Child Life Internship
In order to be considered for the Children's Hospital & Medical Center Child Life Internship, you must meet the following criteria:
- Academic Background in Child Life/Child Development
- Bachelors degree in Child Life, Child Development or closely related field. You are eligible for our internship if you have graduated from college or you are in your senior year.
- Have completed at least 10 classes in Child Development/Child Life while in college.
- Minimum grade point average of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale ("B" average or better) in your child development and related coursework.
- Documentation of coursework review by the Child Life Council. Please click on this link for more information.
Experience with Hospitalized Children
Applicants must have experience working with hospitalized children. All hours must be completed prior to submitting application. Required experience will be considered from one of the following:
- Completion of a 100 hour (minimum) Child Life Practicum while under the supervision of a certifiable Child Life Specialist (Must be completed prior to submitting application).
- Completion of 6 months and a minimum of 250 hours of employment as a Child Life Assistant, under the supervision of a Child Life program.
- Completion of 250 volunteer hours with hospitalized children under the supervision of a Child Life program.
Frequently Asked Questions
I am still in college and I need the internship as a required class. Will you work with my professors to coordinate the internship?
Yes, if you are selected for our internship, we will work with your college to communicate your progress as required. Our internship is very structured and the basic format is uniform from semester to semester-as long as you complete the work we assign in a satisfactory manner, our requirements will be met. Any special internship requirements assigned by your college are your responsibility. We will do our best to work with you throughout the semester to meet your college's requirements.
When do you offer Internships?
Spring and Fall.
How is the internship designed?
The intern will attend educational modules before clinical rotations begin. The intern will then rotate through multiple service areas of Children's Hospital & Medical Center.
Some of these may include;
Outpatient Specialty Clinics
Pediatric Intensive Care Unit
How long is the internship?
The internship is 13 weeks in length and interns are required to participate approximately 40 hours per week. Interns typically complete over 520 clinical hours during our internship, which is above the minimum amount of 480 hours required by the Child Life Certifying Commission. Completion of our internship will qualify you to sit for the certification exam.
How are interns selected?
Each application is reviewed and a committee selects the top candidates to interview. Interviews are conducted with a panel of Child Life Specialists and a decision is then made. Internships are awarded on the basis of experience, education and the results of the interview.
Can interviews be done over the phone?
We prefer that the interview is conducted in person; however, we realize this is not always possible. If necessary, interviews can be conducted by phone.
How many interns do you take each semester?
We currently accept only one intern per semester. We feel this allows us to maintain the high quality we want to provide our interns. We do reserve the right not to take interns every semester.
Is there a cost for the internship?
We charge a $100 non-refundable fee for the semester. This fee includes professional liability insurance, and materials. The student will be responsible for obtaining required textbooks prior to start date.
Is housing available?
Housing may be arranged through the Nebraska Methodist College of Nursing and Allied Health. This residential facility is located within three blocks of Children's Hospital & Medical Center and is on Omaha's public transportation route. The housing is available on a first come first serve basis. You are responsible for your housing arrangements. If you are selected for the internship and need housing, we urge you to call the residential hall as soon as possible to insure your space.
Nebraska Methodist College of Nursing & Allied Health Residential Hall
Phone #: 402-354-2148
How have you planned the learning experience?
The internship has been carefully planned to ensure that maximum learning takes place. You will begin by focusing on building your professional skills. As those skills develop, we will give you the opportunity to demonstrate your abilities in a supportive atmosphere. Your responsibility level will increase as both you and your supervisory specialist feel you are ready. We feel this approach-observing first, then gradually increasing your level of participation-is the best way for us to help you learn and be prepared for your first job.
How closely will I be supervised during the internship?
Our philosophy is to provide consistent and supportive supervision throughout the internship. In the beginning, interns are very closely supervised and as the internship progresses, the supervision is less direct. This way you are allowed to experience more independence and professional freedom.
Who will be supervising me?
You will be receiving professional training from all Child Life Specialists on staff at Children's Hospital & Medical Center. All of the supervisory specialists are currently Certified (or certifiable) Child Life Specialists. You will also be assigned a Clinical Coordinator to work with you throughout the internship.
