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Student Experiences


An academic internship allows students to bring their entire skill set of classroom knowledge and clinical patient care to a semester-long experience in a specific area such as pediatrics or critical care.

Nicole Lapapa '21

Nicole interned on the Traumatic Brain Injury floor at the Shirley Ryan Ability Lab. She was able to take care of patients through their rehabilitation journey after suffering traumatic brain injuries from things such as motor vehicle accidents, gun shot wounds, strokes, and more.

"I worked hand in hand with a fantastic nursing team, physicians, as well as physical, speech, and occupational therapists. I learned so much, and grew so much as a future nurse. I am so excited to continue my career as a nurse at Shirley Ryan after graduation."

— Nicole Lapapa '21


Anna Mitroszewska '21

Anna interned in three units at Shirley Ryan AbilityLab: Nerve, Muscle, & Bone (1 week), Stroke (3 weeks), and the COVID 19 Recovery Care Unit (6 weeks). 

"I have seen people coming in at their worst— trached, unable to walk, speak, or eat — while leaving on their two feet with a smile on their face knowing that they beat COVID. This experience has deepened my love for healthcare and allowed me to grow in confidence, skills, and advocacy."

— Anna Mitroszewska '21


Lexi Onsrud stands in front of an Ivy Rehab sign at her internshipLexi Onsrud ‘24

Lexi Interned at Ivy Rehab in Bloomington, IL. She was able to help patients with rehabilitation exercises and teaching correct form if necessary. Lexi was also responsible for preparing hot and cold modalities for patients, keeping the facility clean and organized and assisting physical therapists and physical therapist assistants as needed. 

“My internship allowed me to observe what physical therapists experience day to day in the real world. I had the opportunity to interact with patients every day, allowing me the hands on experience of helping patients improve. Seeing patients feel better and live a happier and healthier life was my favorite part.”

— Lexi Onsrud ‘24
Kinesiology & Allied Health Major



Community Healthcare Outreach

Community Healthcare Outreach (CHO) will be compromised of students wanting to make an impact to our surrounding communities by putting on healthcare outreach events. We will put on events like sending students to volunteer to the Community Health Care Clinic and organizing events to provide donations to people in need of healthcare assistance. We hope to attract students to join CHO to gain a love of serving others.

Pre-Health Club

Pre-Health Club aims to provide guidance, resources, and community to the pre-health students at Illinois Wesleyan University. The club helps students engage with healthcare professionals from many specialties. We bring in dentists, physicians, occupational therapists, physical therapists and many more professionals to speak to our club members. 

Rehabilitation Therapy Club

RT club connects IWU students with resources to help them in their path to careers in the field. Specifically, the club provides information about the careers within the field of rehabilitation therapy, offers tips and information about professional school, and hosts guest speakers who share their experiences and answer questions. These resources are designed to inform students about the subfields within rehabilitation therapy and to help them to be on track in their path to professional school and beyond.

Sigma Theta Tau

Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing strives to recognize superior achievement, development of leadership qualities, foster high professional standards, encourage creative work, and strengthen commitment to the ideals and purposes of the profession.

Student Nurses Association

Students dedicated to community service, professional development, and success in the field of nursing. We hold meetings once per month and also participate in a variety of activities both on campus and in the local community.



Students have the opportunity to perform independent or collaborative research and pursue Honors Projects. The John Wesley Powell Student Research Conference , held in April each year, provides a public forum where students may present their research projects. The Student Honors Papers collection represents exemplary work in nursing at Illinois Wesleyan University. 

Dr. Noel Kerr (left) with Amy Clapp (right). Midwest Nursing Research Society, 43rd Annual Research Conference
Dr. Noel Kerr (left) with Amy Clapp '19 (right). Midwest Nursing Research Society, 43rd Annual Research Conference.

Effects of Weighted Blankets on College Students' Anxiety

By Amy Clapp '19

Background: Many mental health disorders, including anxiety, are identified during young adulthood when students are beginning college. Therapies such as weighted blankets may provide anxiety relief, but information about the use of weighted blankets for students is lacking.

Purpose: To compare the effect of weighted versus regular blankets on anxiety, sleep, and GPA in a sample of undergraduate students.

