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There is currently little research concerning the prevalence of MRSA colonization among students that attend clinical rotations weekly. Iyer et al. reports that as many as 76% of hospital workers may colonize MRSA (2014), and the workers with the highest percentage of colonization have shown to be nurses (Marie‐Carmelle et al., 2010). In this study, we analyze the prevalence of MRSA among clinical and non-clinical attending students at Xavier University, in order to determine if clinical-attending students colonize MRSA more frequently than non-clinical students. After providing a consent form and a questionnaire, we tested the hands and nose of 86 students at Xavier University for MRSA colonization, 39 of which were clinical-attending. After incubating mannitol salt agar plates and transferring Staphylococcus aureus bacteria onto CHROMagar™ plates, we found that 35% of clinical-attending students and 18% of non-clinical students colonized MRSA. In fact, by an odds ratio, we determined that clinical students were 2 times more likely to colonize MRSA than non-clinical students. From the data we collected, we are able to indicate that nursing students colonize MRSA two times more often than non-nursing students. Our results are specific to Xavier University and they allow us to reiterate the need for nursing students to be knowledgeable about MRSA transmission not only in the hospital among patients, but also on campus among students and faculty.


Course Name: Experimental Biology Lab - BIOL 497

Faculty Advisor: Dr. Jennifer Robbins



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