Integrative Practicum Program - Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Oregon Consortium of Nursing Education (OCNE)?

  • OCNE is a consortium of nursing programs in 11 Oregon community colleges and 6 Oregon Health Sciences University campuses. The colleges have worked collaboratively to develop prerequisites and curriculum that are the same throughout the participating colleges.
  • The curriculum is designed to allow students to complete the first 2 years of their nursing education at any of the participating community colleges. Students are qualified to sit for the NCLEX exam after the first 2 years of their nursing education. If the student wishes to complete their bachelor's degree then they can do so by completing a 3rd year through OHSU.
  • The consortium has implemented new ways of teaching in which the student drives their own learning process. Many of the teaching strategies will be shared in the OCNE Clinical Teaching Associate Online Learning Program.

What is the Difference Between the Integrative Practicum and Co-op Education?

  • Co-op Education is an additional optional course students can take at almost any point in nursing school to get more experiences.
  • Integrative Practicum is a required clinical course. Only students in their last quarter before graduation take this course. It is organized and supervised more tightly because it is their clinical course. Integrative practicum has specific clinical objectives, and is required to be passed to graduate. Second year faculty supervise the integrative practicum and monitor the completion of these clinical objectives.

What is the Difference Between a Clinical Teaching Associate and a Preceptor?

  • A clinical teaching associate is a registered nurse who is trained to work with a student nurse.
  • A preceptor is a registered nurse who is trained to work with a registered nurse who is a new employee.

Are There Qualifications to be a Clinical Teaching Associate?

  • Current Oregon RN licensure
  • A minimum of two years full-time or three years of part-time direct care experience
  • Current employment as a direct care RN working a minimum of 24 hours per week
  • Possible additional qualification criteria from the hospital/agency
  • Agreement from Nurse Manager for CTA involvement

How Are Students Assigned to Clinical Teaching Associates?

  • Students submit a preference sheet. They identify preference of agency, shift, and unit. The preference sheets are arranged in order of registration number sequence for that term. The faculty assign students to areas and CTAs considering student preference AND faculty consideration of CTA/student/unit compatibility.

Can I Request a Specific Student?

  • If you know of a student or two you would enjoy working with, please include their name(s) on your Participation Form. Faculty will honor your request if at all possible. However, faculty cannot violate registration procedures to enable that match. Should you request a student who is low in the registration sequence, faculty cannot pass over the preferences of students higher in the registration sequence for your unit and shift. In such a case, you would be notified of our inability to provide your requested match. You would have the option to withdraw your participation agreement, or work with a student with the better registration number. Faculty ask that you do not request students with whom you have a personal connection since it can compromise the objective assessment of the student.

Why Can't Students Pick Their Own Clinical Teaching Associates?

  • Doing so would create a situation that would encourage a large number of students from September through March (or maybe even first year) to petition staff nurses to become a CTA. It would put a large burden on staff.
  • It would be unfair to the more timid students who might not ask early, or often enough.
  • Lane Registration process must be upheld. Students are assigned in order of the registration number sequence for that term. In the past, integrative practicum students have usually been placed in a preferred clinical site.

How Do I Submit My CTA Application?

How Is The Student/CTA Schedule Established?

  • The student will choose shifts to work from the CTA’s schedule. The student is required to complete approximately 210 clinical hours during their integrative practicum. This is 26 (8) hour shifts or 17 (12) hour shifts. Students are expected to work the weekends that the CTA works. Students are encouraged to work a sequence of days in a row and not isolated shifts for better learning. The CTA will receive a written copy of the schedule the student creates. The schedule often changes slightly as the term begins. The student is responsible for updating the CTA and faculty regarding changes in schedule.

What Is A Secondary Preceptor?

  • If a CTA works less than 24 hours per week, students may have difficulty getting enough hours by the end of the term. Nurses who work less than 24 hours per week can volunteer to be a secondary CTA for the students assigned to their unit and shift. Students will contact the secondary CTA and request shifts from his/her schedule when the primary CTA is unavailable. Secondary CTAs are similar to "substitute teachers". They will need to provide assessment information about the student (usually verbally) to the primary CTA.
  • Two nurses who work less than 24 hours per week can be Co-CTAs for a student as long as their schedules are not similar. Responsibility for collaboration in student assessment would rest with both CTAs.

Can Students Do Their Integrative Practicum on the Unit Where They are Employed?

  • Yes, but preferably not on the same shift. The process of assessing the student’s progress can be compromised if done by co-workers.

What if My Student and I Don't "Mix"?

  • Changes of assignment can, and occasionally do, occur. Faculty will assist nurse and student in communication interfaces to resolve issues. CTAs with concerns regarding their student should speak of these feelings and concerns early in the rotation.

What if I Have Further Questions?

Please contact Sue Roders at 541-463-3199 or email or Jennifer Tavernier at 541-463-5637 or email