Findings: There was a statistically significant relationship between blanket type and quality of sleep. There was also a potentially, clinically significant relationship between blanket type and level of anxiety.

Conclusions: Weighted blankets may be helpful in improving sleep quality and decreasing anxiety among college students. The findings provide insight into how complementary and alternative therapies could be aligned with care provided for students by university health and counseling services, and evidence-based practice in mental health nursing.

Read more about Amy's research.


Nile poses and smiles at the cameraNile Doucette ‘24

Major: Kinesiology & Allied Health

On Campus Involvement: Vice President of Black Student Union, Posse Scholar, Co-President of Rehabilitation Club, Student Athletic Trainer, Cross Country and Track Athlete, 2022 IMPACT Mentor

Off Campus Involvement: Shadowing at Ultra Physical Therapy, Camp Counselor at Easterseals Timber Pointe

“I chose Illinois Wesleyan because it was a great fit for me academically. When I came in as a freshman, IWU offered the current “Kinesiology and Allied Health” major as the “Health Promotion and Fitness Management Major.” Taking on this major at IWU was my first step to pursuing a career in physical therapy. Through this major I gained specific experience in rehabilitation while on campus. In addition, IWU provided me the opportunity to work with athletes as a student athletic trainer, allowing me to gain observation as well as hands on experience. IWU resides in a college town in which there are many opportunities open to IWU students, especially those in pre-health. Through IWU, I was able to find many professional opportunities to build my resume and overall life experience. Furthermore, the small student to professor ratio made balancing my extracurriculars with my professional and academic endeavors more palatable for me."

— Nile Doucette ‘24


Claire & Kaitlyn Geier ’21

Major: Nursing

Minor: Claire has a minor in Health

On-campus involvement: Claire and Kaitlyn are both members of Alpha Gamma Delta and have held leadership positions in their chapter for several years. They are members of Sigma Theta Tau International, Student Nurses Association, and have jobs in the Nursing Interventions Lab. Kaitlyn also serves as a tutor for the sophomore nursing students in Pathophysiology and Pharmacology.

Off-campus involvement: Claire and Kaitlyn both had student nurse internships at OSF St. Francis during the summer of 2020 and have been actively involved in charity work for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital through the Backyard Talent Show for St. Jude for many years.

"We both chose Illinois Wesleyan because it felt like home to us. Not only does IWU’s School of Nursing have an amazing nursing curriculum, but the facility and staff have a way of engaging and caring for students that makes you feel as though you are a part of a family from the moment you step foot on campus. Not a day has gone by that we have regretted our choice to attend Illinois Wesleyan, and as our four years come to a close we are grateful for the amazing opportunities that we have had, the people we have met, and the education we have received that has indefinitely prepared us to succeed in our futures."

— Claire & Kaitlyn '21


Alex Oximana headshotAlex Oximana ‘24

Major: Kinesiology & Allied Health

Minor: Business

On Campus Involvement: Men's Lacrosse 

"I chose Illinois Wesleyan because of the intimate academic setting it offers. The small class sizes have allowed me to make personal relationships with my professors. The faculty's main interest is the success of their students for not only a 4 month semester, but for years after graduation. Athletically, I chose Illinois Wesleyan because of their investment in the success of their student-athletes. Lastly, the Men's Lacrosse program at Illinois Wesleyan showed me on my visit that it is more than a team, it is a brotherhood."

— Alex Oximana ‘24


David Torres Jr. '22

Major: Nursing

On-Campus Involvement: School of Nursing Lab Assistant, Microbiology TA, former Illinois Wesleyan Football player, School of Nursing Curriculum Committee (2019-2020), Summer Program For Leadership, Inquiry, and Campus Engagement

"I chose Illinois Wesleyan because it is a place where I saw students could have an exciting four years of college and at the same time be set up for the next 40 years of their life. The faculty here at the School of Nursing is filled with some of the most intelligent and kind-hearted people one could ever wish to meet. They always push for excellence and expect the very best out of every student.They are also approachable and understanding so if you do need extra help they are always just a phone call away. Illinois Wesleyan is a great place to get a great education and the School of Nursing has made me confident in the career path I have chosen."

— David Torres Jr. '22