Alice Ramez Chagoury School of Nursing

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Cooperative experiences

Cooperative education (co-op) is work-based learning in which students alternate periods of classroom study with planned, career-related work experiences. While on co-op, students are generally supervised, evaluated and compensated by the employing business.

The nursing curriculum at LAU includes two required cooperative learning experiences that support your professional and personal growth in all three domains of learning: cognitive, affective and psychomotor.

You will complete the co-ops during the summer terms. Although your co-op experiences will be graded on a Pass/No Pass basis, you do not earn credits for the co-ops and thus do not pay tuition to participate. The learning that takes place will complement, not replace or duplicate, the learning that occurs in your clinical coursework.

Differences between clinical nursing courses and co-op experiences:

Co-op Experiences Clinical Courses
Student is a provider of a service (patient care). Student is a consumer of a service (education).
Student is a worker. Student is a learner.
Learning is incidental to work. Work is incidental to learning.
Job descriptions are designed by the employer in consultation with SON faculty to meet the staffing needs of the employer (and then the learning needs of students). Courses are designed by nursing faculty to meet the objectives of the nursing curriculum and professional accreditation standards.
Co-op experiences are planned by students in consultation with the SON adviser. Clinical experiences are planned by nursing faculty.
Co-op activities are assigned by supervising nursing staff. Clinical activities are assigned by nursing faculty or nursing staff in consultation with nursing faculty.
Co-op activities are part of a job description. Clinical activities are part of a nursing course.
Student is referred for job interviews by the adviser and is hired by the employer. Student is assigned to course and clinical practice area by nursing faculty.
Student is supervised by nursing staff. Student is supervised by nursing faculty or nursing staff in consultation with nursing faculty.
Student’s job performance is evaluated by nursing staff and through self-evaluation. Student’s clinical performance is evaluated by nursing faculty.
Student must fulfill the expectations of the job description. Student must meet the objectives of a nursing course.
Student earns a Pass/No Pass grade for a co-op experience. Student earns a letter grade for a nursing course.
Student completes co-op requirement. Student earns academic credit.
Student pays no tuition for the co-op work period. Student pays tuition for the academic study period.


Students working on co-op are employed as assistive personnel. The cooperating Department of Nursing, in consultation with the School of Nursing, determines the co-op job description within the guidelines of the Lebanese Order of Nurses’ regulations and the hospital’s institutional policies.

Co-op students must work under the supervision of a registered nurse when providing nursing care. Nursing responsibilities are delegated to co-op students by the supervising RN and may vary according to institutional policy, clinical unit routine, as well as the academic level, experience and qualifications of the student.


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