Student Externship Program

Externships provide a unique opportunity to gain valuable experience and references through working with a department in your field of study.  

UC Davis Health is a world-renowned educational hospital, and an invaluable part of our training program is externship opportunities we offer throughout the hospital. There is no better way for a student to learn than to observe and study under the supervision of experienced pharmacists, radiologists, nurses, and doctors. Your participation in our program is critical to its success.

It is highly advisable that you start the externship packet at least three months prior to your requested start date. Work with your school coordinator and placement department utilizing the steps below and the Externship Checklist as a guide.


Returning Externs

  • Returning to the same department: Externs are cleared for one year from start date; if outside of one year, you are required to resubmit an externship packet.
  • Returning to a different department: If you are a returning extern who is working for a different department, you are required to complete a new externship packet.

Student Nurse Externship

We appreciate your interest in our Student Nurse Externships. We post for these positions on our Human Resources website along with all available positions based on operational needs.   

The Student Nurse Extern positions are one-year contract appointments. The specific requirements are outlined in each job posting and we do require a resume, cover letter, and copy of your unofficial transcripts to be submitted at the time of application.   

To check for available positions and apply for the Student Nurse Externship program (SNE) please go to https://hr.ucdavis.edu/.  If you have any questions, feel free to email the SNE recruiter, Jennifer Mazzucca at jmmazzucca@ucdavis.edu

Nursing Clinical Rotations or Senior Preceptorships:

For information about NURSING clinical placements or preceptorships please email the Center for Professional Practice of Nursing (CPPN) School Liaison at hs-schoolliaison@ucdavis.edu


Getting Started

Please follow the instructions listed below in order to submit your Externship Application Packet.

  • STEP 1: Secure Placement
  • Students are responsible for finding and securing their placements within UC Davis Health. It is highly encouraged that you work with your school coordinator to find a placement location as they have likely helped other students from your school find placements in the past. 

    Frequent placement locations include:
    - Cancer Center
    - CAARE Center (Child and Adolescent Abuse Resource and Evaluation Center)
    - Emergency Department
    - Occupational Therapy
    - Orthopedics Clinic
    - Pharmacy Operations
    - Physical Therapy
    - Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation Services
    - Psychology
    - Radiology
    - Respiratory Therapy
  • STEP 2: Verify Affiliation Agreement
  • A student must be affiliated with an educational institution and collect credits/units for an externship. The course of study must be fully accredited and the school must be fully accredited as well. An affiliation agreement between UC Davis Health and the potential extern's school is required to protect the liability of UC Davis Health. Since an externship is traditionally unpaid experience that allows a student to obtain credit for their work at the hospital, the student's school must take legal responsibility for the student’s conduct during their externship at UC Davis Health.

    Please review the Affiliation Agreements Database (PDF) for a list of active affiliation agreements and record your Affiliation Agreement number on the first page of your Externship Packet. If an affiliation agreement needs to be established, the department that has accepted the student as a prospective extern will manage the process to set up the agreement.  This process usually takes about 8 weeks. 

    Students who are attending a University of California school do not require an affiliation agreement (UC Berkeley, UCSF, etc.)
  • STEP 3: Complete Outside Clearance Form
  • Medical clearance is required for all students who want to extern at UC Davis Health. Medical clearance can be obtained by the student’s primary care physician or health care clinician (RN). Students without primary care physicians may have their vaccination information verified by the medical professional at their school’s hospital or clinic.

    Outside Clearance Form

    All sections of the Outside Clearance Form must be completed with dates for this form to be considered complete. You must submit your completed Externship Clearance Form with your Externship Packet.  

    HEP B: Hepatitis B is a series of vaccinations that could take up to six months to complete. If the student is not vaccinated prior to the expected start date, the placement department may choose to enter into an agreement by both parties signing the Hep B Vaccination Agreement.
  • STEP 4: Complete Mandatory Training
  • The following yearly training is required for students who want to extern at UC Davis Health to ensure departments remains in compliance with hospital requirements. Complete the training via the following links, then save your certificate of completion to submit with your completed packet:

    Privacy and Security
    Mandatory Annual Training Manual (MAT)
  • STEP 5: Submit Externship Packet
  • All pages of the packet must be filled out completely and legibly.  Note “n/a” where applicable, for example, if you do not have a middle name.  Please ensure that you attach these completed documents: Outside Clearance Form, Privacy and Security Certificate. Your packet cannot be processed by your placement department without all of the required documents.

    Submit the completed packet to your placement department. Please allow sufficient time (6-8 weeks lead time recommended) for your department to review and verify your information.
  • STEP 6: Pass UC Davis Health Background Check
  • The background check process is an essential part of ensuring hospital safety and compliance. Background check paperwork can take up to one month to process. Please make sure that the Background Check Authorization Form is completed, signed, and submitted with your Externship Packet. 

    Placement Department: Please forward the Background Check Authorization Form and the Externship Clearance Form to HS-T-D@ucdavis.edu once you have reviewed and approved the Packet.
  • STEP 7: Start your Externship!
  • Start date is set by your department and students are cleared for one year from start date.