Community-Based / Community-Focused Nursing

The community-based nursing curriculum encourages students to design, implement and evaluate nursing care for individuals and families in the context of the community. Students spend time at various clinical sites across the curriculum such as hospitals, homes, clinics and schools.  Students learn to promote continuous, coordinated, collaborative care for individuals as they move between and among health care settings.

In the community-focused practicum, students learn how to care for the community as the client.  This practicum is grounded in Community-Based Participatory Research (CBPR). A key component of CBPR is involve residents from our four partnering neighborhoods in identifying both their health concerns and the solutions to those concerns.

Some of the top health concerns identified by residents of the partnering neighborhoods include lack of access to health care, depression and anxiety, unintended pregnancy, diabetes, hypertension and obesity. The resident-driven solution for lack of access to health care was to create a community health worker program.  In this program, a resident from each neighborhood is partnered with two nursing students and together the team promotes health and access to care within each neighborhood.  The resident-driven solution for depression and anxiety was to create nursing-student-led supportive / educative groups for women within each neighborhood.  The resident-driven solution for unintended pregnancy was to have teams of nursing students and community health workers teach women how to know their body so that women can plan pregnancy and prevent unintended pregnancy.

Each of these resident-driven solutions is integrated into the community-focused practicum experience for students. These programs also open up opportunities for nursing students to serve as research assistants outside of practicum time. As research assistants, nursing students work closely with faculty studying the impact of the resident-driven solutions.   

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