Abstract The clinical laboratory is regarded as an important component of nursing education, yet few studies have examined the structuring of this aspect of the curriculum. The purpose of this quasi-experimental study was to determine which of two methods of structuring clinical laboratory activities was more effective in helping students view clients holistically. Subjects were 53 senior baccalaureate nursing students. The experimental group was enrolled in a cross-clinical practicum that combined critical elements from mental health-psychiatric nursing (MHPN) and community health nursing (CHN), while the control group was enrolled in two separate courses in MHPN and CHN. Results revealed that although no significant differences existed between groups in their ability to view clients holistically, the experience had many positive outcomes.