Clinical education is a dynamic component of the Nova Southeastern University (NSU) Ft. Lauderdale professional physical therapy curriculum. At 40 weeks of full-time clinical experiences and 4 weeks of single day experiences, it is ~ 1/ 3 of the total program. Beginning in the second semester of Year 1, students begin hands on exposure to physical therapy in clinical settings under faculty supervision.
NSU supports the philosophy that the most effective type of learning is experiential and adopted integration of experiential learning in the early years of the program. Once a skill is learned in the classroom and through controlled lab experiences, students have the opportunity to perform and practice learned skills in a timely manner. Beginning in Year 1 formal and informal opportunities of clinical education are introduced as class components and supervised community service learning activities.
Clinical opportunities and requirements include interacting and work with clients throughout the lifespan, including pediatrics (infants, children, adolescents), young adults, middle aged, and geriatrics (aging adults) in a variety of common practice venues. Interprofessional opportunities are also included, and are a university initiative that often occur in a collaborative model.