200323 Academic-practice partnership providing student home visiting to families living in transitional housing

Monday, November 9, 2009: 8:45 AM

Roberta J. Hunt, PhD, MSPH, RN , Department of Nursing, College of St Catherine (University of St. Catherine as if June 1, 2009), St Paul, MN
Patricia M. Schoon, MPH, PHN , Department of Nursing, School of Health, College of St. Catherine, St. Paul, MN
Academic-practice partnerships have been established as a legitimate mechanism to address unmet health care needs while preparing public health nursing students with opportunities to work with families from underserved communities. Homeless families living in transitional housing often have critical and chronic health needs but limited access to health care services. Caring for families in transitional housing provides students with ample opportunities to provide hands on care and intervene as advocates, while enhancing understanding of social justice. This session describes the development of a partnership between social workers at a transitional housing program for homeless families and instructors from two consecutive community health courses in a department of nursing at a liberal arts university. This partnership resulted in the development of a clinical course that provides home visiting program through a collaborative effort. During the initial phase of the project students in the senior course completed a needs assessment of families living in the transitional housing. The following semester junior students provided home visits based on the data complied through the needs assessment from the previous semester. Evaluation data from the first year of the home visiting program reflected that the families did not see the need for the services of a student nurse and the students had difficulty clarifying their role with the families. The instructors and social workers concluded that a mechanism was needed to spell out the role of the student nurse and allow the families to better understand how they might benefit from student nurse home visiting. From this information students in the senior course developed an assessment tool to determine the family's specific needs for nurse home visiting service. The following semester the social workers administered the family assessment which provided a baseline of family strengths and needs and a beginning point for the home visits. This program is now in its third year. Recommendations to nurse educators and agencies interested in developing an academic-practice partnership to provide home visiting for families living in transitional housing will be outlined. The overall success of this innovative model will be discussed as well as lessons learned.

Learning Objectives:
1. Discuss recommendations to nurse educators and agencies interested in developing an academic-practice partnership to provide home visiting for families living in transitional housing. 2. Discuss the overall success of an innovative model home visiting program for families living in transitional housing. 3. Describe lessons learned as the clinical rotation related to the home visiting program developed.

Keywords: Homeless Health Care, Nursing Education

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I was the main person to design and develop this project. I am the author of 2 books on the topic of community based care, one is in its 4th edition. I have received a grant through my college to complete an evaluation on this project. I ahve published and presented on the topic of community based care, service learning, and innovative model for community health clinical expereinces.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.