141st APHA Annual Meeting

In This section

Public health nursing education: The incorporation of a global health service learning experience

Tuesday, November 5, 2013 : 4:50 PM - 5:10 PM

Michelle Cole, DNPc, MSN, RN , College of Health Professions, Sacred Heart University, Fairfield, CT
Globalization brings diversity and impacts societies as beliefs, values and traditions transcend into new territory. In an effort to obtain greater understanding of the culturally diverse world as it connects to public health, the faculty of a Catholic university incorporated a global health service learning experience for baccalaureate nursing students as part of their public health nursing course. Students travel to the highlands of Guatemala to collaborate with communities in an effort to assist with identified health needs. Constructed on objectives set forth in the curriculum, students participate in public health activities including outreach, screening, health teaching, collaboration, community organizing, advocacy, and consultation. The experience is introduced stateside with discussion of the population and identified community needs, with input from previous service learning groups. Utilizing knowledge attained during the initial session, students identify a project and develop a strategic plan to implement. General, and focused, community assessments are executed by the students and implementation of their identified project is undertaken. The team works with community leaders to follow up and evaluate the interventions. Participants mentor future service learning students, educating them on the needs identified by the community and sharing knowledge obtained during their service experience. Students participate in reflective exercises including journaling and sharing to facilitate greater learning and understanding derived from the cultural experience. Faculty identify strong student learning as they achieve public health course objectives, and the program now also includes students from the nurse practitioner and clinical doctorate tracks.

Learning Areas:
Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Assessment of individual and community needs for health education
Diversity and culture
Public health or related education
Public health or related nursing

Learning Objectives:
Identify 3 public health interventions that students can utilize during a global service learning experience Discuss the relevance of global service learning experiences in public health nursing curriculum.

Keywords: Education, Nurses

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the nursing faculty menber, with collaboration with other faculty members, who incorporated the service learning experience into the curriculum.
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.