Coordinating Nationwide Student Clinical Placements with Sonia
Learn how Indiana State University’s School of Nursing effectively uses Sonia for managing student placement programs around the United States and sending mass communication to students, faculty, and proctors.
Supporting Software for an Innovative Placement Program
Indiana State University (ISU) School of Nursing provides their students with the convenient option of scheduling clinical preceptorships in their own geographic area, but with three courses and hundreds of students, coordinating these field placements can be a challenge.
Lea Ann Camp, Instructor and Clinical Placement Coordinator at ISU School of Nursing, knew her field placement team needed something other than the home-grown program housed in Blackboard to manage the 400 annual student placement requests.
“Each student has to have three placements over their program, and the unique part is that they are placed in the state where they reside and hold their LPN license,” said Camp. “That brings us to about 450 clinical partners across the United States.”
With Sonia, Camp’s team was able to streamline student placement management by coordinating all the information for 150 to 175 students, 450 clinical partners, and across 28 states each semester.
Adopting Sonia for Student Placement Management
Within Sonia, workflows were developed to automatically complete steps and improve efficiency. Once a student enters the School of Nursing, they are immediately enrolled in Sonia. The automated, customizable workflow capabilities streamline the onboarding process as students are sent instructions on how to create an account and join the correct placement group for their semester.
After students complete the initial setup, they receive an automated prompt to complete a clinical request form within Sonia. The clinical site placement request form is interactive for both the student and clinical placement team and collects and securely stores data such as their state license number, date of birth, middle initial, and phone number in a centralized location – saving the team from needing to contact students individually for this vital information. With this form, each student identifies and ranks three facilities in their state where they would like to have their clinical preceptorships.
From here, the clinical placement team takes the following three steps:
- Ensure that the placement site is included in the placement group.Within Sonia, the team verifies that the field placement site is included in the placement group (a grouping of students based on their course or degree made in Sonia) and actions the form if it is not already in the Sonia system. If the placement site is in the system, the team can pull all the necessary information from the master list.
- Request the placement site for the student based on rankings.For each student, Sonia shows the placement site, current status, and whether or not it has been allocated to the student. In this way, both the student and placement team can quickly review where each student is at in the process.“It’s not unusual for us to request five to seven places before we actually get to having a student confirmed,” said Camp. “The challenge is that we are really placing each individual person. They aren’t in cohorts – they’re individual placements that the team has to work on.”
- Allocate the student and update the worksheet.Once a student is confirmed for a clinical placement, the faculty member and preceptor name are noted in Sonia and can be viewed by the student and all placement management team members. Customizable communication templates within Sonia are used to share all important information with the student, primary contact, and the preceptor. As the system holds all the vital information, Sonia makes it easy to share timely and accurate information with all parties.
“One of the things we love about Sonia is that we communicate either in mass emails or in individual emails,” said Camp. “When we’re ready to send the preceptor packet, we can send the preceptor packet to each preceptor – and it’s different for each course. This saves a tremendous amount of time in our workflow.”
Team members use follow-up flags to keep track of the progress and show what is happening with each student. These flags can be tagged with a due date to indicate the next follow-up task and include a description section for team members to note all steps taken up to that point.
An Invaluable Asset for Student Field Placement Management
Students, faculty, and the placement team now have access to excellent records of each student’s placement and the specifics of each placement – down to the directions to each site! This information is stored securely in a centralized location, making it safer for data security and allowing for quick access in case of an emergency. The placement team also has the ability to switch roles in Sonia to act either as a student or faculty member in order to help diagnose any issues.
The automated, customizable email feature in Sonia allows the placement team to quickly send important, accurate information to all relevant parties and keeps a record of which communication has taken place.
With Sonia, Indiana State University’s School of Nursing has revolutionized their nationwide student clinical placement process.
Request a free demo of Sonia to see how our software can help streamline the management of your student placement program.