RN-BSN Practicum


Thank you for your interest in the 455 Community Health Nursing Practicum course. Clinical placements are made on a “first come, first serve” basis once you have completed all prerequisites. Failing to complete the background check and Medical Document Manager (immunization tracker) by the deadline date and submit your Compliance Report from CastleBranch may jeopardize your placement for the desired semester.

Course Description

NURSING 455 Community Health Nursing Practicum - 3 Credits 
Community Health Nursing Practicum complements the theory, models, and concepts learned in 454 Community Health Nursing (theory). It is a practice component that brings community health nursing into reality. The focus is on disease prevention and health promotion for individuals, families, aggregates, and communities.
P: Major in Nursing: NURSING 454 or concurrent enrollment.


The 4 key steps to complete the prerequisites for the 455 Community Health Nursing Practicum course are:

  1. CastleBranch Account: The UWGB Nursing program requires background checks and health prerequisite documentation through CastleBranch.
    Once you have determined the semester you plan to enroll in 455 CHN Practicum, request the Student Instructions with the package codes for the background check and Medical Document Manager (immunization tracker) from Practicum Assistant Kaitlin Williams @ williamk@uwgb.edu. You will need to set up an account for both in CastleBranch. 
    Students will be responsible for the $86 fee for the background check and health document tracker and review. The background check is valid for 4 years from the Date of Order, and the Medical Document Manager is an annual renewal.
    Submission instructions for CastleBranch.
    Health prerequisites
    Note: Some practicum agencies have additional requirements for student participation in their settings. These may include, but are not limited to, documentation of a physical examination or drug screening. The cost of such requirements is the responsibility of the student. Students are advised of these requirements by faculty so that they can be completed before the practicum experience begins. 
  2. Compliance Report: Once you have completed your background check and Medical Document Manager and all items show as “Complete”, submit your Compliance Report (Medical Document Manager only) from CastleBranch. 
  3. Demographic and PH agency survey: After your Compliance Report is received, the Practicum Coordinator will send you a Qualtrics survey to complete requesting your demographic information and public health agency placement choices.
  4. Students must either successfully complete 454 Community Health Nursing (theory) prior to the Practicum or be concurrently enrolled during the Practicum.


  • Spring: October 1st
  • Summer: February 1st
  • Fall: March 1st

Checklist for enrollment in Practicum Course

The Practicum course often fills prior to the designated deadline, so it is to your advantage to complete the prerequisites early.

How to request a waiver for a health prerequisite

See Undergraduate (BSN) Nursing Handbook (Student Health Policy - C. Immunizations)

How to identify county/city public health agency information

Want to learn more about Public Health Nurses? Shining a Spotlight on Pennsylvania's Public Health Nurses

For successful completion of the CHN Practicum, students are required to complete 70 hours in an official public/community health setting. Successful practicum placement is contingent on accurate information (name, address, phone, website, contact person) for your three preferred CH sites.

To determine an appropriate community health practicum site, search for your county health department on the Internet. The placement faculty will arrange your primary placement on your behalf; do not contact the agency.

Students who reside in Wisconsin or neighboring states may find information about their county health department at the following websites:

Students residing in other states will find public health dept. information on the web.

The following information will be needed for each of the three practicum sites in order to complete the survey. When providing the information, list the agencies in order of preference. Faculty attempt to place students in their first choice, however, when unavailable, attempt to place students in their 2nd and 3rd options as appropriate. Incomplete or inaccurate information may result in a delay or inability to place students in a practicum site:

  • Name of County (City) Health Department
  • Contact Person (Health Officer or Director of PH Nursing)
  • Agency address, City, State, Zip code
  • Phone number
  • E-mail
  • Agency website

Next steps after completion of prerequisites

The placement process: Unlike the other nursing courses, the Practicum course registration is dependent upon placement with outside agencies; for a variety of reasons there are occasions where not all interested students can be placed. The placement process is a dynamic jigsaw puzzle dependent upon the date a student completed their prerequisites, public health agency availability, and available slots in the course.

Notification of placement for Practicum: After you are placed, you will receive an e-mail with permission to register for the course. Most students who are placed will receive permission to register approximately 4-6 weeks prior to the start of the semester.

Practicum packets: Practicum packets including the course syllabus, confirmation of placement site, agency contact information, etc. are sent to students & their mentors approximately 2 weeks prior to the start of the semester. Students are required to contact their assigned agency at the start of the semester to arrange a mutually agreeable Practicum field hours schedule.

Student “change of plans” or change in preferred agency or personal contact information: If your plans change (i.e. a decision to delay Practicum) or there is a change in your preferred agency (order or information) or personal contact information, contact Practicum Assistant Kaitlin Williams @ williamk@uwgb.edu.

Maintaining prerequisites up-to-date in CastleBranch: Students are required to keep their health prerequisites up-to-date in CastleBranch until the completion of their Practicum field hours. Students will receive renewal notice e-mails from CastleBranch approximately three weeks prior to the renewal due date.

Practicum FAQs