Nursing Integrative Practicum Program Student, Faculty and Clinical Teaching Associate Roles and Responsibilities

Role and Responsibilities of the Student

The student involved in the IP clinical experience has reached a point in the program of study when they are ready to integrate and apply the knowledge, skills, and abilities (OCNE Program Competencies) they have developed in earlier course work. The student's primary role is to closely study the role and responsibilities of the nurse in the assigned agency/unit and under the guidance of the CTA, prepare to gradually assume the responsibilities of a RN on that unit/agency.

Students are accountable for achieving course outcomes, by developing a collegial relationship with their CTA and seeking opportunities that will help them further develop and integrate the OCNE competencies. The student is responsible for self evaluation and integrating feedback from others, as well as developing a plan for ongoing learning.

Prior to the IP experience the student will:

  • Identify preferred clinical settings in which to study the role and practice of nursing in preparation for transitioning to clinical practice.
  • Under the direction of the faculty collaborate with CTA regarding clinical schedule and orientation.
  • Establish learning goals in consultation with faculty of record and designated CTA.
  • Identify areas of strength and  weakness
  • Prepare for the IP experience by reviewing the IP guidelines, course description, outcomes and evaluation process.
  • Complete any required unit/agency specific education deemed necessary (e.g. HIPAA, EMR documentation, specialty skills, etc.).

During the IP experience the student will:

  • Achieve course outcomes by seeking opportunities to further develop competence and to assume increasingly complex care responsibilities.
  • Demonstrate professional behaviors expected of the program and profession. Follow agency policy, procedures and standards of care.
  • Demonstrate accountability for own actions and conduct in accord with their school's standards, polices and protocols.
  • Promote positive and professional communications and relationships with CTA, agency staff, and faculty.
  • Communicate with CTA and/or faculty directly if there are issues, concerns, or areas of conflict in the clinical setting.
  • Participate in professional activities of unit, including meetings, in-services, quality assurance monitors, etc.
  • Seek and synthesize ongoing feedback from CTA and faculty regarding performance; identify and implement behavioral changes to improve practice.
  • Participate in evaluating own learning and the IP experience and identify areas requiring professional growth and development. 
  • Meet regularly with faculty and CTA to discuss progress and to develop additional learning activities as needed.  The frequency of these visits will be mutually agreed upon by faculty of record, CTA, and student and meet the minimum standard set by the school.
  • Notify the faculty and CTA (and/or unit) if unable to be present during shift.Work under the direction of a designated CTA in collaboration with the faculty of record.

Role and Responsibilities of the Faculty of Record

The IP faculty of record is an integral link in a three-person team (faculty, student, CTA), and holds the ultimate responsibility for learning activities and evaluation of student performance.  The faculty of record is appointed by an OCNE partner school for that responsibility.  IP faculty are accountable to develop partnerships with significant persons within a health care organization, to facilitate an environment for learning and to help the student integrate the OCNE competencies. IP faculty monitors the IP clinical experience to resolve potential problems and provide appropriate follow-up for concerns that are identified.

The IP faculty will:

  • Act as role model of the professional nurse.
  • Familiarize self with agency resources and structures appropriate for enhancing the student's clinical experience and effective problem solving.
  • Act as resource to the health care organization to interpret OCNE competencies (course outcomes).
  • Facilitate problem solving.
  • Clarify CTA, faculty and student responsibilities.
  • Collaborate with the CTA, to identify ways to best support the student's transition experience.
  • Collaborate with the CTA, to provide feedback about the student's progress in the course.
  • Visit clinical site and meet regularly with the CTA and student to discuss progress and to develop additional learning activities as needed.  The frequency of visits must meet the minimum standard set by the school.
  • Support the CTA in the ongoing development of clinical teaching strategies that support the student's transition to practice.
  • Monitor, evaluate, and provide feedback related to the student's progress in meeting course outcomes.
  • Determine course grade, using evaluative feedback from the CTA and student.
  • Facilitate evaluations of the course, clinical site and effectiveness of the CTA.
  • Participate in CTA education.

Note: Faculty of record contact information will be provided by each school.

Role and Responsibilities of the Clinical Teaching Associate

A clinical teaching associate (CTA) is a Registered Nurse  who enters into a formal, extended, one-on-one relationship with a student in order that the student may enhance his/her learning about the performance of a professional nurse in the care of clients.

A  CTA is a critical link in a three-person team (faculty, student, CTA). Accountability for client care remains with the health care facility and its staff. Evaluation of clinical performance is a shared responsibility among the CTA, the student and the faculty member.  The CTA is accountable for providing feedback about clinical performance to both the student and the faculty member. Determination of the course grade is the responsibility of the faculty member, using input from both the CTA and student.

