Practicing Compassionate Care

by Public Relations

Cedarville University nursing students are trained in excellent patient care with an emphasis on godly living and compassion. Throughout their sophomore year, nursing students practice care of patients in simulated situations. As part of May Term, they participate in a clinical immersion program, involving real patients.

“The first couple days, I was very nervous and intimidated at having to go into rooms by myself,” said Marina Hof, a sophomore nursing student. The instructor “was great at helping us to ‘double team’ for the first two days so we always had another student there to work with. Once we got to know the patients better and the routine as well, I was much more relaxed and felt much more at home.”

This real-world opportunity makes a lasting impact on students and the lives of their patients. Students discover that caring for patients is far more than providing medicine.

“I try to emphasize with my students that their patients are more than just a condition or diagnosis,” said Rhonda Smith, adjunct instructor of nursing. “I try to get my students to see these patients as someone’s grandma or grandpa. We try to teach our students that they are to be the hands and feet of Jesus. But we also try to get them to understand that they cannot be the hands and feet of Jesus without seeing the patients through Jesus’ eyes and His heart.”

Students often are able to see and care for the same patients every day, which helps them get to know them as individuals. Recently, one patient that made a particular impact was 93-year-old William, a World War II story-telling veteran.

“To meet this living hero was so extremely fulfilling,” said Collin Baker, a sophomore nursing student and WWII buff. “Because of clinicals, I was unable to travel on [Cedarville University’s] WWII Europe trip, and was a bit downcast about it. But to meet William was amazing. God knew what he was doing putting me in that rehab facility.”

The clinical experience also helps students grow in experience and confidence. “I learned that I can do a lot more when needed than I ever thought imaginable!” said Hof. “It’s not fun sometimes, but Rhonda has a saying that stuck in my mind: ‘I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me…as long as I’ve got my gloves on!’”

Cedarville University attracts 3,200 undergraduate, graduate, and online students to more than 100 areas of study. Cedarville is a Christ-centered learning community recognized nationally for rigorous academic programs, strong graduation and retention rates, accredited professional and health science offerings, and leading student satisfaction ratings. Visit the University online at