Child Life Internship

The Children’s Hospital & Medical Center
Child Life Internship is accredited by the ACLP

Internship Expectations

The child life internship at Children’s Hospital & Medical Center consists of:

  • Orientation
  • 40 scheduled hours per week for 16 weeks, full time (600 hours minimum)
    • Possible evening and weekend hours
    • No holidays required
  • Two primary 6-week rotations with additional rotations in various child life units
  • Educational modules to enhance learning and prepare for the certification exam
  • Assignments, which may include but are not limited to:
    • Article abstracts
    • Attend hospital grand rounds, in-services, and school re-entry programs (when possible)
    • Complete and present case studies
    • Complete and present intern project
    • Daily journals
    • Develop a professional portfolio
    • Enhancement sessions with members of the multi-disciplinary team
    • Formal developmental observations assignments
    • Learning modules and specific module assignments
    • Participate in evening pre-surgical programs, support groups, and activities
  • Attend weekly meetings with clinical internship coordinator and supervisors
  • Midterm and final evaluation for each 6-week rotation including self-evaluations

Possible Rotation Experiences

  • Emergency Department
  • General medical/surgical inpatient units
  • Hematology/Oncology Clinics & Infusion Center
  • Pediatric intensive care unit (PICU)
  • Radiology
  • Same Day Surgery

Application Prerequisites

Applicants must:

  • Be affiliated with a college or university, working towards a degree in child life, child development, or a closely related field
  • Have a minimum GPA of a 3.0 in their major (child development and related coursework)
  • 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
    • Practicum in-progress form is accepted
    • Must include verification of child life practicum hours if practicum is complete
    • Will accept course in-progress forms for the other 9 courses required for eligibility
    • Must have completed the child life course taught by a CCLS and include verification form

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

  • Verification of enrollment in a college/university
  • Most Current Child Life Common Internship Application Form – in its entirety and all required forms
  • Two recommendations to include: Letter & common recommendation form-Prefer a minimum of one reference who directly supervised work with children
  • Unofficial college transcript(s)
  • All submitted  hours with  hospitalized children must be accompanied by letters of verification from direct supervisors

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.
*Children’s Hospital & Medical Center will not be accepting applications for a fall of 2023 internship

Association Of Child Life Professionals Application Deadlines & Offer Dates

Internship Session Application Deadline Initial Offer Date Acceptance Date
Spring (January – May) September 7, 2023 October 10, 2023 October 11, 2023
*Applicants must accept or decline within 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.

How Are Interviews Conducted?

We conduct one round of interviews over the 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 ensure 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. The internship has been accredited by the ACLP and upholds the highest standards. The internship improves standards and quality of care by providing the highest caliber of clinical training.

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 facilitating the student’s evaluation. Our students also have the opportunity to learn from various Certified Child Life Specialists on staff in a 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 ensure 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’s My Role During The Internship?

The child life intern’s role is to:

  • Observe and interact with children and families in the hospital and clinic settings
  • 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
  • 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

Past Intern Comments

“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!”


The Child Life student committee can be reached at 402-955-5204 or [email protected]


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