Adapting clinical experiences during a pandemic: One college of nursing's approach

Andrew Makowski, Debra Hampton, Melanie Hardin-Pierce, Leslie Scott, Nicole Garritano, Elizabeth Tovar, Sheila Melander

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


ABSTRACT: Graduate level nursing programs are having increasing difficulty obtaining clinical sites for their students. Nurse practitioner (NP) students need a minimum of 500 direct care hours in addition to indirect hours. Simulation experiences may not be used as direct patient care hours for NP students, but telehealth experiences may be used if the focus is on obtaining similar competencies to what would be acquired with face-to-face patient experiences. One college of nursing adapted several opportunities for NP students to acquire indirect clinical experiences and specific NP competencies during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Several different clinically focused teaching methodologies were planned and implemented. These varied by NP specialty track and included complex case analyses, virtual (Zoom) rounds, well-child cases, and objective structured clinical examinations. These adapted clinical experiences are effective methods of helping students acquire clinical competencies and skills; however, they bring their own challenges. Post-COVID may be a time of new beginnings, moving nursing education forward on finding new and better ways to ensure that students acquire clinical competencies. What the new normal will be for nursing education is yet to be determined, but nursing education will likely never return to where we were before the pandemic.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)254-260
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners
Issue number2
StatePublished - Sep 20 2021

Bibliographical note

Copyright © 2021 American Association of Nurse Practitioners.


  • COVID-19
  • Clinical Competence
  • Education, Nursing
  • Humans
  • Nurse Practitioners
  • Pandemics
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • Students, Nursing


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