Lafayette Street Clinic

“A community service for the benefit of students and residents”

Patients come to the Lafayette Street Family Clinic in downtown Fort Wayne for a variety of reasons. Some are there for breast exams, others for STD and HIV screening. Others still are worried about a suspicious bump. Patients come from every corner of the region.

When patients walk through the door at the Lafayette Street clinic, it’s a nurse they see and a nurse they tell their fears and hopes to.

Students at the IU School of Nursing in Fort Wayne can choose to spend time at the clinic, learn about their work, their patients, check vitals, observe, and listen to experienced Nurse Practitioner Kelly Wakefield.

Not a “normal doctor’s office”

Nursing student in training

“I show students anything and everything I can while they’re here. There are some interesting things you can see you wouldn’t at a normal doctor’s office,” says Wakefield. “I’m not sure many students would ever see a cervix if they didn’t come here, or conduct pap exams. You’re seeing what I’m seeing and may not ever see again.”

That level of experience and training—even for nurses who may never work in family planning or sexual health for the rest of their careers—makes for better nurses. A broad range of experiences enables future nurses to make connections that can enable people to lead healthier lives.

Kelly Wakefield“If we weren’t here,” says Wakefield, “many people couldn’t get the health care they need.” Care patients receive is confidential and designed to educate students and patients. Cara Walker, nurse practitioner, executive director, and faculty member at IU School of Nursing Fort Wayne tells students, “education is perhaps the most invaluable part. The more you can educate patients, the more that knowledge is passed along to family and friends and other generations.”