately halfway through the curriculum students are asked to identify several areas of interest for the Senior Clinical Synthesis experience. The students' “first choice” cannot be guaranteed as all rotations are based upon preceptor and clinical site availability.
The Senior Clinical Synthesis is completed concurrently with the Leadership and Management Course.
During Senior Clinical Synthesis, students complete 168 clinical hours over five weeks.