Frequently Asked Questions


Find answers to frequently asked questions to learn more about our online programs at Youngstown State University.
No. Clinical practicum courses must be taken one at a time.
It is up to the student to work with their preceptor for an agreed-upon schedule to complete the clinical hours required for each clinical course.  A total of 180 practicum hours are to be completed in a 7 week term.  This averages out to about 26 practicum hours per week.
FNP: NURS 7048 Family Nurse Practitioner 1 Practicum – 180 hours NURS 7049 Family Nurse Practitioner 2 Practicum – 180 hours NURS 7050 Family Nurse Practitioner 3 Practicum – 180 hours NURS 7051 Family Nurse Practitioner 4 Practicum = 60 hours Total 600 hours   AG-ACNP: NURS 7038 Adult Gerontology Acute Care 1 Practicum – 180 hours NURS 7040 Adult Gerontology Acute Care 2 Practicum – 180 hours NURS 7042 Adult Gerontology Acute Care 3 Practicum – 180 hours Total of 540 hours
Students are highly encouraged to explore clinical opportunities in their own geographic location. All clinical site and preceptor information will be verified as students submit their information for approval.
Yes. Clinical rotations may be completed at the student’s place of employment. However, students must abide by the following rules:
  • Clinical hours cannot be completed in the student’s direct unit or patient care area.
  • An immediate supervisor cannot be the student’s preceptor.
  • Students cannot perform clinical hours during any time they are being paid as an employee (they cannot be “on the clock”).
The clinical site must be appropriate for the specialty of the program and the patient population required for each specific course. See grid below for program-specific information. Refer to your syllabus for expectations and objectives. Contact your clinical faculty/clinical coordinator for additional information.  
Program Acceptable Clinical Sites
Adult Gerontology Acute Care NP (AGACNP)
  • Must be in an acute care setting
  • 540 total clinical hours that may be completed in the following specialty settings.
  • Free-Standing ED’s, Urgent Care, etc.
Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP)
  • Must be in a primary care setting
  • 600 total clinical hours that may be completed in the following specialty settings:
    • Adult Primary Care
    • Gerontology Primary Care
    • Pediatric Primary Care
    • Women’s Health Primary Care
Preceptor information must be submitted to the university two months prior to the clinical start date for approval. It is highly recommended that students submit two months prior to the start of each clinical rotation.
The student will begin the clinical site request and preceptor request via Medatrax.  This process needs to begin when the student is admitted to the program.  This process may take many months.  The student needs to complete the three-page document (located on Medatrax) which includes the “Student Preceptor Agreement” and the “Clinical Site Request”.
Students should notify the Graduate Clinical Coordinator, Mrs. Nicole Wells at [email protected], as soon as possible if any such changes occur. This depends on how long the clinical clearance process takes at the facility. If the preceptor is at a facility where an affiliation agreement is needed, there is no guarantee these negotiations will be finalized prior to the start date. In this case, the student might need an alternate clinical site.
Students should submit preceptor information via Medatrax. Once the clinical process is complete and the student has been verified as “clinically ready”, they will receive a notification in the Mail Center via Medatrax.
Preceptor information must be submitted to the university two months prior to the clinical start date for approval. It is highly recommended that students submit two months prior to the start of each clinical rotation.
The number of preceptors varies based on clinical rotations/clinical courses. These hours may be split among multiple approved preceptors. There is no defined number of preceptors required for the NP program.
No, Youngstown State University does not contract with a third party to assist with locating preceptors or clinical sites. Students are discouraged from using a third party, especially if payment for services is required.
If students need assistance with clinical placement, Youngstown State University cannot guarantee a clinical placement within your immediate vicinity. Students may be required to commute outside of their local area for clinical placement. Notify Graduate Clinical Coordinator, Susan Vinkler at [email protected] if unable to locate a preceptor at least 90 days in advance.
Helpful tips on securing a preceptor can be found on the Graduate Nursing Program BB site.
Youngstown State University highly encourages students to secure their own preceptors (to best accommodate schedule and location).
