Jump to content

Clinicals & Nursing Classes

by selectivemute selectivemute (New) New

I'm curious as to how clinicals work. Do you go to a location and do required tasks, then still have to do assignments for nursing classes? Would those assignments be pertaining to the clinical sessions you had or completely different?

Also, would it be possible to take two nursing classes in the same quarter? As in, Fundamentals of Professional Nursing & Professional Nursing I? Will those clinicals be at the same place, if you are allowed to do two classes, or does it just vary by school?

Would it be possible to do two nursing classes while working the weekends? I hear a lot about people saying clinicals are difficult and not possible to do while working. I keep feeling discouraged and hesitant when I hear that.

Sorry, if it is a lot of questions. I'm not sure how clinicals work and when they begin throughout the quarter.

Thanks in advance!


Has 3 years experience.

Most of your questions' answers will be specific to your school (how many classes you take at once, where and when clinical will be, etc.). You do go to clinical in conjunction with theory, or classroom learning. We had tests and assignments pertaining to clinical on top of our classroom assignments and exams. Early on (first year) you will also have to spend a lot of time in the skills lab, where you will learn, practice, and be tested on hands-on skills (bed making, enema administration, sterile field and dressing change, physical assessment, medication administration, etc.). We also had simulations -- pretend emergency scenarios (diabetic ketoacidosis, burn patients, codes, etc.). It's a lot. I put a LOT more time, blood, sweat and tears into my ADN than the bachelor's degree I had earned previously. I also worked full time in nursing school. I had absolutely no life outside of work and school for two years, but it can be done. Good luck!


Specializes in public health, women's health, reproductive health.

Every program is different. These questions are best asked at each individual school. Where I go, in a regular semester, we have two days of classes and two days of clinicals. They try to place us on a hospital floor/unit that has something to do with what we are studying in theory that semester, but it doesn't always work this way. At any rate, usually we have two separate instructors and the assignments in clinical are usually care plan related. Though the two components (clinical and theory) often seem like two separate "classes" you can't move on to the next semester unless you pass them BOTH. They are essentially the same class but they have separate homework assignments/tests and requirements and different teachers. It's like a science with a lab and lecture portion.

We cannot take two nursing courses in one semester because each one is a prerequisite for the next one. Like, you can't take Fundamentals of Nursing and Med Surg I together. They would each need a clinical portion, so that would mean 4 days of clinical and 4 days of classes per week. Plus we have skills lab and simulations, too. You would run out of days, lol. But anyway, the classes build on each other and are not "co-requisites".

There are people who work and go to nursing school. It might make it harder, but there are people who do it successfully. You just need to manage your time wisely. Some people can pull it off. Others find that it is too much and need to reduce their hours or stop working. It depends.

I've asked my student advisor for the prerequisites list and for Professional Nursing I, it says that Fundamentals is a pre/co-requisite for Prof Nursing I. So, I was curious if both of those could be taken together...but it seems like there's not enough days in the week for both classes to coexist. From what I've asked of the people taking Fundamentals right now, they are taking lecture one day and labs three times per week. Then pharmacology is there from Monday through Thursday.

I'm unsure about the days for Prof Nursing I, but I'm sure it's at least 4 days/week.

For me, it sounds doable, if the classes coexist and the clinicals don't interfere with one and other. How long does clinicals last each day, though? Are you usually there for a few hours or an entire 12 hours? Or does it start with a few hours then increase with every quarter?


Has 3 years experience.

Length of clinical days varies. In my program, I had 6, 8, 9, 10, and 12 hour clinical days. It all depends on the hospital, rotation, instructors' schedules, etc.

rob4546, ADN, BSN, MSN

Specializes in ICU/ Surgery/ Nursing Education. Has 7 years experience.

Each specific program will enroll you into classes that you will take each semester. Usually you will have no choice on which classes you will take and when you will take them. The only choices I had were some of the extraneous prerequisites and co-requisites. There are probably some program out there that will allow it, but everything is usually set (i.e. a set program).

The clinicals are not something that you will be able to choose to do at your will. Your program might give you some possible choices of location or specialty (very rarely) but this isn't always the case. Times are also set by the program. For lab and simulation it was usually 8-10 hours, for LTC facilities it was 8 hours, and for medical facilities it was 10 hours at first and 12 + hours closer to graduation. Your mileage will vary.

Classes were usually 2 days a week and we either had 2 or 3 classes a semester. Once again these will probably be set by your program. We had 2 days for classes, 1 day for exams and lab practice, and 2-3 days for clinicals. Yes sometimes we had something going on 6 days a week.

Hope this answers some of your questions and concerns.


Specializes in L&D, infusion, urology. Has 2 years experience.

You'll really need to look at how your classes are set up. That will be the only way to answer your questions.

For us, we had lecture 2-3 days a week, and clinicals 2 days a week for the first 3 semesters. The final semester we were in preceptorship, so we were all over the place with lecture one evening a week and the rest online. We didn't have a choice of which classes to sign up for when, you took everything for semester one with everyone else, then everything for semester two with the same people, etc. We also had clinicals from the beginning. We were generally there 8-10 hours, depending on the rotation.

Some people worked, some didn't. Those of us with kids had a harder time making that work, but some did.

You'll have assignments for lecture and assignments for clinicals. Plus studying, group projects, exams... Fun fun fun! :)

Does your program have an orientation or anything? If nothing else, they can answer a lot of these on the first day. We didn't have an orientation, but I've seen that other schools do, and that's a great place for this stuff. Either way, write down all of you questions as they come up, and take them with you. Let them give their spiel and wait until they've said their piece to ask questions, as many of them may be answered by then.