Expanding public health experiences for nursing students: Doing public health with diverse communities
Background: Schools of Nursing have increased enrollment of students, while there is a decrease in the number of agencies providing public health experiences for students. For future nurses, innovative partnerships can provide meaningful learning experiences, while they simultaneously support the work of community organizations and public health agencies in local and global underserved communities.
Description: A framework was developed that allows nursing students to select a public health placement from: 1) a community based agency, or 2) a public health site. The innovative approach expanded collaboration between our community partners, or with local public health nursing liaisons, and nursing instructors. All of this is done by assessing our student and community resources, maximizing public health nursing input, and continuously collaborating and coordinating our joint efforts.
Lessons Learned: The mixed approach to providing public health experiences requires much time, energy, and coordination. Students have engaged in meaningful community based public health experiences that maximize their potential and enhances their future careers in nursing. They leave behind positive images of what nursing can do, and they ultimately play a major role for improving public health for vulnerable communities.
Recommendations: The academic-community-public health partnership has served to bridge classroom, clinical, research and service-learning experiences. Most rewarding are the reflective notes, as students begin transferring their classroom experiences to public health, and learn the value of giving back to the community.
Learning Areas:Diversity and culture
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Public health or related education
Public health or related nursing
Systems thinking models (conceptual and theoretical models), applications related to public health
Describe an innovative approach for “doing” public health with diverse communities. Discuss two benefits of an academic-community-public health center approach for thinking upstream
Keyword(s): Community Collaboration, Nursing Education
Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the course coordinator for the Public Health course and collaborated for implementing the academic-community-public health department concept.
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.