Student Experiences at BayCare

BayCare Health System is excited to welcome students doing rotations at a BayCare facility.  We see this as an opportunity to invest in our local talent pipeline as we assist our local education institutions in developing new talent. This site is for students enrolled in a university, college, school, or other academic institution/program that are wanting to complete a rotation, internship, externship, quality improvement (QI), dissertation, thesis, or capstone at BayCare. We hope to inform students, instructors, and others of the BayCare student process to help ease the onboarding process.

What is a student?

A student is defined as an individual enrolled in an affiliated educational institution who requires unpaid training experiences within BayCare Health System in order to receive school credit towards a school degree/diploma.  This is sometimes referred to as an internship, practicum, or rotation. Each student is responsible to report to a BayCare team member, referred to as a sponsor, mentor, or student liaison.

If you need pre-enrollment hours prior to being accepted into an educational program, please refer to the Healthcare Observer category below.

Who is NOT a student?

Volunteers - A person who, of their own free time, without pay and not associated with any education institution, decides to commit regularly scheduled time at BayCare Health System in order to assist in daily operations.  Examples of common volunteers are tram drivers, front desk customer service, gift shop operations, and summer teen volunteers.  To explore opportunities to volunteer, check out our volunteer resources page.

Healthcare Observer - (Also commonly referred to as Shadowing or Observation Hours) An individual at least 14 years of age who requests to accompany a team member (known as a sponsor) for an observation experience (for a maximum of 40 hours) or to obtain pre-enrollment hours (for a maximum of 120 hours) for an education program.  It is preferred that observers be 18 years of age or older.  Please contact the individual facility for specific age requirements. The observer is not a volunteer and not a student at a school that has an active affiliation/contract with BayCare Health System. 

Instructors - A faculty member or representative of your school who oversees your progress through a school class or program. While instructors are not students, they are also required to meet onboarding requirements prior to being on site at BayCare. Your school shall ensure that any instructor who presents on-site at BayCare shall meet the same requirements and shall be bound by the same terms and conditions as students.

Student Liaison - The student liaison is the primary contact and coordinator for all students at a specific location or region.  This individual supports the onboarding and ongoing auditing of students throughout the student experience.

Process for Students

While most students are directed by their education institution to report to a BayCare facility per an already agreed upon rotation schedule, some students are required to establish rotation schedules for themselves.  In this case, please follow the instructions below:

1. Ensure your education institution AND program of study has a current Affiliation Agreement with BayCare Health System.  If you are unsure, please contact your school placement coordinator or email us at 

2. Ensure all requirements dictated by the Affiliation Agreement have been fulfilled and are on record with the education institution.  Your school must give you approval to continue in this process.
NOTE: If you are currently a BayCare team member, but also serving in the role as a student, you are required to fulfill ALL Affiliation Agreement requirements with the education institution.  There are no exceptions made in the Affiliation Agreement for waived requirements for active BayCare team members.

3. Secure a BayCare Sponsor/Mentor/Preceptor according to the guidelines established by your education institution or BayCare Health System. Your school will provide guidelines on securing a sponsor/mentor/preceptor based on your area of study.
NOTE: BayCare team members are not permitted to complete preceptorship hours on their home unit. Team members must locate a preceptor sperate from their home unit.

4. Go to and establish your Online Learning Center (OLC) account.  This process will assign you a Non-Team Member number (Commonly referred to as your ‘NE Number’) which will be your unique identity during your time with BayCare Health System. 
NOTE: If you are a current BayCare Team Member, complete the application for a NE Number, but complete your training under your current BayCare ID training account.  A new training account will not be created for you in the OLC.  Search for the curriculum titled “Team Member Student” in the OLC and complete, unless you are a Physician Sponsored Student.

5. Complete the online training associated with your student role (unless you are already a Team Member and have completed the “Team Member Student” curriculum).  Each student role is grouped within the Online Learning Center and is easily identifiable.  See the “Special Directions for Specific Students” section below in case more detailed directions are required for your specific student group.

6. Upon completion of your Online Learning Center coursework AND PRIOR to beginning any work within BayCare Health System as a student, provide a completed transcript to your BayCare Student Liaison.

Special Directions for Specific Students

High School Students - All high school or dual enrollment students must work with their school coordinator for placement.

Bachelors of Nursing Students - Complete steps 1-6, but consult with your sponsor to determine appropriate Online Learning Center coursework to complete, as BSN programs differ in requirements

Graduate Students

Physician Sponsored Students - Please see the Physician Sponsored Student website (Physician Sponsored Student Onboarding Process ( for the following student types:

  • Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN)
  • Anesthesia Assistant
  • Certified Nurse Midwife
  • Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA) 
  • Dental Student 
  • Medical Student 
  • Physician Assistant
  • RN First Assist
  • Surgical Tech-First Assist
  • Visiting Fellow
  • Visiting Resident

Doctorate of Nursing Practice (DNP), Master of Science in Nursing (MSN), or Doctor of Philosophy

(PhD) - Both current BayCare team member students and external students must follow the same process.  Projects or research proposals for these programs must be requested a minimum of 4-6 months in advance of the anticipated project start date.  Complete the first six (6) steps of the onboarding process as identified above, then follow the additional steps:

  • Obtain a BayCare employed preceptor or mentor who, at a minimum, has the same level of degree being sought.
  • Contact the chair or co-chair of the BayCare Nursing Research and EBP Council at the beginning of your program for guidance with additional requirements and processes.
  • Contact –

Rehab Students (PT/OT/ST/Audiology)

For Polk County locations, please contact 863-293-1121 ext. 1706.

For all other locations, please take the following steps:

1. Locate a preceptor with assistance from your Director of Clinical Education (DCE) from your school.  

2. After a preceptor has been established, contact to continue the process.

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