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Arkansas State University

Read About The Benefits of Clinicals at Arkansas State University

One of the most daunting things about nursing school is the clinical rotation. Even for RNs who have years of experience, there is something about clinicals that can cause anxiety. Nurses commonly wonder When will I have time to complete clinicals while keeping my current job? What if I do not live near the school? Do they have partner facilities in my area? Will work hours translate to clinical hours?

Nurses and prospective nurses have these and many other questions as they prepare for the clinical rotation part of their degree. At Arkansas State University, you have the benefit of many partner facilities, access to instructors to guide you along the way and opportunities to pursue your specific interests in nursing. Your clinicals for Arkansas State’s online RN to BSN program — called capstone practicum hours — will give you the confidence to succeed in your clinicals and prepare you for a rewarding career.

When Do My Clinicals Start and How Long Do They Last?

Your clinical rotation at Arkansas State is a capstone course at the end of the online program. Because many working nurses have busy schedules, you will start planning your clinical rotation at the beginning of the program. This gives you time to make arrangements with your current employer and create a plan for any family responsibilities you may have. The clinical rotation at A-State is a seven-week course. You will need to complete a total of 84 hours — all during the first six weeks. This averages out to 14 hours a week.

Where Can I Do My Clinical Rotation?

RNs often wonder where they can do their clinicals, especially if they do not live near their school. At A-State, you can do your clinical rotation where you currently work, as long as they hire RNs. Arkansas State has agreements with most hospitals in the state and surrounding states , but if a hospital or other healthcare facility in your area is not on that list, talk with your advisor; they can almost always make an agreement with a hospital near you.

Do Work Hours Count as Clinical Rotation Hours?

Since most RNs are currently working in the field, they may wonder if their work hours can fulfill their clinical rotation requirement. It depends. During normal working hours, the healthcare facility where you work covers any malpractice or other insurance you might need. When nurses do their clinical hours, they usually cover their own insurance costs so the hospital is not liable for any problems that may arise. According to the Nurses Service Organization’s website, student nurses can usually get coverage for as low as $35 a year. This distinction usually separates work hours from the hours that satisfy your degree program’s requirements.

In rare instances, healthcare facilities will provide insurance coverage to nurses during their clinical rotations, and in these cases, work hours can double as clinical hours. Check with your employer and program advisor for more information.

I Am Already an RN. Why Do I Need Clinicals?

As a working RN, you may already be familiar with most aspects of nursing care. How, then, is a clinical rotation different from your regular job? During your capstone practicum hours at A-State, you will choose a realistic issue that interests you. Have ideas about how to improve aftercare or theories about the emotional health of critically ill patients and how nurses can help? The course that precedes your capstone course is a management course that prepares you for your clinical rotation. During this course, you will develop a plan based on your interests. During your clinicals, you will put this plan to the test.

Expert Guidance

Advisors are not always as available as we would like them to be. However, Dr. Brinda McKinney, Assistant Professor of Nursing, will be there to help at every step of the way. She speaks with all A-State nursing students individually to make sure they know what to do and what to expect.

Online nursing students at A-State will work with mentors at the facilities where they do their clinicals. These mentors are all BSN-prepared, so they can guide you in every aspect of your nursing practice.

How to Survive Your Clinical Nurse Rotation

Even though you have been a practicing nurse for a while, you may still be a bit nervous about clinicals. Here are a few tips to get you through.

  • Make friends and establish a support system.
  • Talk to your mentor about everything.
  • Wear appropriate clothing for your school and the facility.
  • Help your fellow nurses, both students and professionals.
  • Do not complain.
  • Avoid workplace gossip.
  • Practice, practice, practice.

RNs returning to school to earn their Bachelor of Science in Nursing online have nothing to fear when it comes to their clinical rotation. Arkansas State makes it easy to find a partner hospital in your area and gives you time to adjust your already-busy schedule. You will know what to expect every step of the way. The faculty will make sure you know the next steps and that you are prepared.

Learn more about the A-State online RN to BSN program.


Furia, K. (2015, June 2). How to Survive Nursing School Clinicals.

Lucido, N. (n.d.). Arkansas State Capstone Practicum Hours [Interview by M. L. Edgington III].

Professional Liability Insurance for Nursing Students. (n.d.).

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