Engaging Communities in Nursing Education

Marjorie A. Schaffer, Carol Hargate, Kemo Marong

Abstract


This article highlights the efforts of a nursing program at a faith-based university to implement community engagement learning experiences in an undergraduate curriculum with the aim of preparing nurses to contribute to reducing health disparities, value cross-cultural efficacy, and develop a commitment to serving diverse populations.  Students participated in community engagement learning experiences over five semesters in the same community organization, which was either a church, school, or other organization that served diverse populations.  Both survey and focus groups were used to determine community partner, student, and faculty perceptions of community engagement learning experiences over the five semesters. Implications of evaluation data were used to revise both the structure and process of community engagement strategies.  Revisions included strengthening orientation strategies; offering additional support for students in establishing relationships in their community organization; providing guidelines for communication between students, faculty, and community partners; and creating a plan for faculty oversight of student experiences.


Keywords


community engagement, nursing education, health disparities, evaluation

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References


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