Journal of Nursing Education

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Educational Innovations 

Service-Learning Across an Accelerated Curriculum

Susan Ward, PhD, RN; Meg Blair, MSN, RN, CEN; Fran Henton, PhD, RN; Helen Jackson, MSN, RN; Tim Landolt, MSN, RN; Kristin Mattson, PhD

Abstract

ABSTRACT

In support of the community-based education philosophy, nursing faculty at a small health careers college in the midwestern United States incorporated a service-learning experience involving Sudanese refugee families and Latino community members into its accelerated community-based nursing program (ACE) curriculum. The purpose of the service-learning experience is to allow students the opportunity develop relationships through which they may gain an understanding of unique needs within a community. This article describes the development and benefits of the service-learning experience across the ACE curriculum. Through reflection, students broaden and deepen their understanding about the health of individuals in the community and acquire a more sophisticated understanding of risk factors associated with the social determinants of health. ACE program faculty believe that having students involved in a continuous service-learning experience spanning the 15-month program allows students to develop strong relationships within the community and gain a greater understanding of the unique needs within that community. Overall, the experience has been successful and challenging.

AUTHORS

Received: August 23, 2006

Accepted: December 7, 2006

Dr. Ward and Dr. Henton are Professors, Ms. Blair is Associate Professor, Ms. Jackson and Mr. Landolt are Assistant Professors, and Dr. Mattson is Service Learning Coordinator, Nebraska Methodist College-Josie Harper Campus, Omaha, Nebraska.

The authors thank the administration, faculty, and staff at Nebraska Methodist College for embracing service-learning, where students and community partners benefit equally from the service experience.

Address correspondence to Susan Ward, PhD, RN, Professor, Nebraska Methodist College-Josie Harper Campus, 720 North 87th Street, Omaha, NE 68114; e-mail: Susie.ward@methodistcollege.edu.

Abstract

ABSTRACT

In support of the community-based education philosophy, nursing faculty at a small health careers college in the midwestern United States incorporated a service-learning experience involving Sudanese refugee families and Latino community members into its accelerated community-based nursing program (ACE) curriculum. The purpose of the service-learning experience is to allow students the opportunity develop relationships through which they may gain an understanding of unique needs within a community. This article describes the development and benefits of the service-learning experience across the ACE curriculum. Through reflection, students broaden and deepen their understanding about the health of individuals in the community and acquire a more sophisticated understanding of risk factors associated with the social determinants of health. ACE program faculty believe that having students involved in a continuous service-learning experience spanning the 15-month program allows students to develop strong relationships within the community and gain a greater understanding of the unique needs within that community. Overall, the experience has been successful and challenging.

AUTHORS

Received: August 23, 2006

Accepted: December 7, 2006

Dr. Ward and Dr. Henton are Professors, Ms. Blair is Associate Professor, Ms. Jackson and Mr. Landolt are Assistant Professors, and Dr. Mattson is Service Learning Coordinator, Nebraska Methodist College-Josie Harper Campus, Omaha, Nebraska.

The authors thank the administration, faculty, and staff at Nebraska Methodist College for embracing service-learning, where students and community partners benefit equally from the service experience.

Address correspondence to Susan Ward, PhD, RN, Professor, Nebraska Methodist College-Josie Harper Campus, 720 North 87th Street, Omaha, NE 68114; e-mail: Susie.ward@methodistcollege.edu.

ABSTRACT

In support of the community-based education philosophy, nursing faculty at a small health careers college in the midwestern United States incorporated a service-learning experience involving Sudanese refugee families and Latino community members into its accelerated community-based nursing program (ACE) curriculum. The purpose of the service-learning experience is to allow students the opportunity develop relationships through which they may gain an understanding of unique needs within a community. This article describes the development and benefits of the service-learning experience across the ACE curriculum. Through reflection, students broaden and deepen their understanding about the health of individuals in the community and acquire a more sophisticated understanding of risk factors associated with the social determinants of health. ACE program faculty believe that having students involved in a continuous service-learning experience spanning the 15-month program allows students to develop strong relationships within the community and gain a greater understanding of the unique needs within that community. Overall, the experience has been successful and challenging.

AUTHORS

Received: August 23, 2006

Accepted: December 7, 2006

Dr. Ward and Dr. Henton are Professors, Ms. Blair is Associate Professor, Ms. Jackson and Mr. Landolt are Assistant Professors, and Dr. Mattson is Service Learning Coordinator, Nebraska Methodist College-Josie Harper Campus, Omaha, Nebraska.

The authors thank the administration, faculty, and staff at Nebraska Methodist College for embracing service-learning, where students and community partners benefit equally from the service experience.

Address correspondence to Susan Ward, PhD, RN, Professor, Nebraska Methodist College-Josie Harper Campus, 720 North 87th Street, Omaha, NE 68114; e-mail: Susie.ward@methodistcollege.edu.

10.3928/01484834-20070901-09

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