Physician Assistant and Nurse Practitioner Student Rotations

As an academic medical center, Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center and Penn State College of Medicine provides clinical placement for many students in a variety of clinical disciplines and specialties. For Physician Assistant and Nurse Practitioner student clinical placement, the following priorities and process have been established:

Priority 1: Penn State Physician Assistant or Nurse Practitioner Student

Priority 2: Milton S. Hershey Medical Center employee enrolled in a non-Penn State Physician Assistant or Nurse Practitioner program

Priority 3: Physician Assistant and Nurse Practitioner students who are not Milton S. Hershey Medical Center employees and are not enrolled in a Penn State program

The faculty and program coordinators in the Penn State Physician Assistant program and the Penn State College of Nursing Nurse Practitioner programs have an independent process to determine clinical placement at Hershey Medical Center. Therefore, Priority 1 students do not follow the process described below. 

Advanced Practice Student Placement Process

Once the clinical needs are filled for Penn State Physician Assistant and Nurse Practitioner students (Priority 1), a limited number of clinical preceptors are available at Hershey Medical Center. In order to equitably assign these remaining preceptors, the new clinical placement process will begin for Physician Assistant and Nurse Practitioner clinical preceptor requests starting January 1, 2018.

Priority 2 and 3 students must follow the process described below:

  • All requests for Physician Assistant and Nurse Practitioner student placement for Hershey Medical Center employees (Priority 2) and non-Penn State employees or students (Priority 3) will be made using the online clinical request process found on this Advanced Practice clinician website 
    • Priority 2 students will have preference after Priority 1 student placement. Any available clinical rotations will then be offered to Priority 3 students. 
    • Requests for clinical placement are reviewed by each clinical department based on their ability to meet the needs for student clinical education while still providing excellent clinical care. It is up to the clinical department to select the best student applicant for any available preceptors. Clinical departments may request a resume from a student if needed to make a final decision. Placement will not be made on a first-come, first-served basis.   
  • Individual students, faculty or program coordinators may not contact a provider to make a clinical request privately. Agreements made through a provider and then submitted by this online request process will be denied starting with the Summer 2018 semester.
  • Any online requests previously submitted for Summer 2018 and Fall 2018 will be incorporated into this new process and do not need to be resubmitted.
  • Online requests must be submitted for each semester individually. Requests submitted for multiple semesters on one form will not be accepted. Dates to submit requests and notification of acceptance are below: 

For HMC employees in NP programs:

Request for MSN Health Assessment Clinical for any MSN Program – The MSN Health Assessment Clinical for any MSN Program link is to request clinical hours in physical assessment skills only. This rotation should be requested while the student in taking a didactic physical assessment course. Even if your program does not require clinical hours in Health Assessment, you are eligible to request a minimum of 40 hours to strengthen your skills if you plan to request future clinical placement at Milton S. Hershey Medical Center.

For External PA student requests: 

Due to the needs of the Penn State College of Medicine PA Program, the following clinical rotations are not available for external PA students: Family Community Medicine, ED, Pediatrics, Women's Health, Surgery, Internal Medicine. 

Programs must submit individual online request forms for each rotation and must follow the deadline/notification schedule. All requests must come through the online process. Providers will refer all clinical requests to this process through the Office of Advanced Practice. Privately arranged rotations with providers will not be approved through this process as of January 1, 2018.

Fall semester (Any start between August – December)

  • Deadline to submit online request form: March 31
  • Notification: by April 30

Spring/Winter semester (Any start between January – April)

  • Deadline to submit online request form: August 31
  • Notification: by September 30

Summer semester (Any start between May – July)

  • Deadline to submit online request form: January 31
  • Notification: February 28 for NP student requests and March 30 for PA student requests

Clinical Placement and Notification

For each semester request form submitted, a student will receive an email regarding the assignment of a preceptor/clinic site or the lack of availability of a preceptor/clinic site by the notification date.  

If a preceptor is assigned, the student will receive the name, credentials and contact information of the preceptor. If the student is assigned to a clinic site, they will receive the address and contact information of the student coordinator. In this situation, a student will be assigned a specific day or number of days per week for clinical rotation and will have more than one primary preceptor.

The student should immediately contact the student coordinator or assigned preceptor to introduce themselves and discuss a schedule based on the preceptor or clinics’ availability.

Paperwork for assigned clinical rotations

If assigned a preceptor or clinic site, the student provider will receive instructions regarding the submission of required paperwork and the process to obtain IT access to the electronic medical record system at Hershey Medical Center.

Hershey Medical Center employees assigned to a preceptor or clinic site

You will receive an email in your Penn State Health email account regarding the review of policy NAM 669 Nurse Practitioner Student Clinical Practicum.

You are required to review the policy, sign the attestation statement and return it as directed by the deadline. This should only be done once during your Advanced Practice Clinicians education. Failure to submit the attestation statement by the deadline in the email will result in forfeiture of your clinical placement.