A female nurse sitting at a desk with a stethoscope and discussing clinical hours for nursing school.

How Many Clinical Hours for Nursing School Per Semester?

The number of clinical hours you will need for nursing school per semester can vary depending on the nursing program you are enrolled in and the specific requirements of your school. However, on average, nursing students can expect to complete anywhere from 8 to 20 hours of clinical work per week.

The Average Clinical Hours Requirement

For ASN/ADN Students:

Associate Degree in Nursing (ASN) or Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) programs typically require students to complete a certain number of clinical hours throughout their program. On average, ASN/ADN students can expect to complete approximately 600 to 900 clinical hours in total. This is usually spread out over the course of several semesters.

For BSN Students:

Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) programs generally have a higher clinical hour requirement compared to ASN/ADN programs. BSN students can expect to complete around 900 to 1200 clinical hours throughout their program. These hours are typically spread out over the course of several semesters, similar to ASN/ADN programs.

The Factors That May Influence Your Clinical Hours

  • Nursing Program You’re Enrolled In: Different programs may have different curriculum structures and clinical hour requirements. It’s essential to research and understand the specific requirements of the nursing program you are interested in to determine the expected clinical hours.
  • Your School’s Policies: Each nursing school may have its own policies regarding clinical hours. These policies can determine the number of clinical hours required per semester and how they are allocated throughout the program.

Making the Most Out of Your Clinical Hours

To make the most out of your clinical hours, consider the following tips:

  • Stay engaged and actively participate in patient care activities.
  • Ask questions and seek clarification when needed.
  • Take initiative to practice new skills and seek opportunities for learning.
  • Reflect on your experiences and identify areas for improvement.
  • Seek feedback from your clinical instructors and use it to enhance your skills.

How to Balance Your Time Between Clinical Hours and Other Responsibilities

Balancing clinical hours with other responsibilities can be challenging, but with proper time management and organization, it is possible. Here are some strategies to help you find balance:

  • Create a schedule that prioritizes your clinical hours while still allowing time for studying and other commitments.
  • Communicate with your instructors and peers to coordinate schedules and support each other.
  • Break down tasks into smaller, manageable chunks to make them more achievable.
  • Utilize effective study techniques to maximize your study time.
  • Take care of yourself by getting enough rest, eating well, and engaging in activities that help you relax and recharge.

Pursuing Additional Clinical Experience

While the clinical hours required by your nursing program are essential, you may also want to consider pursuing additional clinical experience to further enhance your skills and knowledge. This can be done through volunteering at healthcare facilities, participating in internships, or seeking out opportunities for shadowing experienced nurses.

Additional clinical experience can provide you with exposure to different specialties, populations, and healthcare settings, ultimately broadening your understanding of nursing practice.

The Impact of Clinical Hours on Future Employment in Nursing

The number of clinical hours you complete during nursing school can have an impact on your future employment opportunities as a nurse. Many employers value the hands-on experience gained through clinical hours and may consider it when making hiring decisions.

Additionally, completing a significant number of clinical hours can demonstrate your commitment to patient care and your ability to apply theoretical knowledge in a practical setting, making you a more competitive candidate in the job market.

Remember to take care of yourself and find a balance between your clinical hours and other responsibilities. With dedication and perseverance, you will successfully navigate through your clinical hours and come out on the other side, ready to make a positive impact in the nursing field. Keep pushing forward, and trust in your abilities. Good luck!


Q: What happens if you don’t meet the required number of clinical hours?

A: If you don’t meet the required number of clinical hours, it may impact your ability to graduate from the nursing program. Nursing schools have specific requirements that must be met in order to complete the program and become eligible for licensure. Communicate with your instructors and advisors if you are struggling to meet the clinical hour requirements to explore potential solutions or accommodations.

Q: Are there any opportunities to earn clinical hours outside of the designated clinical rotations?

A: Yes, there may be opportunities to earn additional clinical hours outside of the designated clinical rotations. Some nursing programs offer elective courses or programs that provide additional hands-on experience in specific areas of nursing. You can also consider volunteer work or internships in healthcare settings to gain extra clinical experience.

Q: Can clinical hours be completed at any healthcare facility?

A: Clinical hours are typically completed at healthcare facilities that have partnerships or agreements with your nursing school. These facilities are chosen to provide a diverse range of patient populations and medical conditions that align with the learning objectives of your nursing program. Check with your school to understand which healthcare facilities are approved for your clinical hours.

Q: Can clinical hours be completed during evenings or weekends?

A: Yes, some nursing programs offer clinical rotations during evenings or weekends to accommodate students who have other commitments during regular business hours. However, the availability of evening and weekend clinical rotations may vary depending on your school and the healthcare facilities they partner with. It’s important to check with your program to determine the options available to you.

Q: Do you have to complete the same number of clinical hours each semester?

A: The number of clinical hours you need to complete may vary from semester to semester. Some semesters may require more clinical hours than others, depending on the specific coursework and learning objectives for that semester. Your nursing program will provide you with a breakdown of the clinical hour requirements for each semester.

Q: Can you request to complete clinical hours in a specific specialty or area of nursing?

A: Some nursing programs may allow you to request a specific specialty or area of nursing for your clinical rotations. However, this is dependent on the availability of clinical placement opportunities in that specialty and the policies of your nursing school. Communicate your interests and preferences to your program coordinator or clinical instructor to explore any potential options.

Q: Are there any opportunities for international clinical experiences?

A: Some nursing programs offer opportunities for international clinical experiences, allowing students to gain exposure to healthcare systems and practices in other countries. These experiences can provide valuable cultural and global health perspectives. However, participation in international clinical experiences may have specific requirements, such as language proficiency or additional costs. It’s important to inquire with your nursing program if they offer such opportunities.

Q: Can you transfer clinical hours from a previous nursing program to a new one?

A: The transferability of clinical hours from a previous nursing program to a new one varies depending on the policies of your new nursing program. Some programs may allow you to transfer a portion of your clinical hours, while others may not accept any transferred hours. Check with your new program’s admissions office or program coordinator for their specific policies regarding transfer credits.

Q: Can you get paid for clinical hours during nursing school?

A: In most cases, clinical hours completed during nursing school are part of your educational requirements and are not paid. However, there may be exceptions, such as certain work-study programs or specific agreements between your nursing program and healthcare facilities that provide compensation for clinical work. Check with your nursing program or the clinical placement coordinator for clarification on any compensation policies.

Q: Can you complete clinical hours at more than one healthcare facility?

A: Yes, it is possible to complete clinical hours at more than one healthcare facility. This can provide a broad range of experience and exposure to different medical specialties, patient populations, and healthcare systems. However, the specifics would depend on the guidelines of your particular nursing program or medical school. It’s always a good idea to discuss this with your academic advisor or clinical coordinator to ensure that you meet all necessary requirements and guidelines.