Clinical Education


PT Clinical Education

Develop the clinical skills and expertise you need to restore, maintain and optimize physical function with compassion and competence.

The Creighton University clinical education experience is rooted in the development of clinical reasoning skills, the application of theory and general principles and providing optimal care to enhance patient movement and function.

A Focus on Expertise and Career Success

Students in the clinical education program focus on basic and applied sciences, critical thinking skills and bridging theory with practice. Our faculty mentors are dedicated to critical analysis, inquiry and deliberate and moral action. With their support, you’ll identify goals and objectives and build a portfolio throughout your clinical experiences that will facilitate professional growth.
100% Creighton PT students employed within 1 year of graduation

A Robust Educational Experience Guided by Expert Clinicians

Our clinical instructors, all of whom meet the APTA Guidelines for Clinical Education, effectively guide students through their actions and decision-making.

The 44-week clinical education program provides ample opportunities for you to learn in the field. Semester three and five both conclude with a six-week clinical experience. Following completion of the didactic curriculum, the seventh semester will consist of a 16-week experience, followed by a 16-week experience in semester eight.


In the Jesuit tradition, the Creighton University Department of Physical Therapy engages in value-centered teaching, service and scholarship focused on movement dysfunction and enablement of activity and participation. We model and facilitate professional formation and action to compassionately and competently respond to societal needs by restoring, maintaining and promoting optimal physical function and wellness.


Clinical Education Plan

Each student will develop a comprehensive Clinical Education Plan in accordance with the:

  1. Mission, Purposes and Program Outcomes of the Department of Physical Therapy
  2. Conceptual Orientation of Physical Therapy Clinical Education at Creighton University
  3. Evaluative Criteria for the Accreditation of Education Programs for the Preparation of Physical Therapists
  4. APTA Guide to Physical Therapist Practice


The Plan will include the student’s goals and mission statement for the clinical education program as well as specific objectives for each clinical experience. Each student will choose clinical education experiences in participating clinical education centers with qualified CIs that meet his/her goals and objectives. Final assignment of students to clinical education sites is the responsibility of the student’s clinical education advisor and the Director of Clinical Education.

Integrated Professional Practice Experiences

The first formal clinical experience will occur at the end of the third semester in PTD 560 Professional Practice I. This is a 6-week, full-time clinical education experience where students will demonstrate competence in basic assessment skills including communication and application of ethics, comprehensive screening examinations, fundamental physical therapy procedures and simple application of a clinical reasoning model.

A second clinical experience, PTD 670 professional Practice III, occurs at the end of the fifth semester and is a 6-week experience. Students should now be able to know where to begin with complex patient cases and identify an analysis and decision making process. By the end of the second year, we expect students to have the basic tools to begin entry-level practice, but still need experience and development in several areas.

These early clinical experiences will be designed to be intensive rather than extensive, i.e., a central component will be each student’s thoughtful analysis of the experience as well as technical competence in the area of clinical practice.

Final Professional Practice Experiences

In the third year, students will be involved in a 16-week practice experience (PTD 680) in the fall and a 16-week practice experience (PTD 690) the following spring. Students are directly involved in the formulation/design of these experiences which emphasize not only integration of patient care activities, but aspects of supervision, management, patient education teaching and consultation. The clinical practice experiences will not be specifically tied to a “type of facility” but each student will work to develop a clinical practice plan. This plan will be built around criteria needed to begin entry level practice, student needs and goals, and clinical resources. For several students, one of these experiences may not necessarily be directly related to patient cases, but may take them to other field based settings nationally or internationally (e.g., a physical therapy or physical therapist assistant education program, a physical therapy administration/management experience, or a physical therapy research experience.)

Resources for Clinical Education Sites

Access the following forms and guidelines by clicking on the links:


Rights and Privileges for CCCEs and CIs


The rights and privileges of clinical education faculty are focused on continuing education. The APTA Clinical Instructor Program and Advanced Clinical Instructor Program are offered at discounted rates to CCCEs and CIs. These programs are offered at Creighton and at participating clinical sites. Clinical sites who offer clinical experiences in a specific calendar year are also offered the privilege to access our Health Sciences library. Other rights and responsibilities related to participation in Creighton’s Clinical Education program are outlined in every site agreement.

Continuing Education

Please contact Lisa Black at lisablack [at] creighton [dot] edu for more information about specific Physical Therapy Continuing Education courses or please visit all Continuing Education courses here.