How Long Are Clinicals in Nursing School?

Answer & Explanation
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The duration of nursing school clinicals varies depending on the program and the educational level:

  • For LPN programs, the total amount may range from 300 to 600 hours.
  • ADN programs often require 700-800 clinical hours.
  • BSN programs usually offer more extensive clinical experience, from 800 to 1,000 hours.
  • MSN programs have varying requirements based on the specialty, but average, they range from 500 to over 1,000 hours.

The goal of nursing school is to prepare you for the role of a registered nurse by allowing you to complete the clinical training needed to gain practical experience in healthcare settings. The experience you gain during clinicals will enable you to integrate the theoretical knowledge acquired in the classroom with real-life scenarios to prepare for a rewarding career.

What Are Clinical Trials in Nursing School?

Nurses need practical experience to gain the skills needed for safe and quality patient care. First, what are nursing school clinicals? Clinical rotations are a requirement for nursing students to graduate from approved nursing programs. During the clinicals, you will rotate across multiple specialties, with the most common ones including medical-surgical, community health, emergency, and obstetrics. These sessions are not just to provide a unique experience to the student nurse but also to familiarize them with the care environment.

In other words, clinical trials are a core component of nursing studies and may start in your first or second semester of nursing school. The sessions are designed to offer practical and hands-on experience in patient care, where students work in different healthcare settings. Through such programs, you can enhance your communication and critical thinking skills.

How Many Clinical Hours For Nursing School Per Semester?

The length of your clinicals will depend on multiple factors, including your program, institution, and state regulations. So, how long is clinicals in nursing school? Depending on your state, a specific minimum load will be outlined by your state Board of Nursing. That said, most clinicals will have you working between 120 and 140 hours each semester. Most of the rotations last multiple days in a week, with each shift taking between four and six hours.

How Often Are Clinicals in Nursing School?

Most nursing schools will schedule clinicals twice or three times a week. These happen in shifts lasting six to eight hours. The goal is to allow students a chance to get a real feel of what it means to work as a professional nurse. Most of the shifts for these clinicals happen on weekdays since most hospitals are better staffed during the day, meaning better supervision. However, students can often be asked to come in for night shifts or to work on weekends, especially if hospitals are trying to minimize crowds.