What is the Clinical Coordinator's role?
The clinical coordinator, a Certified Child Life Specialist, is responsible for setting up the intern's schedule, assigning requirement due dates, facilitating the orientation and overseeing all internship details. This person meets weekly with you to help insure that requirements are being met and that you are progressing in a satisfactory manner. The clinical coordinator is responsible for providing written and verbal feedback on all assignments. Shortly after interns are selected, they can expect to be contacted by their clinical coordinator and informed of semester details.
What is the intern's role during the internship?
- To observe and interact with children and families in the hospital and clinic settings.
- To use your child development knowledge and previous hospital experience to recognize the psychosocial needs of children undergoing a medical experience.
- Recognize needs, concerns and perceptions of infants, toddlers, preschool and school age children, and adolescents as they undergo a medical experience.
- To follow department and hospital policies and procedures.
- Complete all internship requirements within the time frame assigned.
- Follow guidelines and expectations set up by the supervisory specialist in each area you are assigned.
- Be an active learner, seek information, ask questions and take full advantage of each learning opportunity.
What are the internship requirements?
Our requirements are carefully thought out and each is designed to promote learning and reinforce professional growth. Although this is subject to change, the following is a list of our typical internship requirements:
- Case studies
- Internship project(s)
- Weekly journal entries
- Orientation and formal observations
- Attend scheduled enhancement sessions
- Develop a resource materials list
- Complete a medical procedure tally list
- Participate in evening pre-surgical programs
- Participate in an evening children's support group
- Complete self evaluation and program evaluations
- Meet weekly with the clinical coordinator
- Develop a professional portfolio
- Attend a hospital grand round, in- service, or school re-entry if possible
How is the intern's performance evaluated?
Interns receive a written evaluation upon completion of each rotation during the internship. The evaluation is based on clinical competencies and professional abilities. All supervisors have input into the evaluation process to insure a fair and well-rounded evaluation. Interns are also asked to complete a self evaluation to encourage reflective thought and to focus on personal goals.
Application Due Dates
Applications are due according to the following schedule:
Internship Offer and Acceptance Dates
Initial Offer Dates
2nd Tuesday of October
2nd Tuesday of June
*Applicant must accept or decline offer within 48 hours of notification
Comments from past interns...
- "This internship was an amazing learning experience. I was exposed to several different types of Child Life Programs and different populations. I feel I have a well rounded view on child life and have had the opportunity to develop my own philosophies. I am walking away with a huge resource file and, I feel, the knowledge and experience to be a very competent Child Life Specialist. Thanks!"
- "I felt my experience was a very positive one. Each rotation allowed me to see a different area of Child Life and build on my philosophies. I would also like to comment on how each specialist's attitudes were so positive towards me. Thanks for providing such a great environment for me to learn in."
- "The internship greatly exceeded my expectations. The program is truly excellent and all of the Child Life Specialists involved should be commended for their dedication to this internship program."
- "I have learned and gained so much knowledge and respect for the child life profession. I am confidently walking away from this remarkable internship with the skills and knowledge I need to be a successful Child Life Specialist."
- "I really enjoyed my internship experience and appreciate the time and effort everyone put in it. There are several things I learned here that I never learned in school and won't ever forget! Thank you!"
For your information:
All applicants who we interview will be screened through the Nebraska Registry for Child Abuse and Neglect System to insure there are no substantiated abuse cases reported against them. Any substantiated cases against an applicant would eliminate the applicant from consideration for the internship. If you live outside of Nebraska, you would be screened by a similar agency in your state(s) of residence.
For more information about Child Life or the Certification process, contact:
Child Life Council and Certifying Commission
11820 Parklawn Drive, Suite 202
Rockville, MD 20852-2529
Toll Free 1-800- CLS-4515
For more information on the Child Life Internship please contact:
Child Life Student Coordinator
Please send applications to:
Children's Hospital & Medical Center
8200 Dodge Street
Omaha, NE 68114
We reserve the right to update this application.