Insights on the Development of a Service Learning Course: The People of Appalachia and what nurse practitioner students and faculty learned along the journey


  • Christina Elaine Snider University of Michigan-Flint
  • Helene Vossos University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences


 Background:  Service-learning has long been identified as a mechanism to augment traditional classroom pedagogies.  With the recent increase of preceptor shortages and decreased access to clinical hours for nurse practitioner students, service-learning activities are an innovative way for NP students to gain knowledge and exposure to clinical situations including interdisciplinary learning. 

 Purpose:  The development of a service-learning course and the journey the NP students and faculty experienced is explored in this article including the course outcomes and the student and faculty perspectives as well as the student preparation for the event.    

Methods:  This was a descriptive study with the student and faculty experiences described as such.

Results:   Students and faculty were able to experience life changing interactions with patients who had significant health disparities.  In the 28 hours they were at the event, their lives were forever changed and their journey is chronicled here.


Keywords:  service-learning activity, interdisciplinary learning, pedagogy, course development, nurse practitioner