Online Program

Creating connection: Harnessing community and student organizations to improve public health nursing education

Monday, November 4, 2013

Sara Buck, RN, College of Nursing/School of Public Health, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL
Brandy Jesernik, College of Nursing, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL
Background: The Institute of Medicine's report Shorter Lives, Poorer Health is a call to action for health professionals to rethink health systems and their relationships with communities. However, nursing education has long emphasized hospital-based nursing, and consequently faculty skills and courses often reflect this focus. With a shortage of nursing faculty and the current tight budgets that many Colleges of Nursing are facing, public health nursing programs may struggle to provide nursing students with adequate experience and expertise in the public health approaches to healthcare that are increasingly needed to address health disparities--not only among the underserved, but also between the US and the rest of the industrialized world. Description: To address the gap between education and practice, graduate nursing students are organizing social justice groups within the College of Nursing, the School of Public Health, the College of Medicine, and among practicing nurses to discuss their work with community organizations, meet their community counterparts, and to provide mutual support. Cross-collaboration provides an opportunity for knowledge-sharing while increasing the opportunities for students to engage in community-based work, addressing issues such as mass incarceration, immigration, and poverty. Lessons learned: Programs drawing students and the community have been a rich source of information exchange and collaboration, increasing opportunities for students to learn about and assist with the real-life struggles of individuals affected by the programs they will be designing. Recommendations: Universities should support student organizations engaged in community social justice work and better integrate their efforts into public health nursing education.

Learning Areas:

Public health or related education
Public health or related nursing

Learning Objectives:
Describe local challenges to public health nursing education in a global context. Discuss one university's strategies for improving public health nursing education through collaboration with student organizations and their community allies over issues such as immigration, mass incarceration, and poverty. Discuss ways of overcoming challenges and barriers to the application of this program in a variety of university and community contexts.

Keyword(s): Education, Community Collaboration

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a co-coordinator of the program described in the abstract.
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.