A Lifeline for Clinical Placements

Sydnee Logan
By Sydnee Logan  | 
A Lifeline for Clinical Placements

Johns Hopkins School of Nursing has a dedicated team to organize high quality clinical placements, even for advanced & online programs.

There are a lot of questions out there about clinical education.

And why not? Everyone from pre-licensure students to advanced practice students has a clinical requirement for nursing education. Their feelings range from excitement to apprehension to anxiety—particularly among advanced practice nursing students, who, in many institutions (though not at Johns Hopkins), must secure their own clinical placement sites and preceptors.

Yet clinical education helps the next generation of nurses translate classroom learning into hands-on patient care. And the good news is that the Johns Hopkins School of Nursing has a dedicated team, led by Miki Goodwin, PhD, RN, CNE, NEA-BC, FAAN, Associate Dean of Clinical Practice, to organize high quality clinical placements across all programs—from pre-licensure to online DNP tracks. More good news for flexibility, students in clinical nurse specialist DNP tracks are eligible for placements with CNS or nurse practitioner preceptors.

As the nursing shortage is even more tightly pinched in a pandemic, clinical education remains critical, and the placement office hasn’t missed a beat. From Associate Dean Miki Goodwin, “We work in collaboration with students, faculty and our clinical partners to ensure every student gets appropriate, high quality clinical placements relative to clinical course objectives, competencies and regulatory compliance requirements.”

Here are some testimonials from students across programs, and the staff behind the scenes.

Rebecca Singer Cohen, MPP, NREMT; MSN (Entry Into Nursing) Summer 2020 Graduate

My practicum rotation was hands-down one of the best learning experiences from nursing school.

Joseph Yap was a phenomenal preceptor. He was generous, patient, and went out of his way to help me increasingly take patients on my own. He was happy to teach, but also allowed me the freedom to think critically and solve problems, which I can imagine is difficult with a new student.

The unit itself was welcoming and friendly. Everyone was happy to explain what they were doing, and nurses even chased me down the hall to let me know something interesting was happening. One day I got a spontaneous, sit-down tutorial on vent settings from the charge nurse. Another time, the documenting nurse began narrating everything that was happening during a code and how we were capturing it in the log—I didn’t even have to ask!

All that to say, I know it was a herculean effort to secure my placement at Sinai Hospital. I am so grateful for the opportunity.


Marie Nolan, PhD, RN, FAAN; Executive Vice Dean

We pulled students from clinical on March 17 and returned to the Johns Hopkins Health System with our students on June 1.

Johns Hopkins School of Nursing—and other nursing schools—were able to return relatively quickly because we are part of a highly collaborative profession. We began planning our return with Dr. Deborah Baker, VP of Nursing at the Johns Hopkins Health System, and her leadership team the moment we left. Dean Patricia Davidson and I consulted with our counterparts in the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine to coordinate, since the hospital had to consider adequate space for social distancing for nursing students, medical students, and other students as well.

Deans and Vice Deans of nursing schools across the country—and even across the world!—consulted with one another on strategies for keeping students, staff and faculty safe, for securing necessary personal protective equipment (PPE) for incoming classes, and for finding additional clinical sites for nurse practitioner students whose primary care sites had closed or limited their hours.

Students wanted nothing more than to get back to caring for patients and assisting the nurses who were their role models, and now heroes. And nursing colleagues in the hospital even assisted us in purchasing personal protective equipment for our students. At the height of the pandemic, a former PhD student who now lives in China sent me a box of 500 face masks because she read about the shortages of PPE here and wanted to help. The sense of solidarity that nurses have with one another is breathtaking in its reach and depth. We have always known this, but the pandemic is a shining moment.


Nicole Traub, CRNP; Post-Master’s Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Certificate

The clinical placement team works tirelessly to provide placements in various states. When placements weren’t available, they were able to secure contracts with other sites that were recommended.

I started my program in Arizona and then moved across the country to Rhode Island and I needed assistance with placements in both states. Mary was always incredibly helpful and also kept me on task to make certain that I got all of my required paperwork in.


Read more: 



Sydnee Logan, MA is the Sr. Social Media and Digital Content Specialist for Johns Hopkins School of Nursing. She connects Hopkins Nurses with the world.


Stay Up-To-Date

Get updates on the latest stories, from hot topics, to faculty research, alumni profiles, and more.

Ways to subscribe