No, students are not permitted to use their direct supervisor as their preceptor. Students are also not permitted to perform clinical rotations during hours they are working as an employee at a facility.
Only one-year requirement for both FNP and AG-ACNP.  Physicians do not need to have one full year of experience.  Only NP. Preceptor Qualifications by Program:
Program Degree / Experience / Qualifications
Adult Gerontology Acute Care NP (AGACNP)
  • Must have two years' experience
  • MSN minimum degree
  • Credential requirements: Can be an MD, NP or DO. May not be a physician’s assistant.
Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP)
  • Must have one year experience
  • MSN minimum degree
  • Credential requirements: Can be an MD, NP or DO. May not be a physician’s assistant.
Yes, you may contact Tech Services at 330-941-1595 for technical questions for individual questions and assistance. This contact information is also included in the template of all online classes. The Penguin Service Center at 330-941-6000 is available to students for questions regarding registration, ordering books and general YSU questions.
Blackboard orientation is included in the Centofanti School of Nursing orientation class and in each online class. During NURS 3725 Nursing Informatics, the first required nursing course, practice assignments in utilizing Blackboard Ultra will also be included in the course. The template layout setup of additional courses and implementation in the program should be similar in all online classes.
When you are admitted and begin your first class in the program you will automatically be enrolled in the Centofanti School of Nursing Orientation Blackboard class. You will see this in your Blackboard list of classes and will remain in the course for information about YSU and the specific RN to BSN program until graduation. Module 7 in this orientation section is specific to the Centofanti School of Nursing RN to BSN program and includes the RN to BSN handbook specific to policies and information about this nursing program and a specific practicum and graduation section.
You may request a hospital or health care agency in your area if you are not working. The nursing department can assist you in finding and requesting placement but be aware this will take additional time and should be requested at least two 7-week terms before registering for Senior Capstone when practicum hours are required. You may discuss concerns on placement and practicum learning environment selection with the RN to BSN Coordinator for potential sites and appropriate roles for the selection of your preceptor nurses.
Yes, we recommend that you do your practicum learning where you work. Students should choose a nurse in a leadership role such as a charge nurse, Assistant Unit Manager/Unit Manager, shift supervisor, etc. You may discuss concerns on placement and practicum learning environment selection with the RN to BSN Coordinator for potential sites and the appropriate selection of a preceptor nurse. A practicum contract and a completed Preceptor Qualification form is required before beginning practicum learning activities. Most employers are supportive of their employees completing this practicum learning requirement. You should check the education department where you work for any specific health or orientation requirements needed while you are a practicum student.
Students identify a practice setting for their practicum learning activities. Permission must be obtained from appropriate people in the organization and a signed YSU contract must be on file for all agencies. Students must contact the Nursing Educator at their specific chosen facility for permission and requirements necessary for practicum learning. As a nursing student, you may be required to obtain health requirements, a criminal background check, drug screening, complete educational requirements/education and/or sign any required forms such as confidentiality agreements beyond those required for you as a present employee. A practicum contract with your precepting facility must be completed before beginning planned learning activities between the practicum agency and YSU. RN to BSN students must submit this information as early as possible to the Student and Clinical Services Coordinator in the YSU nursing office to allow time for the practicum contract to be requested and completed with signatures. The name of the signature authority to sign the contract and their email and other contact information will be needed to complete the practicum contract.
Nursing courses include required practicum hours. Students complete practicum hours in various practicum learning environments within two courses: NURS 4852 Senior Capstone (20 practicum hours) and NURS 4854L Leadership in Nursing (40 practicum hours). The student should register for the corresponding lab when taking NURS 4854 Nursing Leadership. NURS 4852 Senior Capstone and NURS 4854/L Nursing Leadership should be taken during the last two terms and cannot be taken together. Students will work with qualified Preceptors in a leadership role to complete the required 60 total practicum hours.