The Clinical Teaching Associate will:

  • Act as clinical role model of the professional nurse. Understand the OCNE curriculum focus and interpret it to colleagues.
  • Guide and support the student's transition, and his/her role, into the culture and expectations of the clinical practice unit. 
  • Interpret learning activities to colleagues.Establish, with faculty and student, learning activities, goals and evaluation criteria that incorporate OCNE competencies.
  • Demonstrate the use of sound clinical judgment in each clinical situation, including access and use of evidence-based practice data.
  • Introduce clinical situations of increasing complexity at a mutually agreeable pace for development of student.
  • Communicate effectively so that the student's learning is supported.
  • Provide constructive feedback about the student's clinical reasoning and skill acquisition.
  • Integrate effective skills in teamwork, negotiation and conflict resolution into the student's clinical experience.
  • Integrate ethical standards and practices into the clinical experience.
  • Meet regularly with faculty and student to discuss progress and to develop additional learning activities as needed.  The frequency of these visits will be mutually agreed upon by faculty of record, CTA, and student.  The frequency of visits must meet the minimum standard set by the school.
  • Serve as liaison to faculty from clinical agency, facilitating problem solving when issues arise.
  • Participate in CTA training
  • Reporting Relationship:
  • For all patient care, the Clinical Teaching Associate continues to use the defined reporting structure of his/her organization.
  • For all student-related situations, the Clinical Teaching Associate reports to the school's faculty of record. 

Competencies of the CTA

The following competencies frame the standard educational program for Clinical Teaching Associates (CTAs) who will mentor students in the OCNE curriculum integrative practicum at the AAS and/or BS with a major in nursing program level. These competencies are derived from the best thinking of the OCNE Clinical Advisory Group on CTA education, the nursing literature on undergraduate student preceptors, NLN Carnegie study, and the competencies expected of graduates of the OCNE curriculum.  These competencies guide the development of the CTA training program.

Professional Competencies:

  1. An OCNE CTA's personal and professional actions value student learning in the clinical setting.
    1. Mutually-agreed upon learning goals are established by the CTA, student, and faculty, communicated to staff, and reevaluated on a regular basis.
    2. Student learning is facilitated when a CTA understands student learning preferences and models openness, approachability, and respect for student perspectives.
    3. Student learning is facilitated when a CTA models how to be a productive member of a health care team, and is a self-directed learner who understands both the analytic and reflective approach to learning about client's health care problems.
    4. Student learning is facilitated when the student is invited into the clinical site, introduced to the nursing and interdisciplinary team and client care resources.
  2. An OCNE CTA communicates effectively.
    1. The CTA makes communication skills explicit and models and coaches the student in developing skills of teaching/learning, negotiation, conflict resolution, and client advocacy pertinent to the particular clinical setting.
    2. The CTA communicates in a timely manner with the student and the faculty the extent to which the student is meeting expectations of the experience.
  3. An OCNE CTA practices and models ethical care and professional behaviors.
    1. The CTA assists the student to learn the ethics of care in the practice setting through identifying and clarifying personal, professional, and agency/organizational values and concerns.
    2. The CTA embodies skillful ethical comportment and, through actions and discussion, supports the ethical comportment of the health care team
  4. An OCNE CTA models clinical judgment in the practice of relationship-centered care. The development of clinical judgment is facilitated in students when:
    1. The CTA demonstrates the importance of the use of clinical evidence and knowledge of the client/group of clients in the development of treatment plans, and rationale for setting appropriate priorities for care.
    2. The CTA thinks out loud with the student including making explicit some of their experiential knowledge including the trajectory of illness.
    3. The CTA provides constructive feedback about the student's clinical reasoning process.
    4. The CTA introduces clinical situations of increasing complexity at a pace agreed upon by the CTA, student, and the faculty.
  5. An OCNE CTA understands the OCNE competencies and assumptions of the OCNE curriculum with regard to teaching and learning.
    1. Students approach practice as a way to apply theory in the delivery of safe, effective, and efficient client care while adding to their experiential base, thus beginning to develop their own practice wisdom.
    2. Students approach practice as adult, active learners who take responsibility for their own learning, use a variety of technological sources of information, value interaction with peers around the solution of clinical issues, and see CTAs and faculty as knowledgeable resources and providers of feedback on their performance.
    3. Student learning is facilitated when a CTA has knowledge and experience with a variety of tools to measure student success in a given clinical setting/situation.
    4. Student learning is facilitated when a CTA models continued development towards the OCNE competencies and embraces lifelong learning.
  6. An OCNE CTA understands that student learning is facilitated when:
    1. The CTA is clear about the expectations placed on him/her by the employing site and clarifies how these expectations will influence their interaction at a given time.
    2. The CTA models mutual respect by requesting performance feedback from the student.
    3. The CTA actively involves the student in client care experiences and encourages student reflection on their practice.
    4. The CTA discusses the cultural and political aspects of the practice.
    5. The CTA demonstrates an understanding the legal parameters controlling practice in the setting.
    6. The CTA collaborates with the clinical unit staff, management, and staff development team to shape and enhance the learning culture of the agency