The Nature of Clinical Practice in the MSN-NP Programs
The National Organization of Nurse Practitioner Faculties publication, Curriculum Guidelines and Program Standards for Nurse Practitioner Education describes clinical practice thus:
Clinical practice hours refer to hours in which direct clinical care is provided to
individuals, families, and populations in population-focused areas of NP practice; clinical hours do not include skill lab hours, physical assessment practice sessions, or a
community project, if it does not include provision of direct care. Clinical experiences and
time spent in each experience should be varied and distributed in a way that prepares
the student to provide care to the populations served. For example, a FNP student
should receive experiences with individuals/families across the life span. In addition,
whereas 500 clinical hours is regarded as a minimum, it is expected that programs
preparing NPs to provide direct care to multiple age groups, e.g. FNP (or lifespan), will
exceed this minimum requirement. ( NONPF, 2008. p9)
Clinical hours include the time spent in clinical practice engaged in the delivery of care to clients, as well as related activities, such as: conferring with preceptors regarding management of clients, documentation of care provided, follow-up phone calls to community agencies serving as referral sites for clients, telephone triage and follow-up regarding care of clients.
Students will be credited with 8 hours of clinical time for the daylong, mandatory, clinically based APN Practice seminar which will occur during your precepted clinical hours.
Part of one's professional responsibility is apportioning time appropriately and effectively. With prior approval of faculty, clinical hours can also include time spent at clinically based conferences, Grand Rounds, and such add-on experiences as a day spent at a specialty clinic of particular interest to you. Consider attendance at clinically based Continuing Education opportunities or other activities in relation to your clinical goals. As a general guideline, these experiences should not exceed 10% of the total clinical time. Documentation of these actitivies occurs in the clinical log, by addressing how the conference/activity related to your clinical goals.
No more than 200 hours can be spent at their place of employment. We recommend that these 200 hours occur toward the end of their clinical experience. The student may not be paid for their work during your preceptorship because of conflict of interest issues.