Clinical placements

Clinical Placements

The pre-registration courses at Sydney Nursing School involve significant participation in off-campus clinical placements. You will complete more than 860 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 2017 Student Calendar 2018 Student Calendar along with the study pattern information for your degree.

Important Information Regarding Verification Prior to Placement

Course specific requirement information is available HERE.

The majority of clinical placements we offer are with NSW Health sites. Placements which are not within NSW Health still require you to be verified with NSW Health. If you are enrolled in a pre-registration degree you need to read the information and follow the preparation required by NSW Health. Meeting NSW Health verification requirements is a time consuming process and your attendance at one of the bulk verification days is essential. You should be verified before the end of your first week of semester classes.

For more information on how to meet verification please call the Office of Clinical Education Support on 02 9114 4273, or email . The Office of Clinical Education Support is open Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm.

Medical Disclosure

Students must inform Sydney Nursing School 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 partly based on 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. 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.


Placements are allocated and tracked through a specialised database called Sonia.

  • Click here to access Sonia.
  • Select Sydney Nursing School and click GO.
  • Use your Unikey and Password to log into Sonia.

Request for Variation to Clinical Placement (Prior to an Absence)

Request for specific dates or location due to compelling personal circumstances.

If you have substantial extenuating circumstances that mean you would like to request a change to the date or location of your clinical placement, please submit a Request for Variation to Clinical Placement form (with supporting documentation). An application will need to be submitted for each semester where variations are requested. Where your application has been approved we will attempt to accommodate your needs but cannot guarantee this will be possible. You will need to complete and provide to Clinical Placement Services a Request for Variation to Clinical Placement form at least six weeks before the start of the placement block or by the census date for that semester, whichever is earlier. Be aware that holidays are not a valid reason for a variation of clinical placement.

Special Consideration (Following an Absence)

Applications for special consideration are managed by the University’s Student Administration Services (SAS). Visit the SAS web pages for information on eligibility and how to apply online.

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 fill in a special consideration application within three days of the absence.

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 e-Learning 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.

Fitness for Practice Certificate

If you have been requested to fill in a Fitness for Practice Certificate, please fill in the form online, and return to the Director of Pre-Registration Programs. This form can also be found on the forms section of the Sydney Nursing School website.