A comprehensive overview of clinical placements in nursing and why it is important
Clinical experience is the brass tack of nursing education. Through clinical experiences, nursing students can open themselves to situations and experiences within numerous real-world settings.
This is because clinical experiences can put theory into action by transferring what they learn in the classroom to a clinical environment. Students will learn by doing while applying their knowledge in a training setting, developing new abilities, and deepening their comprehension of many practice areas.
Now you might ask how a nursing student can gain clinical experience. Enter clinical placements. Most often, clinical placement is where a nursing student provides healthcare-related services to patients for educational purposes.
They may be compensated or uncompensated because the primary goal of the clinical placement is experience. While pursuing your accelerated nursing degree at Baylor University, you usually apply for a clinical post and work for an organization for one or a few months, either permanently or part-time.
Clinical placements provide extensive work experience, complete college requirements, and offer you material to boost your resume. They can introduce you to several aspects of full-time nursing while enabling you to discover your interests.
If that’s not good enough, keep scrolling, as this article outlines the importance of clinical placements in nursing education and how to find one.
Improve your nursing skills
Nursing courses and laboratory work will provide essential nursing skills and techniques. However, you will need more than that to become a practical nurse. You need to put those skills into a natural healthcare environment and use it to improve people’s lives.
Through clinical placements, you can take vitals, administer medications, and feed patients, which prepares you for a career in nursing. You will gain experience with new techniques you can use as a registered nurse by helping with other surgeries.
You’ll also practice engaging with patients while developing your task-based skills. Being a patient advocate will be one of your most crucial responsibilities as a nurse. Therefore interacting with patients and building relationships with them will teach you things that courses and labs can’t.
It helps with securing a job and career progression
Nursing is a saturated market; sometimes, standing out can be challenging. Through clinical placements, nurses can take control of their career progressions and find jobs suitable for their lifestyles.
After all, clinical experiences do not only provide nurses with real-world experiences to succeed but also introduce them to nursing leaders and decision-makers. Most often, these leaders often understand the unique challenges nurses face across their careers.
This is especially important considering that data shows nearly 85% of healthcare jobs are not advertised online but instead filled through networking. By joining a clinical placement, you can build a professional network that inspires you to advance your career and meet your goals.
Although there is never a certainty that you will get a job in one of your clinical placements, you should approach every nursing clinical like a job interview. Feeling worried at first is normal; it’s all part of the journey. However, your best option is to put yourself out there and absorb as much information as possible. In the end, you never know who might be monitoring from a distance.
Imagine, for instance, that you finished a clinical rotation on a hospital ward. Then, after completing your nursing education, you apply for a position on a different floor of the same hospital. If you did well in your clinical, the nurses and nurse management you worked with might significantly impact your ability to land the job.
Since the supervisors of your clinical placements would have known you personally and observed your contributions to the organization, they might be an asset in your job search. They can provide particular, indicate how your skills are evolving, and explain how your schooling prepares you for the workforce.
Experience clinical variety
You will come into contact with and learn to embrace numerous specializations and care settings among healthcare facilities with whom you coordinate clinical rotations. Clinical assignments often cover multiple departments, including pediatrics and the critical care unit.
However, in odd cases, you may help senior management, complete small tasks for projects, or observe the daily functions of the healthcare organization. By having the chance to practice your abilities in several situations, you can choose where you want to start your nursing career.
In doing so, you can determine what kind of nursing career you want. On top of everything else, you’ll meet mentors who can provide advice and guidance, which could prove essential to your overall success.
In connection with the previous point, the value of mentoring in nursing is too essential to go by the wayside. Like it or not, there is much to learn from each generation.
With clinical placements, you will work in conjunction with more experienced nurses and learn the professional dynamics of the industry.
Nursing mentors are frequently equipped with the required knowledge to help you understand how the healthcare industry operates and how you can use it to your advantage to obtain leadership chances.
Doing this can reduce the possibility of making costly mistakes that may otherwise spell the end of your nursing career.
Ways to find a clinical placement for nursing students
Now that the advantages of clinical placement for nursing students have been established, you might wonder how to find one. While academic institutions often assign you to a specific healthcare organization, some programs require students to find a placement in an area that aligns with their specialty. In that case, here are things you can do.
Attend a clinical placement assistance program
Academic institutions often host a clinical placement assistance program to help their students find the ideal position for their skills. Attending these programs is a lifesaver for students as it saves them from the financial burden of paying out of pocket for a third-party service.
Pay a placement service fee
Speaking of a third-party service, if finding a clinical placement on their own proves to be challenging, students can collaborate with third-party placement services, which will aid in the process from beginning to end, from locating possible preceptors to expediting the paperwork procedure.
An exciting career in nursing awaits you. Sign up today to learn more about the best clinical placements for your skills and qualifications.