142nd APHA Annual Meeting and Exposition

Annual Meeting Recordings are now available for purchase

Establishing Advanced Practice Nursing Beyond the Clinic Confines: Mentoring Online Graduate Nursing Students in Community Partnering

142nd APHA Annual Meeting and Exposition (November 15 - November 19, 2014): http://www.apha.org/events-and-meetings/annual
Monday, November 17, 2014

Elizabeth Thomas, PhD, MPH, RNC, APHN-BC , Nursing Program, University of Texas of the Permian Basin, Odessa, TX
Jennifer Collins, PhD, RN , School of Nursing, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, Lubbock, TX
Sharmae Erickson, MSN, RN , Spicewood, TX
Background/ Issue

Application of social ecological, place and transformational theory in contemporary practice challenges students who view nursing as acute care, episodic, and prescriptive. Social determinants of health and illness, using life course perspectives across transitions of care, require integration of a population perspective, built on interprofessional collaboration (American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) Master’s Essentials VIII & VII).

Identifying the need for enhanced development of graduate student collaboration beyond healthcare settings, faculty initiated partnering with community service agencies, such as court appointed special advocate programs. Non-traditional partnerships energized integration of community engagement in student clinical practice and coursework. Using short telephone visits, faculty coached students in critical thinking skills and community building to help students internalize the APRN role in community/population health.


Student projects led to interventions drawing multidiscipline academics, professionals, and agency staff together. Students examined policy, quality/safety benchmarks, regulatory oversight, and healthcare resources to gain understanding of complex population health dynamics.

Lessons Learned

Limited structure and time to complete projects challenged students struggling with other commitments; faculty specified guidelines are needed to facilitate project development. Students identified  need for project continuation to entrust and sustain work beyond student cohorts. Partnership collaboration required mastering skills to navigate community systems and develop nuanced, engaged communication. Affiliation agreement reached with a social service volunteer organization to sustain partnership is ongoing.


Faculty coaching and integration of course content throughout the collaboration initiation and establishment process helps students learn how to build community, sustain partnerships and strengthen interprofessional collaboration beyond health care settings.

Learning Areas:

Public health or related nursing

Learning Objectives:
Describe how faculty coaching and online graduate student involvement in the initiation, establishment and development of community partnerships with non-traditional community service organizations contributed to enhanced learning of population health and the advance practice nurse’s role in interprofessional collaboration.

Keyword(s): Nursing Education, Community-Based Partnership & Collaboration

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: My qualifications include a PhD in Nursing (health systems and vulnerable populations concentrations), a MPH (family-child concentration), a MSN (maternal-infant concentration), certification as an Advanced Public Health Nurse(APHN-BC) (AACN) and seven years as course designer/developer and lead faculty for online population health/epidemiology and community health courses in baccalaureate, masters and doctoral nursing programs. I have extensive experience in working with community health organizations as a perinatal case manager and a program manager.
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.