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Selection and Approval of Community Agencies (Policy SON-11)

Download a Printable Version of Policy SON-11

Effective Date

Fall 1985

Last Revision Date


Responsible Party

Divisional Dean, Chief Nursing Administrator, Clinical Coordinators, Agency Affiliation Manager, and faculty.

Scope and Audience

All clinical agencies who accept School of Nursing students for off-campus clinical experiences.

Additional Authority


1. Policy Purpose

To ensure that all community agencies are selected based on specific criteria, and that all procedures and policies are followed.

2. Policy Statement

Community agencies are selected on the basis of specified criteria:

  1. Philosophy and objectives of the agency are consistent with objectives for student learning experiences.
  2. The agency is accredited by an appropriate regulatory body, if applicable.
  3. There is adequate staff on units or within the agency reviewed for placement of students.
  4. There are adequate numbers and types of patients/clients for students’ learning experiences.
  5. Policy and procedure manuals are current and available to faculty and students within the agency.

The timeline for initiating a new contract is 30 to 60 days prior to the semester in which students will be placed in the agency.

When collecting data about a clinical agency, the faculty member will:

  1. Notify, in writing, the appropriate Program Director of the intention to investigate an agency for selection and approval for clinical learning.
  2. Use the appropriate New Cooperating Agency Selection and Approval Form for collecting and reporting data about the agency.
  3. Make initial contact with the agency to determine if the appropriate agency representative and staff are interested in being reviewed as a source of student learning experiences.
  4. Inform the School of Nursing faculty of intention to investigate a particular community agency.
  5. Make clear to appropriate agency personnel the purpose of collecting data about the agency and staff. Advise agency personnel of the process for negotiating a contract. Be sure agency personnel understand faculty member conducting the investigation has no authority to negotiate written contracts with community agencies for student learning experiences.
  6. Send completed copy of Cooperating Agency Selection and Approval Form to the Chief Nursing Administrator or designee.

2.1. Review and Approving Process

Chief Nurse Administrator/Clinical Coordinator will review the data submitted by faculty on the new Cooperating Agency Selection and Approval Form and notify whether or not a contract will be pursued.

2.2 Negotiation of Contract with Community Agency for Student Learning Experiences

  1. After a clinical agency has been identified for use by faculty, go to Clinical Coordinator and Program Director to discuss how the site meets clinical learning outcomes.
  2. Program Director will submit proposed site to Divisional Dean and Associate Divisional Dean/Chief Nurse Administrator to initiate contract. 

Note: Clinical Coordinator to discuss the process for development of the appropriate contract. Contract discussions should begin a minimum of 90 days prior to the date of intended use of a facility.

  1. In the case of observation experiences ONLY, no contract is required. Faculty must clearly communicate to agency representative, AND students, no direct student interventions or instructional processes may be performed with any client during an observation experience. If the experience is to be both observational and intervention, a contract with the agency is required.
  2. Faculty must specifically outline the student, faculty, agency, department and school responsibilities that will be included in the contract and the course syllabus.
  3. All contracts must include the following information in addition to #3 above:
    1. Indemnification paragraph
    2. Disclaimer of Agency or Joint Venture paragraphs
    3. 180 days contract termination notification
    4. When an agency requests any changes to the contract template, the proposed changes will be sent to legal counsel with a routing slip
    5. No student placements may begin without signed originals on file in the College of Health Science, It is best to begin process 90 days prior to semester as there is no assurance that the process will be completed by the desired date. Contracts that are with out-of-area agencies or have changes to the standard contract could require more time to process
    6. When the contract terms have been agreed to by the College of Health Sciences and the agency, two signed, original copies will be sent to the agency. The designated agency representative will sign both copies and mail back one of the originals to Boise State University, College of Health Sciences
    7. The Contract Manager will keep a current list of all contracts for the College of Health Sciences.

2.3 Renewal of Contracts

The Agency Affiliation Manager will notify the Clinical Coordinator of contracts that will expire a minimum of 180 days before the expiration date. The Clinical Coordinator will review the contract and determine if the agency is still appropriate for student learning experiences. The Clinical Coordinator will send a message to faculty to solicit input regarding current or planned use of the agency.

3. Forms

Cooperating Agency Selection and Approval Form

Related Information

BSU: None

CHS: None

SON: None

Last Review Date


Revision History

Fall 1985, July 2020, 4/1/2022