Clinical placements

Clinical placements

Clinical program | IMPORTANT information for students regarding verification prior to placement | On-campus verification by NSW Health | Medical Disclosure | Uniforms | Allocation | Rosters | SONIA | Special consideration and special arrangements | Clinical Record logbooks | Help

The pre-registration courses at Sydney Nursing School involve significant participation in off-campus clinical placements. You will complete more than 900 clinical hours during your degree. Before each clinical placement you will practise your skills in our clinical labs and high fidelity simulation wards. Clinical placement sites include private and public hospitals, mental health services, community health centres and schools. The majority of clinical placements occur within the Sydney metropolitan area. You will also be expected to undertake some clinical placements in rural NSW or interstate. NSW Health offers rural placement grants to assist nursing students with travel and accommodation costs associated with rural placements. You will also need to be available to undertake shift work and clinical placements throughout university holiday periods.

For general information about Clinical Placements please download the Student Guide to Clinical Placements.

Your pattern of clinical placements is based on your degree. For more information please look at the Student Calendar along with the study pattern information for your degree:

The clinical program

IMPORTANT information for students regarding verification prior to placement

Course specific requirement information is available here

The majority of clinical placements we offer are within NSW Health. If you are enrolled in a pre-registration degree you should read the information and follow the preparation required by NSW Health. In order to complete placements within NSW Health you are require to present the following documentation:

  1. National Police Certificate
  2. Student Placement Clearance Summary Sheet
  3. Code of Conduct Agreement for Students undertaking Clinical Placements form First Read NSW Health Code of Conduct Agreement
  4. Provide evidence of protection against the infectious diseases as specified in the Occupational Assessment, Screening and Vaccination Against Infectious Diseases policy by completing a Vaccination Record Card Health Workers/students (blank cards will be made available to enrolment, the Student Centre and your faculty throughout the year)
  5. NSW Health – Form 2 Tuberculosis (TB) Assessment Tool
  6. NSW Health – Form 3 Student Undertaking/Declaration

NOTE: Overseas students also need a Police Certificate (with English translation) from your home country and/or a Statutory Declaration.

On-campus verification by NSW Health

Sydney Local Health District representatives will be on campus for Sydney Nursing School students from 1PM to 3PM, 19-20 January 2015 to check verification with their employment screening and vaccination policy. There will be a follow up session from 9AM to 3PM on the 30th of January.

Students must be verified as compliant at their scheduled appointment in order to undertake placements in NSW Public Health Facilities in 2015. On campus sessions will be held at the Burkitt Ford Lounge, Edward Ford Building Camperdown campus.

Further information on "How to meet verification" by calling Clinical Placements on 02 9351 0518, or email

Medical Disclosure

Students must inform the Clinical Education Academic if their health is impaired to such a degree that there may be a risk of harm to their health or risk of harm to the public if they undertake professional experience placement. Sydney Nursing School is required under national law to notify the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) of students whose health is impaired or who have a disability to such a degree that there may be substantiated risk of harm to the public.


You are required to wear a University of Sydney uniform when on clinical placements. These are available from the Course Collateral eStore.

Allocation of placements

You are allocated placement sites on the basis of your semester address, so please make sure your address details are up to date in ‘My Uni’. Sites are booked on the basis of learning and teaching outcomes for each unit of study and the capacity for places available within the health system. This means that you may need to travel up to two hours each way to attend your placement. You are given an opportunity to swap placements with other students in the same unit of study. (Please note only site swaps are allowed, not ward or roster swaps.) Expect to do at least one rural placement in the course of your degree.

Rosters for each placement

Rosters vary for each site and you will be expected to fit in with the needs of the nursing unit where you are placed. Shifts are generally eight hours a day from Monday to Friday. Please plan ahead for your clinical placements, so that you have the time and money to undertake each designated placement. Completion of your clinical hours at the allocated site is a compulsory part of your unit of study. Failure to complete a placement satisfactorily will impact on your progression within your degree.

Communicating information about clinical placements with SONIA

Placements are allocated and tracked through a specialised database called 'SONIA'.

You can log in to SONIA to get information about each placement, rosters, and site details. Other information and forms are often uploaded to SONIA as well. Please check SONIA regularly, especially when you are due to begin a placement in six weeks or less. You will also receive emails with additional information when necessary. Please make sure you check your University email address regularly, otherwise you may miss important deadlines.

Special consideration and special arrangements

If you are sick or away on any day of placement, please notify your supervising RN, Nursing Unit Manager and Facilitator. If it is before your placement begins, and will affect your attendance at placement, please notify Clinical Placement Services so we can inform your allocated site. Clinical placement is part of your assessment for the unit of study. In case of illness or misadventure, please follow the standard process for special consideration.

If you have a disability, carer responsibilities or other extenuating circumstances that mean you would like to request special arrangements for clinical placements, please submit a request for special arrangements form (with supporting documentation) by the census date for that semester. A form will need to be submitted for each semester where special arrangements are requested. We will attempt to accommodate your needs, where they are deemed reasonable by the Director (Pre-registration). Please follow the standard process for applying for special arrangements.

Clinical Record logbooks

For each clinical placement you will be issued with a Clinical Record Logbook that you will need to take with you to your placement. Logbooks are handed out in lectures and spare copies are available at Clinical Placement Services and on the relevant eLearning site. At the end of the placement, most students will be able to keep their logbook as a record of their successful completion of the placement.

Students who completed placements prior to 2012 were asked to keep a copy of relevant pages from their logbook as part of their professional portfolio, prior to handing in their logbook to Clinical Placement Services. All logbooks from prior years have now been moved into storage. We are able to accommodate requests for copies, but we are a small team and it will take up to seven working days to locate and copy your information. Please email your request to and a scanned copy will be emailed to you.