DNP Clinical Experience

Students are responsible for identifying and securing their precepted clinical hours throughout the program, we recognize this may feel like a daunting task however you are not alone! While this process will be new for most, a dedicated and knowledgeable Clinical Education Manager and faculty are available to assist and guide you with ideas, contacts, and opportunities of approved sites and providers throughout the entirety of your program. With a substantial number of affiliation agreements and connections already made within the U.S., we are likely to connect you with a site that suits your clinical needs. Clinical hours should be completed in the state in which one resides and/or a state in which they hold an active RN license so long as it has been approved by the College. Upon securing a clinical placement, the Clinical Education Manager will work with you and the site to ensure an active affiliation agreement and all supporting documents are in place so that clinical hours can begin in a timely manner.

Clinical hour requirements will vary according to the course in which one is enrolled. Post-BSN DNP students will complete a total of 1,065 hours. Each of the first three clinical courses require 180 hours of precepted direct patient care, followed by a semester of 225 hours, and ending with 300 hours divided between two semesters. To meet these hours, students should be prepared to spend 2-3 days (12-24 hours) per week with their preceptor over the course of the semester.

Post-MSN students will complete a minimum of 300 hours during their clinical courses as they must have a minimum of 1,000 hours upon graduation (this number includes the clinical hours completed during one’s MSN program). PMH certificate students will complete 540 clinical hours over three semesters (180 hours per semester). Faculty work closely with each individual student to ensure they are meeting clinical expectations including required hours and patient populations. 

Clinical Preceptor Toolbox

Clinical Rotation Approval for Non-MUSC NP Students 

If you are not an enrolled student at MUSC, but are an employee or live local to a MUSC owned facility, please see the directions below for securing clinical placements.

Date: 6-20-23

MUSC must prioritize clinical experiences for its students. These clinical experiences are an essential requirement of our educational programs. Therefore, and in keeping with directive of MUSC’s President, Dr. Cole, MUSC providers must prioritize the acceptance of MUSC students for clinical experiences, followed by MUSC employees who attend non-MUSC programs, and in rare instances, and subject to availability, non-MUSC students may be considered for clinical placement. Please understand that the practice at most academic health science centers is to only accept their own students for clinical placement.

We understand that finding and securing a preceptor is a challenging process – especially in core areas such as primary care, pediatrics, women’s health, and psychiatric mental health. We are lucky that Charleston is a competitive market saturated with a variety of graduate students seeking clinical placements. If you are a non-MUSC student seeking clinical placement, and have identified a MUSC Health clinical preceptor who is agreeable to precept you, please apply through the link that best describes the location of your potential clinical placement:

Apply here to complete your application:

Additionally, please review the additional FAQs located on the application once you choose a link above. Non-MUSC students, will be required to provide information to include an affiliation agreement that identifies their University/Program and contact, immunizations including the Covid-19 vaccine as part of the clinical placement application process, and other information as requested. Once an external student application is complete, the approval may take up to 30 days to process all the paperwork.

Non-MUSC students who come to MUSC without going being cleared by Human Resources will be removed from the clinical placement, not awarded credit, and the non-MUSC student’s college/university will be notified of the removal.

If you are not able to secure an approved clinical placement at MUSC Health, other resources you may wish to consider include:

  1. Consult with your program’s clinical coordinator and/or assigned faculty
  2. Contact professional organizations in your chosen field

MUSC APP Best Practice Center
MUSC Office of Education Innovation & Student Life




  1. We do not offer a service where we match preceptors.  Student will need to find their own preceptor and then apply at one of the above links.
  2. The APP Best Practice Center does not correspond with the student’s school as to the student’s application status. It is the student’s responsibility to alert the school when they receive email approval notification.
  3. When the student is cleared for a rotation, they are sent a formal email for clearance.  Please consider this the final confirmation from your student to the school. 
  4. We do not accept any application documents for students at this email. Clinical Placement Student Request Forms must be uploaded to application with all required signatures. Any forms missing a signature will be incomplete.The application process can take up to 30 days from the date of the submitted completed application.  Students should not apply for a rotation if it is more than 60 days out from the requested start date.