247963 Service learning partnerships in community health nursing

Monday, October 31, 2011

Gayle W. Bentley, DNP, APRN, BC , College of Nursing, Georgia Health Sciences University, Augusta, GA
Betty B. Daniels, MN, RN , College of Nursing - Athens Campus, Georgia Health Sciences University, Atlanta, GA
Patricia Bowman, DNP, APRN-BC , College of Nursing - Athens Campus, Georgia Health Sciences University, Jefferson, GA
BACKGROUND: Service learning has become an important part of nursing curricula. It provides students with the opportunity to meet community needs while applying relevant concepts related to population health coursework. DESCRIPTION: Community nursing courses incorporated service learning projects as a way to meet the needs of vulnerable populations while strengthening students' sense of civic responsibility and reinforcing population health concepts. Students partnered with social service agencies to identify vulnerable populations. They completed community assessments, identified and prioritized health risks, and developed plans to address the top priorities. These plans were developed in collaboration with the target populations and included a high level of stakeholder involvement. An example of a successful student program is the offering of an annual health fair for migrant workers, which was developed in partnership with the laborers, owners, local agencies, and other disciplines within the university. This collaboration is ongoing and the feedback is used to inform continual quality improvement of the program. LESSONS LEARNED: Service learning provides the opportunity for continuity of services and for students to see the benefits of long-term relationships with community partners. These experiences help students gain a deeper understanding of the complex nature of caring for vulnerable populations, and provide skills for the crucial task of planning and providing care for these groups. RECOMMENDATIONS: Service learning is an effective and efficient way to meet both community and student needs and is highly recommended for undergraduate and graduate level projects.

Learning Areas:
Other professions or practice related to public health
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Program planning
Provision of health care to the public
Public health or related education
Public health or related nursing

Learning Objectives:
1. Describe the benefits of service learning in the community setting. 2. Differentiate between service learning and traditional community health projects. 3. Describe at least one example of service learning in the community setting.

Keywords: Service Learning, Education

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: nursing educator in the field related to this presentation.
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.