RN-BSN Practicum consists of one quarter of the class T NURS 414, Health, Communities, and Populations (5 credits), taken in either winter or spring. In the class, students are arranged in groups and connected with an organization or other stakeholders in the community to address a specific concern. Examples from previous quarters include mentoring with at-risk students in Lakewood, examining issues of livability in East Tacoma, and addressing issues of homelessness throughout Pierce County. At the end of the quarter, student groups compile a report of their work, which synthesizes their experiences and research to provide suggestions for further community and policy action.
Organizations that have cooperated with the School of Nursing & Healthcare Leadership include the Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department, the Pierce County Medical Reserve Corps, and the Living Access Support Alliance.
Before placement into T NURS 414, be aware of the following:
- In practicum survey, students rank order preference for each practicum project. Efforts will be made to honor preferences while balancing clinical practicum section size.
- Students who fail to complete the required clearances and/or other placement conditions by the required due date will not be guaranteed a placement in their preferred project. Practicum placement will be made based on space availability.
- Students who fail to complete the required clearance and/or other placement conditions by the first day of the quarter will have to defer taking T NURS 414 until the course is next offered.
Participation in fieldwork is contingent on complying with all clinical clearance requirements. Students use the CastleBranch website in order to review and submit records for clearance purposes. Students are given instructions for establishing CastleBranch accounts upon admission.
Clearance requirements include:
- Immunization Requirements determined by Clinical Placements Northwest (CPNW). The requirements include records of specific immunizations and annual tests detailed in the CPNW Clinical Passport. If records are not available, titers or re-immunizations must be administered. Contact the SNHCL program with any questions about immunization and testing requirements.
- Basic Life Support (BLS) training through certified American Heart Association (AHA) provider is required. Evidence of training is an AHA eCard. The eCard must be current through quarter students participates in practicum.
- Current Washington State healthcare providers must provide proof of unrestricted license status (does not apply to non-licensed applicants). License must be unencumbered and current while enrolled in the Bachelor of Science in Nursing program.
- Bloodborne Pathogens Policy Acknowledgement - UW bloodborne pathogens policy acknowledgement must be signed and submitted.
- Annual Background Check Authorization - students are required to complete forms required for implementation of the Washington State Child Abuse and Adult Abuse Information Law (CAAL) and related Department of Health regulations. This includes completion of and a criminal background check, which the UW Tacoma SNHCL will treat confidentially and process through the Washington State Patrol.
- Training with UW Compliance Learning Portal (or Learning Management System) - students must complete assigned training in either CPL or LMS (UW Employees only) systems. Training includes information on UW HIPAA and Fraud, Waste, and Abuse Policies.
- Consent to Release Records - UW form must be signed and submitted.
- CastleBranch Criminal Background Check - National and State background check conducted by CastleBranch. Acceptable results are required; background checks expire after two years. Continuing students will be asked to renew their background checks biennially until they graduate.
- Annual Washington State Patrol Background Check (WATCH Report) - Included with initial CastleBranch order and required annually. Subsequent reports will be ordered by School of Nursing and Healthcare Leadership and cost will be assessed to student accounts in quarter of fieldwork.
- Drug Screening - for some fieldwork placements, students will be required to have a negative drug screen test as part of clinical clearances.
In addition to the items listed above, students are STRONGLY ADVISED to have personal health insurance or join a healthcare plan to cover the expenses of their healthcare and treatments in case of a catastrophic illness or injury and/or the development of a serious chronic condition.
Newly admitted and continuing students
After admission to the School of Nursing & Healthcare Leadership you will be instructed to obtain required background checks using the online service, CastleBranch Inc. All students pay a fee for this service. If unable to purchase the background checks in a timely manner, contact the SNHCL office.
- Newly admitted Nursing students must complete the CastleBranch background check before they can register for classes in their first quarter.
- Continuing Nursing students must have valid CastleBranch background check with acceptable results completed within the past 24 months throughout their enrollment with SNHCL. Students in their second year will be subject to a Washington State Patrol background check, ordered by SNHCL, with the cost passed on to student accounts. Students who delay graduation may be required to purchase another CastleBranch background check.
CastleBranch will provide the School of Nursing & Healthcare Leadership with required background check information for all states, so there is no need for those who have resided outside the state of Washington during the last three (3) years to provide this information separately.
No international background checks are required for international admits or domestic admits who have resided outside the U.S. during the past three (3) years. However, these admits will still need to complete the CastleBranch background check.
Students are required to complete the Background Check, Authorization for Repeat Checks, and Dissemination of Results form found in their CastleBranch Clinical Requirements Tracker. With that form, students disclose prior relevant criminal conviction information and authorize SNHCL to perform additional background checks, as required. Prior criminal conviction does not necessarily prevent students from completing their degree with SNHCL. Those students with a positive criminal history are encouraged to submit a written statement with their Background Check form explaining the circumstances. Criminal convictions that may prevent students from participating are listed in the Washington State Department of Social and Health Services Secretary's Disqualifying List of Crimes and Negative Actions.
Some things to remember
- The UW Tacoma School of Nursing & Healthcare Leadership will have online access to your completed CastleBranch background check report. Should your background check raise areas of concern related to your participation in the program, you will be contacted by a representative of the School.
- The background check with acceptable results is REQUIRED in order to participate in practicum and fieldwork courses. You should submit the necessary information to CastleBranch in a timely manner so that your check can be reviewed and, if necessary, discussions about continued pursuit of SNHCL degree can take place. Background checks that provide evidence of a positive criminal history will be considered on a case by case basis.
- We understand that the cost of running a background check can be burdensome, but the fee cannot be waived. Contact SNHCL office if time is needed to budget for the expense.
For technical assistance while using the CastleBranch website (logging in, payment issues, etc.), go to https://discover.castlebranch.com/contact-us/ and click the button labeled "I need student support." You will be provided with contact information for CastleBranch customer service, including a phone number.
Fieldwork placements are arranged throughout the region. Students are responsible for their own transportation to and from fieldwork sites. Hours for fieldwork are to be arranged, Monday - Friday during daytime hours.
Students are expected to adhere to the dress requirement of the agency where they are assigned for fieldwork experiences.
UW Student ID (Husky Card)
All students are required to carry their UW student photo ID. Instructions for obtaining a UW ID can be found here.
Current Photo Identification
Students must have a current Washington State driver's license or a Washington State ID while at a fieldwork location.
A UW Tacoma student name badge must be worn at all times when participating in course-related activities, but it should be worn only when you are functioning under the auspices of UW Tacoma. You will required to purchase the name badge for a nominal fee that will be charged to your student account.