Residency & Clinicals

Your clinical experiences should be based upon your own career goals, DNP project focus, or related to attaining depth in your clinical specialization. At the beginning of the clinical residency, you will develop objectives in conjunction with your mentor/preceptor and faculty advisor. Throughout the experience, you will complete a log of your clinical experiences detailing the hours, activities, and how you are meeting your objectives.

Clinicals may assume different foci. Some students have used their hours, for example, to focus on specific aspects of their practice, pursue more in depth understanding of issues from a policy focus, or complete a post-masters specialization in another field, i.e. acute care pediatric practitioner or gerontology content. Students are encouraged to consider the role and area in which they plan to work following graduation and to take a broad view in structuring the clinical experiences.

Clinical Evaluation

The Catholic University faculty will work closely with the student and the mentor/preceptor to assure that expectations for student learning objectives and course outcomes are clear. Ongoing communication between the faculty and mentor/preceptor is enhanced through email and phone calls. Site visits and virtual meetings can offer additional opportunities for collaboration and assessment of a student’s progress. The use of weekly clinical logs that students submit to faculty for review and critique is a required expectation for each clinical rotation. Mid-term and final student evaluations are completed by the mentor/preceptor and reviewed with faculty. The final grade for a course remains the responsibility of the faculty after consultation with the student, preceptor and careful review of all of the course requirements.

Health and other Requirements for Clinical Practice

Each clinical agency establishes its own requirements for students placed at the agency or a clinical rotation. These may include immunizations, nursing license, CPR, criminal background check, drug testing, etc. Students will be required to comply with clinical requirements established by an agency, prior to beginning any rotation. Memoranda of understanding also need to be established between the School of Nursing and agency/site in which the experience will occur. Students need to initiate this process in the semester before the residency.

Required Residency Sessions on Campus

Students are always welcome to visit campus. However, there will be one required residency requirement on campus. Once the DNP project has been completed and approved by the DNP project committee, an open defense will be scheduled on the CUA campus. The student will arrange to travel to the DC area for a pre-arranged date and time whereby the committee will be present and members of the CUA community will be invited to attend an oral presentation of the student’s project and outcomes. The DNP committee will follow up with a closed session defense in which they will question the student regarding the project methods and findings