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Standard 3 Aspect B

3b. Develops and Implements quality clinical experiences, where appropriate, in the context of documented and effective partnerships with K-12 schools and districts.


The Fresno State SNSC program provides candidates with a broad range of hands-on school nurse field experiences in a variety of settings.  The fieldwork courses are designed to give the candidate an opportunity to work side by side with an experienced School Nurse Preceptor in areas that require hands-on skill and putting theory into practice.  Fresno State candidates take two 135-hour practicum courses under the supervision of a qualified preceptor.   The first occurs in the Fall semester to give candidates the opportunity to apply their learning in a semester-long school nurse practicum experience in the elementary school setting.  The second practicum occurs in the Spring semester to give candidates the opportunity to work in the secondary middle and high school setting. This experience is developed in partnership with the CSU Fresno and K-12 school districts in the area where candidates already reside.  

University Affiliation Agreement - A University Affiliation Agreement must be signed by the approved authority in the district where the candidate will obtain their clinical hours. This process is begun at the beginning of the semester, initiated by the candidate.  CSUF sends the agreement to the district for approval and signatures, then the agreement is returned and approved by the Director of Procurement and Support Services. Once all signatures are obtained the candidate begins their clinical hours.

Preceptors - Mentoring and supervision of candidates during the field experience is done by volunteer experienced preceptors. Candidates select their placement and select a preceptor who meets the program’s criteria. The program recommends candidates spend their field experience working under the direct supervision of a qualified school nurse preceptor in an area different from their usual place of employment, thus providing a broader perspective on school nursing. Preceptors are required to have their clear credential with a minimum of five years of school nursing experience and submit a curriculum vitae or resume.  The preceptor’s immediate supervisor gives signed permission for the preceptor to work with a candidate.  The preceptor and the candidate sign a preceptor/student clinical contract providing the program with demographics and schedule of the schools that will be a part of the practicum, and is signed off by candidate, preceptor and instructor indicating all parties understand their individual responsibilities.

Site Placement - All of our candidates are already employed by their school districts. Typically, school nurses are responsible for the provision of a comprehensive health and wellness program at multiple school sites.  Therefore, the SNSC program has little control over district and/or site placement.  A school nurse in California typically has responsibility for 3-4 school sites; each site with multiple grades, Preschool to Grade 12, diverse cultures and languages, and various economic and health challenges.  Our candidates come from throughout California but especially from Central California, which is largely an agricultural area with high migrant populations and few health care options.  Because candidates come from all over the state they share their experience of the social challenges and diversity situations of their school sites in online program Discussion Boards, adding a wealth of hands-on knowledge to the program. In the past three years we have had partnerships with 62 districts.

Partnership Table Cohort 2019, 2020 and 2021

Central Valley

District #Stu 2019 #Stu 2020 #Stu 2021 Notes
Fresno USD 3 7 4  
Hanford USD 2   1  
Visalia USD 1 1 1  
Bakersfield 2 5 3  
Selma USD     1  
Clovis USD 2 4 1  
Tulare USD   2 1  
Strathmore USD     1  
Sylvan Union      1 Modesto
Kings Canyon USD   1   Reedley
PBV USD/Bakersfield     2 Bakersfield
Merced USD     1  
Martinez USD     1  
Corcoran USD     1  
Porterville USD   1    
Lemoore USD   2    
Turlock USD   2    
Modesto City   1    
Norris USD   1   Bakersfield
Kings Canyon SD   1    
Arvin USD   1    
KermanUSD 1      
SangerUSD 2      
MantecaUSD 2      
SierraSands 1     Ridgecrest

 

Southern California

District #Stu 2019 #Stu 2020 #Stu 2021 Notes
LAUSD 10 3 17  
Pomona USD     1  
San Marino USD   1    
Anaheim USD     1  
Pleasant Valley SD     1  
Newport Mesa SD 1 1 1  
San Bernardino SD     4  
San Bernardino City 4   3  
Compton USD     6  
Downey USD     1  
Redlands USD   1    
Riverside USD 1 1    
Irvine/LaVerneUSD 1 1    
Cerritos USD   1    
Sta AnaUSD 1      
Lancaster SD     1  
Sta Monica/Malibu 2      
FullertonUSD 1      
FallbrookUSD 1      
San Diego/PaumaSD 2      
Long Beach USD 1 1    
Cerritos USD   1    

 

Northern California

District #Stu 2019 #Stu 2020 #Stu 2021 Notes
Alisal USD   1    
Lincoln USD     1  
San Lorenzo USD     1  
Sacramento ED   1    
San Jose USD   3    
Marysville SD   1    
Watsonville USD 1 1    
Charter-Fremont   1    
Davis USD   1    
Los Gatos/OakGrove 2      
Santa CruzUSD 2      
Los Banos USD 1      
San Anselmo 1     Marin
Santa Clara/MtView 2      
Santa RosaUSD 1      

 

Central California

District #Stu 2019 #Stu 2020 #Stu 2021 Notes
Santa Barbara USD 1 1    
MontereyUSD 1      

Candidate and Preceptor Collaboration
Candidates select their preceptors and placement. Preceptors are vetted by the program coordinators to ensure a quality experience. Candidates, with support from their preceptors, develop learning goals and objectives based on their current knowledge as assessed by the Knowledge-Based Questionnaire, which candidates complete at the beginning of the program. Preceptors help design learning experiences to meet learning goals and offer additional insight into local resources for candidates to explore. For example, a school nurse may have no knowledge of preschool assessment or teen pregnancy and needs to develop goals on acquiring knowledge in these areas. Throughout this course, coordinators and faculty communicate and consult with on-site preceptors to provide support.  In their course evaluations, candidates consistently express that working hand-in-hand with preceptors is their favorite part of the program, consistently giving the preceptors high marks for knowledge, support and professionalism.  

Candidate Evaluation of Preceptor ExperienceLikert Scale: 5=Excellent  4=Very Good  3=Good  2=Fair  1=Poor

Mean Score 2018 2019 2020 Combined
N186 Practicum 1 (Fall) 4.88
n=45
4.95
n=48
4.92
n=48
COVID
4.91

 

Mean Score 2019 2020 2021 Combined
N187 Practicum II  (Spring) 4.79
n=45
4.94
n=48
4.92
n=48
COVID
4.87

CCTC Survey-Evaluation of Program: Fieldwork Data
Candidates, on completion of the program, are asked to complete a survey by the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CCTC) about their experiences in the SNSC program.  The table below shows their ratings on areas related to fieldwork.  Not all candidates completed each area but Candidates rated the fieldwork experience very high in the following areas:

  CCTC Candidate Evaluation-Fieldwork Data 2018
n=38
2019
n=51
18. My educator program was able to connect me to appropriate experiences 91% 97%
21. My fieldwork experience prepared me to be an effective educator. 92% 95%
22. My fieldwork was relevant to my coursework. 92% 95%
23. My fieldwork experience was a positive and helpful component of the program. 92% 91%
37. I would recommend my program to others. 92% 95%

Summary of Findings 3b
School nurses entering the program already have two to five years of school nurse employment completed, work at multiple school sites and are experienced Registered Nurses.  The SNSC program is effective in the ability to polish those existing skills while broadening the knowledge base of candidates to better understand the role of the school nurse in the academic setting as evidenced by candidate CCTC survey findings and candidate evaluation of the preceptor experience.

Aspect C →