The Catholic University of America

  Faculty Guidelines

Clinical site approval & verification of current contracts

Clinical sites are constantly being added for the benefit of our MSN students. Decisions regarding site approval rests with each individual faculty member serving as a site coordinator in order to ensure the best possible experiences for all of our MSN students.

The Faculty Clinical Coordinator works with the contact at each specific site to ensure that a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) is valid and accurate. The MOU is a legal document establishing a relationship between the SON and each specific site. Once the MOU document is generated and signed by all parties (Dean of the School of Nursing, Provost, and Site Representatives), a Memorandum of Insurance is generated to cover both general and professional liability. Both documents are sent to the site, with copies kept at the SON and available as needed. Once an MOU is established, it is valid year to year unless terminated in writing or otherwise stipulated in the MOU.

Assigning students to preceptor

Students are assigned to individual preceptors by the coordinating faculty member. Occasionally students will request a specific site or preceptor. In that instance, the faculty member will discuss with the student his/her educational needs and confer with the site representative to assess if the match is appropriate and an MOU can be established.

Final grades are always assigned by the faculty member, with input from the clinical preceptor.

Documenting student placements

Communication of student placements occurs in the last few weeks of the semester prior to the clinical rotation. Both the preceptors/educators and the students are given contact information for one another by the faculty coordinator.

Validating student credentials

Students are required to keep all immunizations, CPR, PPD, health status documentation, and RN licenses (in DC and MD/VA) up to date at all times during their clinical rotations. Specifically, this information must be updated by December 1st (for spring semesters) and May 1st (for summer & fall semesters).

Orientation of preceptors & communication

Preceptors are oriented individually via conversations with clinical faculty, ongoing e-mail, face-to-face meetings, and the preceptor manual. Communications occurs throughout each semester as needed. Students are asked to review the CUA Graduate Announcements, SON website, and supporting materials regularly for policy changes.

Performing site visits

Site visits provide valuable opportunities for faculty to observe the student’s interactions with patients or with program colleagues for Advanced Public Health students. Faculty discuss the student’s progress individually with the clinical preceptor. This site visit takes place at a mutually agreeable time for the preceptor, student and assigned faculty member. If needed, the faculty member will visit the site multiple times in one semester.

Supervising students’ clinical schedules

After establishing a clinical schedule with a preceptor, students are responsible for communicating their schedules to their assigned faculty member at the beginning of each semester. If a change in the schedule is required, it is the student’s responsibility to communicate the changes to both the preceptor and the assigned faculty member. Generally, it is expected that the clinical/practicum experience will span the length of the semester. 

Evaluating student clinical logs

Faculty will provide students with instructions for completing and submitting weekly clinical logs. Faculty will evaluate logs biweekly to assess progress toward attainment of clinical objectives for the course.