female nursing student smiling

Clinical Expectations

Clinical and Laboratory Evaluation

The student will have the opportunity to work in the Practical Nursing lab learning new skills, and then advancing into the clinical area. The student will receive a clinical schedule at the beginning of each course showing the student’s specific assignment(s). The student must make a satisfactory rating in the lab/clinical experience in order to pass the course. Regardless of the theory grade, the student must satisfactorily complete the lab/clinical portion in order to advance to the next level in the Practical Nursing Program. For details about clinical and laboratory evaluation please refer to the PN Student Handbook (pdf).

Lab/Clinical Attendance

The lab and clinical experience provides opportunity for students to experience and practice first hand information and skills for the practical nursing profession. Any absence in lab or clinical could be detrimental to the student’s success. Therefore, students are expected to arrive promptly and stay until the day ends. Arriving late or leaving early are both considered tardies. It is recommended that students plan to arrive a few minutes early so that tardies do not occur. Lab and clinical time is counted together.


Any time a student is as much as five minutes late, the student will be considered tardy. Three tardies, regardless of excuse, will be equal to one (1) hour of lab or lecture time and will be considered one (1) absence. Lab Attendance Students should not be absent from labs because of the limited time available to make up lab time missed prior to clinicals.

Missed lab material is to be made up prior to the first day of clinicals. Since it is impossible to make up a great deal of time, the student will be checked off on missed material prior to clinicals, and will make up the rest of the remaining time on make-up days. In the event the student does not successfully complete skills check-offs prior to the first day of clinicals, he/she will not be allowed to attend clinicals, resulting in an unexcused absence.

All missed and unsuccessful lab days and skills check-offs MUST be rescheduled with the appropriate instructor. Remember it will be YOUR responsibility to make arrangements to reschedule. Rescheduling must be done on the first day the student returns to class. Rescheduled labs will NOT be done during regular classroom hours.

Skills not completed safely and competently in the lab WILL NOT be performed in the clinical setting. Lab prescriptions will be given to those students needing further practice for any skill unsuccessfully completed. Be reminded that Lab and Clinical time are counted together.

Excused/Unexcused Absences

Attendance is critical for successfully completing the clinical learning component. Absences should not occur unless extreme situations exist; for example, serious personal illness or injury, death of immediate family member (spouse, mother, father, child, brother, sister, or grandparent), or serious personal emergencies. Any lab/clinical time missed is to be made up at the discretion of the instructor(s). An absence for lab and/or clinical is defined as missing one (1) hour/60 minutes or more of lab and/or clinical time. A student is allowed ONE (1) absence per published and/or amended clinical/lab calendar per semester.

On a second occurrence, the student must meet with the PN absences committee before continuing in the PN Program. Supporting documentation for absences must be presented to the committee at the appointed time. In the event the committee finds the absences are inexcusable, the student will be terminated from the program.

Notification of Absence

In the event of an impending absence, notify the appropriate instructor PRIOR to the absences. Messages left with the clinical facility’s staff or untimely messages by fellow students or family members are NOT acceptable. Failure to notify the appropriate instructor will result in automatic clinical probation. If the instructor cannot be reached the student should notify the nursing coordinator. If the student will be absent from a clinical observation site it is the student's responsibility to notify either an instructor or the program’s Administrative Assistant and the clinical site they were to attend of the absence. Being a “no call-no show” will result in the student being placed on clinical probation. A second occurrence of not notifying the appropriate instructor of an absence will result in program termination.

The College Laboratory Experience

The Practical Nursing student has access to a wonderful nursing lab. With the privilege of using the lab also comes the responsibility to help care for this beautiful setting. The student is asked to take care of the laboratory environment and to make the area safe and neat. Any equipment used must be used with care and returned to its proper storage area.

The student is also asked to bring his or her own personal laboratory kits to each lab opportunity. These kits are purchased in the first level of the Practical Nursing Program from the college bookstore. Following are the rules the student must follow while using the Practical Nursing Program College Laboratory:

  •  Do not use betadine, ink, or magic marker anywhere around the mannequins (patients).
  • Treat all equipment with care and respect.
  • Always be prepared for lab. Be productive, take good notes, maintain good attendance, and above all practice, practice, practice!
  • Any skill or check-off missed in lab related to an absence will not be made up during regular class or lab hours. The student must schedule an appointment with the appropriate instructor to re-schedule this missed experience.
  • Maintain a neat and orderly work environment. Leave the lab neat and clean each day.
  •  Eating or drinking is prohibited in the laboratory setting.
  • Care for each supply that is used. Properly repackage andreturn it as you found it.
  • “Live” models may NOT wear shoes while in the beds.