Every accredited nursing program includes a hands-on learning component known as clinicals. Usually included in the second half of your education, clinicals are a series of shifts you spend at the hospital, learning various types of nursing and working with patients under the direction of a clinical supervisor.
Different nursing schools are affiliated with different hospitals, which means that where you get your education will define where you do your clinical. Larger nursing schools, for example, are often associated with teaching hospitals, which tend to be big, well-funded, and full of complex cases that can’t be treated elsewhere. City hospitals (especially the ones in urban centers) don’t have the same level of sophistication, but you’ll see a faster pace, a lot more emergency cases, and even be involved in more decision-making.