160-Hour Practicum

A 160-hour practicum is the final step in all NCRA-Accredited Formal Education Programs. The practicum includes a specific number of hours required for specific activities. Students must be supervised by a CTR. Review the NCRA Practicum Experience Requirements.

Online Options Added to Assist in Meeting the 160-Hour Practicum
Students in NCRA-Accredited Formal Education Programs who need to complete the 160-hour practicum can meet more hours online. Students who have completed all the coursework in an NCRA-accredited program and participate in NCRA's Independent Clinical Advisor (ICA) Program are eligible. Learn more about the ICA Program and the Virtual Practicum Catalog. 2021 Practicum Experience Advisor Form

Seeking Facilities

NCRA is seeking facilities to help students meet this important requirement. If you can assist, please complete the Clinical Site Form.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I begin the 160-hour clinical practicum before finish the coursework?

No. Cancer registry facilities will not accept students who have not completed all the coursework. The purpose of the practicum is to apply the theory and methodology learned in the program, so it is critical that students finish the coursework before beginning the practicum.

Do the 160-hours for the clinical practicum need to be continuous?

No, the 160 hours do not need to continuous. The hours do not need to be scheduled as four, 40-hour weeks. You will need, however, to complete the practicum based on the timeline required by your school.

Does NCRA help place students in a clinical practicum?

Students in NCRA-accredited programs at colleges will work with the school to find a facility for the clinical practicum. Many of these colleges already have affiliation agreements with facilities where they can place cancer registry students. (Note: The practicum is scheduled during the student’s last semester.)

For students in the NCRA-AHIMA CRM Certificate Program, NCRA will help find a facility in which to complete the clinical practicum. Finding a facility is a collaborative effort between the student and NCRA. As a result, students will be required to be proactive in securing a facility. NCRA recommends the following:

  • Join your state cancer registry association and network with members. This is best way to find a registry for your clinical practicum, since members know of facilities in the area that are willing to help. List of State Cancer Registry Associations.
  • Search Commission on Cancer (CoC)-accredited hospitals in your city. The list of all CoC-accredited cancer programs in the country is searchable by zip code. Start by contacting the cancer registry department directly and speaking with the cancer registry manager.
  • Sign up for NCRA’s Mentoring Program. NCRA seeks to match students with local mentors and often times this is a good way to find a facility for a practicum. (NCRA cannot guarantee that your mentor will be nearby, but all efforts are made to secure a local cancer registrar.)

Learn more about NCRA’s Mentoring Program.

Can volunteer hours in a cancer registry count toward the 160 hours needed for the clinical practicum?

Yes. Activities required for the practicum can be completed while serving in a cancer registry as a volunteer. In fact, sometimes it is easier to secure the practicum as a volunteer, rather than an intern, since there is often less paperwork and fewer legal issues for volunteers than for formal interns.