Clinical practicums

Nursing is a practice-based profession where students need to meet clinical standards and be accountable for their practice.

Nursing practicums (experiential education) provides the essential link to the theoretical learning from the classroom to real life. Practicums enable students to apply the knowledge in the clinical setting to further psychomotor skill development, clinical reasoning and problem solving, as well as communication and leadership skills. These are foundational to both the art and science of nursing.

At Brock University, our nursing students are exposed to the reality of patient care through a 12-week practicum in an acute care setting during the winter semester of year one. As students are introduced to acute care nursing, they begin to bridge the foundational theoretical knowledge and skills learned in the classroom and laboratory with real people in the care setting.

An important aspect of our program is that each practicum has a companion theoretical nursing course designed to prepare the nursing student about the many different nursing care settings. For example, all Brock University nursing students have a clinical experience in maternal-child nursing in second year.  This experience explores the range of care for young families in the hospital such as labour and delivery, special care nursery, and pediatrics. The rotation also focuses on community experiences such as Midwife Clinics, Early Years Centres, and Day Care Centres to understand the community supports available to young families.

Brock University nursing students also have a mandatory rotation in mental health where students are exposed to acute or community mental health care and mental health for the senior population through a clinical rotation in a long term care facility. Given the aging demographics in the Niagara Region, it is important that our future nurses have clinical experience in gerontology and dementia care.

Through these community-based experiences in various health care settings, students are able to apply their knowledge prior to graduation.

Where are my clinical placements?

Depending upon the course, various agencies in the Niagara Region as well as out of the Niagara Region are used.  Hospital placements are primarily through Niagara Health and Hotel Dieu Shaver Rehabilitation.  However, there may be placements outside the Region.  Brock is also partnered with a variety of community agencies dedicated to furthering nursing education.

How do I get to my placement?

Travel is the responsibility of the student.  Students typically find other students in their group to drive with or share a cab.

What documentation do I need to provide for my clinical placement? 

Proof of immunizations is listed in the undergraduate calendar.

Other documentation required is listed in the course description note in the undergraduate calendar under the applicable course.

What is Synergy?

Synergy Employment Services is a third party that provides the University with clearance for clinical documents.  All required documents are uploaded to their online Gateway.

Do I require a vulnerable sector check?

A vulnerable sector clearance is required in Year 2 for NUSC 2P12 (mat/child), Year 3 for NUSC 3P92 (mental health), Year 4 for NUSC 4F92 (community health) and NUSC 4F96/98 (integrated practicum)

The University and Synergy do not keep vulnerable sector clearances on file.  Students are required keep their vulnerable sector clearance with them and provide it to the agency upon request.

What is the dress code for clinical and do I need my own stethoscope?

Navy blue scrubs are worn at hospital clinical placements.  Mostly all white or black shoes can be worn.  Students purchase a Brock-Loyalist crest (epaulette) to sew on either sleeve of their uniform.  The epaulettes are available in the Bookstore for purchase.

It is recommended to purchase your own stethoscope.  The Campus Bookstore has stethoscopes available for purchase.