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Child Life Internship

Application Prerequisites

Applicants must:

  • New for child life internship applicants: All applicants must be affiliated with a college or university working towards a degree in child life, child development or closely related field.
  • Have a minimum GPA of a 3.0 in major (child development and related coursework)

    • A cumulative 3.0 GPA is not needed

  • Have 100 verified hours of experience with well infants, children, youths and/or families

  • Have experience working with hospitalized children under the direct supervision of a Certified Child Life Specialist:

    • 100 hour child life practicum (preferred) OR 250+ hours of volunteer experience in a child life program

  • Have completed child life coursework inclusive of the six applied areas of study, as required by the Association of Child Life Professionals 

  • Have completed the Eligibility Assessment and academic course work required by the Association of Child Life Professionals

Internship Expectations

  • The internship consists of 40 scheduled hours per week for 16 weeks, full time (600 hours minimum); possible evening and weekend hours, no holidays required. Included in the internship will be educational modules to enhance learning and prepare for the certification exam. 

  • Two primary 6-week rotations with additional rotations in various child life units

  • Attend orientation  

  • Assignments include but are not limited to: 

    • Article Abstracts

    • Attend hospital grand rounds, in-services, and school re-entry programs (when possible)

    • Complete a medical procedure tally list

    • Complete and present case studies

    • Complete and present a project

    • Daily journals

    • Develop a professional portfolio

    • Formal developmental observations 

    • Learning modules and enhancement specific assignments 

    • Participate in evening pre-surgical programs, support groups, and activities

  • Weekly meetings with clinical internship supervisors and clinical internship coordinator

  • A midterm and final evaluation will be completed after each 6-week rotation

Possible Rotation Experiences

  • Emergency Department 

  • General medical/surgical inpatient units

  • Hematology/Oncology Clinics

  • Infusion Center

  • Pediatric intensive care unit (PICU)

  • Radiology

  • Same Day Surgery

Association of Child Life Professionals Application Deadlines & Offer Dates

Internship Session Applicaiton Deadline Initial Offer Dates Acceptance Dates
Spring (January - May) September 5th 2nd Tuesday of October Wednesday
Fall (August - December) March 15th 1st Tuesday of May Wednesday
*Applicants must accept or decline withing 24 hours of notification

Frequently Asked Questions

What does affiliation with a college or university mean?

  • Students and their respected institution of learning will be required to sign an affiliation agreement 

  • This requirement consists of but is not limited to:

    • The college/university obtaining liability for the student

    • The student and or college/university assumes all responsibility for a background check and physical exam; including immunization documentation, TB screening, Hepatitis B, MMR, Varivax, Pertussis, and Influenza 

    • The student and institution will comply with Children's Hospital & Medical Center’s Corporate Compliance and HIPPA laws

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 conducted via 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 one intern per semester. We feel this allows us to maintain a high quality experience for our interns. We do reserve the right not to take interns every semester.

Is the internship a paid position?

No, the internship is a learning experience and therefore is unpaid.

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. The student is responsible for housing arrangements. If you are selected for the internship and require 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. Interns begin by focusing on building professional skills. As those skills develop, we give our students the opportunity to demonstrate their abilities in a supportive atmosphere. Responsibility level increases as both the student and the supervisory specialist feel ready. We feel the approach of observing first, and then gradually increasing the level of participation, is the best way for us to help students learn and be prepared for their 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. We feel this allows students to experience more independence and professional freedom.

Who will be supervising me?

Our intern is assigned two supervisory specialists, each for a 6 week rotation.  The supervisory specialists are Certified Child Life Specialists and are responsible for overseeing the student’s day to day work.  The supervisory specialist is also responsible for providing verbal and written feedback on all assignments and facilitates the student’s evaluation.  Our students also have the opportunity to learn from various Certified Child Life Specialists on staff in less direct manner.

In addition, a clinical coordinator is assigned to the student.  The clinical coordinator is a Certified Child Life Specialist responsible for setting up the intern's schedule, assigning requirement due dates, facilitating the orientation and overseeing all internship details. The coordinator 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 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, school-age, and adolescent children 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 assigned.

  • Be an active learner, seek information, ask questions and take full advantage of each learning opportunity.

Comments from Past Interns

"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!"

To be considered for an internship with Children's Hospital & Medical Center, all applicants must meet the requirements and submit the following documents:

  • New for child life internship applicants: All applicants must be affiliated with a college or university working towards a degree in child life, child development or closely related field.
  • Verification of enrollment in a college/university

  • Child Life Common Internship Application Form

  • Resume

  • Two letters of recommendation

  • Unofficial college transcript(s)

  • Eligibility Assessment report from the Association of Child Life Professionals verifying 10 required college-level courses and one course taught by a CCLS

  • All submitted volunteer hours both with well and hospitalized children must be accompanied by letters of verifications from direct supervisors

Additional Information

Please send applications to:

Children's Hospital & Medical Center, Family Resources
Attention: Child Life Student Coordinator
8200 Dodge Street
Omaha, NE 68114

**We reserve the right to update student information as needed.