All students have an individualized curriculum plan, so graduation dates are different for everyone. If all general education/support courses are complete, there are an additional nine nursing courses to take. They could be completed in less than a year depending on your full-time/part-time status. This program is an accelerated program and working nurses are recommended to take courses on a part-time basis.
The list of required books will be on your syllabus. Below are the steps to print your booklist after you have registered. This should be included with classes as you register and contact the Barnes & Noble Bookstore on the YSU campus or order from other textbook sources. How to print your booklist:
  • YSU portal
  • Click on Penguin portal and log in
  • Click on Banner Self-Service
  • Click on Student
  • Click on Registration
  • Select your term, submit
  • Click on Student Summary Schedule and PRINT YOUR BOOKLIST
  • This will take you directly to the Barnes & Noble site and you can order from there or just get the names of your books and buy or rent elsewhere. The YSU Bookstore phone number is 330-318-3331
In your admissions letter from YSU Admissions, it explains how to get into the YSU portal to register for classes each 7 weeks. If you cannot log into the YSU portal, call the Tech Desk at 330-941-1595. For other questions regarding how to register or financial aid, call the Penguin Service Center at 330-941-6000 for help. Once you can log in, you will be able to register for classes. Steps on how to register are on the YSU portal.
You will continually need to refer to your curriculum/advising plan as stated above. You will be able to follow this plan from start to graduation.
After the student survey is completed and returned to the YSU nursing office by email, a detailed curriculum/advising sheet will be sent out by the Clinical and Student Services Coordinator that includes courses completed and courses still needing to be completed. Course sequencing will be on the bottom of this plan outlining when to take needed courses. This Advising/Curriculum Plan should be referred to and kept for registering for courses throughout the RN to BSN Program.
Yes, you may change from full-time (two courses per 7 weeks) to part-time (one course per 7 weeks) or start off part-time and change to full-time if desired. You should notify the nursing office whenever a change is needed. This will change your original curriculum/advising plan and the original planned graduation date.
Yes, you will be given credit up to 39 hours for prior nursing courses from your associate degree or diploma nursing program. Block credit is given for eight non-nursing courses, and this is noted on your individual curriculum/advising sheet. Transfer credit will be given for any coursework taken that has been equated to RN to BSN-required courses after the transcript is reviewed from all colleges attended.
You will receive a welcome letter of acceptance from YSU Admissions asking you to commit and sign a Promise to Pay online. A welcome email will also be sent from the Centofanti School of Nursing signed by the RN-BSN Coordinator. This welcome email will include a survey requesting intention for part-time (one course every 7 weeks) or full-time (two courses every 7 weeks). Once the survey is completed and submitted, the RN-BSN Coordinator will review all official transcripts to determine the courses needed to attain a BSN. Following the transcript review, the Student Services Coordinator will create an individualized curriculum/advising plan and email it to the student. It is up to the student to review the curriculum/advising plan to be sure all transfer courses are accounted for. Students should take the initiative if they believe prior coursework should be reviewed for course credit by contacting the YSU nursing program. Additional information from the student in the form of course descriptions and/or syllabi may be needed, especially those taken at non-regionally accredited programs.
Financial aid is handled through the YSU Financial Aid office, and they can be reached at 330-941-3505 or [email protected]. To be eligible for aid, a student has to have at least six hours in any given semester; i.e. if a student takes one 3-hour course in each of Spring 1 and Spring 2 terms, they will have a total of six hours OR if taking courses starting in Spring 2, a student will need two 3-hour courses to equal six hours in the Spring semester. If a student has financial aid, it is up to the student to be sure that aid is applied and tuition is paid.

Request more information

Submit the form below, and a representative will contact you to answer any questions.


  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Or call 877-513-0093

Begin Application Process

Start your application today!
or call 877-513-0093 877-513-0093
for help with any questions you may have.
YSU Skyline Silhouette