Child Life Students: Practicum and Internship Opportunities

Child Life Practicum Program (Pre-Internship Experience)

Child Life Practicum opportunities are available in Fall semester.

The Child Life Practicum Program at Nicklaus Children's Hospital provides students a variety of opportunities for an observation experience under the direct supervision of a Child Life Specialist in his/her designated unit. This experience follows the Association of Child Life Professionals’ pre-internship modules to enhance learning and prepare students for their clinical child life internship.

Through these observations, practicum students will see how a Child Life Specialist uses developmental theories to make assessments and provide individualized interventions to help aid in patients and families coping within the hospital setting. Interventions include but are not limited to: developmentally appropriate diagnosis and procedural teaching, distraction during medical procedures, medical play sessions, therapeutic play, special events, legacy building and bereavement support.

Child Life Practicum Length

The practicum lasts a minimum of eight weeks, 15 hours per week, for a total of 120 hours.

Child Life Practicum Application Requirements

  • To be considered, students must be at a junior college level status or completion of a bachelor's or master's Degree in the fields of Child Life, Child development, Education, Family and Human development, Recreation Therapy, and Psychology.
  • Students applying of for a practicum should be enrolled in one of the following universities to be eligible for consideration:
    • American Public University
    • Florida International University
    • Nova Southeastern University
  • A minimum of 50 hours of volunteer experience in a hospital setting under the supervision of a certified child life specialist or in a hospital setting with direct connect with pediatric patients. 
  • A minimum of 50 hours of experience with well infants, children, youth and/or families in a structured environment (camps, schools, afterschool programs, etc.)
    • The care of children at home, such as being a nanny or babysitting does not count towards this requirement.

Child Life Practicum Program Application Form


Child Life Internship Program

Child Life Internship opportunities are available in Spring and Summer semesters.

The Child Life Internship Program at Nicklaus Children's Hospital is an Association of Child Life Professionals (ACLP) accredited internship program that provides students a variety of opportunities for experience and practice in providing child life interventions. With support from their preceptors, child life interns will utilize developmental theories to gain increasing independence making assessments and providing individualized interventions to help aid patients and families in coping within the hospital setting. Interventions include but are not limited to: developmentally appropriate diagnosis and procedural teaching, distraction during medical procedures, medical play sessions, therapeutic play, special events, legacy building and bereavement support.

Child Life Internship Length

Child Life intern will have the opportunity to observe and implement Child Life interventions in various clinical units where child life services are provided at Nickalus Childrens Hospital.

As part of the required 600hrs of clinical internship experience, Child Life interns will complete 2 clinical rotations that are 6 weeks in length and an additional mini rotation in patient care units open of students. Child Life interns must complete 600 hours over 15 weeks (40 hours per week – this can include days, nights, and weekends). The selected intern's schedule will follow the work hours of unit preceptor.

**Child Life coverage is currently provided at the hospital 7 days a week from 6:30am-11:30pm.

The Spring internship typically takes place from January through May while the Summer internship typically takes place from June through September.

Child Life Internship Application Requirements

To be considered for a Child Life Internship, students must be in the process of pursuing a bachelor’s degree and have senior level status or be graduate students earning a degree in a suggested child development related major. All ACLP required coursework must be completed prior to the internship start date. Due to hospital requirements, all students must be affiliated with a college/university during their internship semester.

A completed internship applications must include:

  • Completed ACLP Internship Readiness Common Application Application Portal (
  • Unofficial copy of all college/university transcripts
  • Resume
  • ACLP Eligibility Assessment
  • Child Life Course Verification
  • Two letters of recommendation
  • HIGHLY RECOMMENDED - Verification of completion of Child Life Practicum

Applications can be forwarded to:

Selection of Child Life interns is determined based on a variety of criteria that include: academics, previous experience working with children in or outside of hospital setting, references, and an interview. Candidates will be notified via email if they are chosen to move forward in the interview process.

Our program follows the standard internship deadline, offer, and acceptance dates published by the ACLP.

At this time, Nicklaus Children’s Hospital is unable to provide housing or a stipend for child life interns.

Accepted interns must comply with the Nicklaus Children’s Hospital employee dress code and the dress code of the Child Life Department. Following acceptance of an internship offer, the student must provide:

  • Background check
  • Current immunization records
  • Flu and Covid vaccination records
  • CPR Certification (AHA approved only)

We appreciate your interest in Nicklaus Children's Hospital Child Life internship. If you have any questions, please contact the Child Life Student Academic Coordinator at 786-624-5482.

This hospital fully complies with the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1968 and the Civil Rights Act of 1964 which prohibits employment discrimination based upon race, color, creed, sex, age, national origin, physical disability or veteran status.

A Criminal Conviction record search is made of all prospective students of the hospital. A conviction record does not disqualify applicants from acceptance; factors such as age and time of offense, seriousness and nature of violation and rehabilitation will be taken into account. However, concealment of any conviction on this application shall be cause for disqualification.

Prospective Child Life Volunteers

For those that are interested in learning more about the child life profession or would like to volunteer with our Child Life department, please follow the links below.