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Program Information

Joan G. Loftus
Director & Chair of Nursing,
Associate Professor
School of Nursing & Health Sciences

Clinical Experience

Find Your Place

Apply your classroom and laboratory learning to real-life medical scenarios at Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center, or select from a number of inpatient and community health care affiliations that match your interests. Clinical rotations and preceptorships broaden your knowledge and skills, offer you a taste of the fulfillment that comes with providing exceptional health care, and give a better sense of the direction you’ll take your nursing career.

Get an Early Start

The strength of Colby-Sawyer’s nursing program is early engagement in clinical experiences. When you’re a sophomore, expert faculty will assist you in the integration of nursing theory and practice in a clinical setting. As a junior and senior, you’ll spend two days each week in clinical rotations that include pediatrics, obstetrics, medical/surgical and mental health. By the end of senior year, you will be fully engaged in a semester-long preceptorship, working one-on-one with a nurse-preceptor under the guidance of nursing faculty. Preceptorship settings have included hematology special care, post-anesthesia care, emergency department, cardiac intervention and pediatrics, among others.

Colby-Sawyer’s active approach to nursing education helps you to transition from the role of student nurse to professional nurse, building your confidence along with your skills.

“Colby-Sawyer got me to where I am and I'm thankful for that. The relationship between Colby-Sawyer and Dartmouth Health is amazing, a lot of bright futures are coming out of it.”

Katelyn Sheaff '07 – Critical Care Nurse, 
Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center

Powerful Partners

The majority of Colby-Sawyer nursing students choose to fulfill their clinical experiences at Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center, a world-class facility with outstanding patient care and innovations in professional nursing practice located just half an hour from campus.

For 30 years, Colby-Sawyer’s nursing program has been affiliated with Dartmouth Health. That relationship brings you face-to-face with patients at New Hampshire’s only academic medical center and Level I trauma center and gives you unparalleled access to the Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center simulation lab, where you can apply your training in a real-life environment.

Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center is also home to the Norris Cotton Cancer Center, one of only 45 comprehensive cancer centers in the nation recognized by the National Cancer Institute, and the Children's Hospital at Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center, the state’s only comprehensive, full-service children’s hospital. In 2016, Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center was named one of "100 Great Hospitals in America" by Becker's Hospital Review.

Colby-Sawyer nursing graduates are sought after by Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center due to the close relationships developed with hospital staff over two-and-a-half years, which may also include an 8-week summer externship opportunity.

Colby-Sawyer also offers clinical experiences in inpatient and community affiliations including New London Hospital, Concord Hospital, Elliot Hospital and St. Joseph's Hospital, as well as other health and human services organizations.