Clinicals, or on-site training experiences, are a standard component of accredited nursing degree programs. As a clinical coordinator, you are responsible for arranging clinical sites and managing the relationship between the school, student and facility supervisor. The coordinator also reviews student progress and addresses any problems that arise.
Manage Clinical Relationships
In a new program, the clinical coordinator must find new training facilities and formalize relationships with the facility through clinical contracts. These contracts establish the role of the facility, school and student in ensuring student nurses get a thorough, hands-on educational experience. In more established programs, you maintain strong working relationships with site supervisors and faculty at clinical locations. As coordinator, you meet with faculty supervisors to evaluate student progress and to collaborate on handling student problems. Ensuring that each student gets a quality experience that meets state and school criteria for on-site training is vital to the effectiveness of a nursing program.
Oversee Student Experience
The coordinator schedules nursing students at each clinical location. Students sometimes rotate to multiple locations during the course of the training experience. As coordinator, you also verify that each faculty training supervisor meets necessary nursing and teaching credentials, and that supervisors have completed the necessary faculty paperwork. You would also lead an orientation for new faculty supervisors. The coordinator monitors student progress and overall academic performance during the clinical experience. If students fail to meet academic expectations, the coordinator meets with them to discuss strategies to improve their performances.
Meetings are a major part of the coordinator's typical day. You meet with supervisors and students throughout the training process. Coordinators also meet periodically with nursing faculty and program directors. In department planning meetings, the participants discuss the role and effectiveness of the clinical program in meeting student needs. You may also meet with nursing faculty and the department chair periodically to discuss the balance of coursework and hands-on training within the program. Coordinators also attend training forums to learn changes in state nursing registration and on-site training requirements.
You usually need a bachelor of science in nursing, along with some professional nursing experience, to become a clinical coordinator. You also need to be familiar with HIPAA regulations, and have excellent communication and interpersonal skills to manage working relationships. In addition, you need strong planning and organizing abilities to set up and manage the clinical rotation. A professional attitude and passion for helping students are also essential based on the prominent role you play.