A School of Nursing and a Community Service Agency Close the Gap for Rural Families with Health Disparities During COVID-19: A Novel approach to Clinical Education and Service-Learning


  • Christina Elaine Snider University of Michigan-Flint
  • Lyn Behnke University of Michigan-Flint
  • Elizabeth Fulks University of Michigan-Flint


Introduction:  Service-learning has long been touted as an effective way to educate nursing students.  A collaboration between a community service action agency and a school of nursing resulted in four health fairs where preschool students and their families' healthcare needs were addressed.

Literature Review:   Service-learning as a pedagogy for nursing students increases the richness of clinical experiences for the students and enriches the community.  There is a positive impact on the students’ learning, awareness of cultural competence, understanding of the social determinants of health, their professional socialization and on the community that was served.

Methods:  This descriptive study involving over 50 students, both undergraduate and graduate nursing students.   A modified Community Service Attitudes Scale was given pre and post service-learning activity to the students. 

Results:  Students overwhelmingly reported an increase in their cultural awareness, their ability to work effectively with others and their feeling of making a real difference for those they served in the activity.

Conclusion:  Utilization of a service-learning activity (SLA) via health fairs is an effective pedagogy to offer clinical hours and exposure to professional situations for nursing students.  The impact of the SLA is multifactorial on the students and on the community served. 


Author Biography

Christina Elaine Snider, University of Michigan-Flint

Dr. Christina Aplin-Snider is an Assistant Professor of Nursing at the University of Michigan Flint.  She teaches in both the Master's and Doctoral nurse practitioner programs.  She received her BSN from Michigan State University, her MSN from The University of Michigan-Flint and her DNP in Educational Leadership from Case Western Reserve University.  She is a family nurse practitioner with an active clinical practice in internal medicine and pediatrics.  Her research interests include service-learning, pediatric obesity, academic integrity and adolescent health risk behaviors.