Students Clinical Practice

Clinical courses are the highlight of many nursing students' nursing education. This is their opportunity to apply what is learned in the classroom and skills lab to actual patient care. Clinical experiences give students an immediate sense of accomplishment as they carry out nursing interventions such as teaching a diabetic patient to care for himself, administering intravenous medication to relieve pain for a surgical patient or teaching a new mother to bathe her baby.

Beginning their junior year, students are placed in clinical facilities with an experienced clinical instructor. To allow ready access to the instructor, generally no more than eight students are assigned to a clinical group. Each clinical course offers multiple sections in different facilities. The facilities differ according to the focus of the course and offer experiences across the continuum of patient care — from acute care hospitals to outpatient clinics, community agencies and patient homes.

Marquette's College of Nursing has formal affiliations with more than 80 agencies in the Milwaukee area. This affords students a wide variety of clinical sites from which to choose. All students take seven full clinical courses, including pediatric nursing, maternal-child nursing, medical-surgical nursing, mental health nursing and community health nursing. During their senior year, students choose a clinical area where they spend more than 100 hours working with a patient population under the supervision of a preceptor. This course provides a real-world experience that enhances students' clinical competence and confidence before graduation.

Clinical courses expose students to a wealth of exciting clinical experiences that range from hospital critical care units to community clinics for the uninsured. Students also interact with nurses in many different roles, including expert staff nurses, nurse practitioners and parish nurses, to name just a few. This helps them appreciate the numerous roles available to nurses and begin planning their career path.