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Clinical and Experiental Learning

Connect with the people and places at the heart of your chosen profession, in a curriculum rich with extensive clinical and experiential learning opportunities. We maintain strong relationships with schools, health care providers, community organizations, and government agencies, both locally and across the tri-state region. Through these partnerships, our students graduate with a strong portfolio of hands-on, community-based experiences.

Beyond developing the practical skills of your profession, you learn to communicate with people and patients whose life experiences may be very different from yours and to collaborate with professional colleagues in the new, team-based approach to health and wellness. Our graduates begin their careers with sophisticated competencies already in place, able to act effectively in a workplace setting and apply judgment and critical thinking skills to arrive at sound, ethical decisions.

Clinical Learning Experiences in Nursing

Our nursing students, at both the undergraduate and graduate levels, enjoy early, extensive, and varied learning experiences in the clinical setting. The hands-on application of skills, knowledge, and reasoning ensures our nursing students develop the full range of competencies of the nursing professional. Through our strong clinical curriculum, our nurses graduate with experience in different clinical settings and with diverse patient populations, demonstrating mastery of the caring, critical reasoning, and therapeutic components of nursing practice.

Our BSN and RN to BSN students benefit from:

  • clinical learning experiences that are embedded in courses beginning in the sophomore year, ensuring five semesters of clinical training
  • eight to 10 hours a week in clinical settings, in groups of no more than 10, allowing close mentorship and extensive hands-on practice for each student
  • exposure to a variety of clinical settings, from hospitals to community clinics to health care agencies, and care of diverse populations, including children, adults, families, and the elderly

Our graduate- and certificate-level students are challenged with:

  • intensive clinical experiences supervised by highly qualified preceptors
  • extensive clinical exposure of up to two days each week
  • opportunities in a variety of settings, including hospitals, hospital-based clinics, primary care offices, schools, and community health clinics

» Learn more about our programs in nursing.

Experiential Learning in Public Health

As aspiring change agents for greater public health, locally and globally, our students are eager to learn and serve in settings outside the classroom. Opportunities for experiential learning are extensive. Our students conduct research in important public health issues and present their findings at academic and professional conferences. Study abroad gives our students a firsthand understanding of global health concerns, while internships allow our students to contribute toward improved health outcomes right here in our own community.

As a requirement of the major, all of our students complete an intensive capstone internship in the senior year. Students are matched with an approved public health agency and complete at least 120 hours of on-site experiential education. Our list of internship partners is extensive and includes city, state, and county departments of health and safety; community health clinics and organizations; nonprofit health-related associations; and schools, hospitals, and research labs, among many other settings.

» Learn more about our programs in public health.

Student Teaching and Experiential Learning in Health and Exercise Science

Students in both our exercise science and physical education programs benefit from TCNJ’s long history of working in partnership with our local communities. Our students and faculty develop and deliver creative fitness programs to meet the specific needs of local partners. They also conduct community-based research projects that advance our knowledge about health and human performance while delivering real benefits—like better exercise and nutrition habits—to children and other members of our local communities. Many students conduct research and present and publish papers with their faculty mentors, contributing further to a strong résumé or graduate school portfolio.

An intensive senior-year internship program prepares our exercise science students to meet the challenges and demands they will encounter in their future careers. Students are matched with an approved partner and perform a minimum of 450 hours of work over 14 to 16 weeks; this practical field experience is framed by on-campus professional development seminars led by our internship coordinator. Opportunities are available in corporate, research, public health, clinical exercise physiology, strength and conditioning, and health science settings.

For our majors in physical education teaching, practical experience in K–12 health and physical education classrooms begins in the sophomore year and progressively intensifies, culminating in a supervised student teaching experience in the senior year. Fieldwork and student teaching in schools also provides a practice-based foundation for students planning careers as coaches or athletic trainers.

» Learn more about our programs in health and exercise science.

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