During a variety of service and learning opportunities, our nursing students apply the knowledge and skills they’ve gained in the classroom to real-life health challenges in our communities. Under the guidance of our expert faculty, students assess and identify the needs of the community they are embedded in and then partner with local community members and organizations to design and implement innovative solutions.
Teaching high school students to be "sun safe"
As part of Project SASS (Students Are Sun Safe), UA students travel to classrooms throughout Pima County to educate middle school and high school students about sun safety and skin cancer prevention. The training course for Project SASS was developed by Associate Professor Lois Loescher, PhD, RN, FAAN.
Dr. Loescher recently received an Arizona Health Education Centers (AzHEC) community engagement grant to virtually train high school students in Health Career Clubs in Nogales, Bisbee and Douglas to deliver Project SASS to their peers in southeastern Arizona. Her team works with the Southeastern Arizona Health Education Center (SEAHEC) to recruit students and evaluate this program in rural and underserved adolescents.
Improving the health of our neighborhoods
During their Population Health and Community Nursing clinical rotation with Clinical Instructor Patty Goldsmith, MS, RN, PHCNS-BC, fourth-semester Bachelor of Science in Nursing students partner with Pima County Health Department Public Health Nurses (PHNs) to improve the health of our neighborhoods.
As part of this partnership, students assess their assigned neighborhood by interviewing key stakeholders and conducting a "windshield survey," which is a scientific method commonly used to gather community data based on what can be seen, heard, smelled and touched. Based on their findings, students plan and implement health education programs to address critical community needs.
Last semester, students taught local residents about nutrition, hand washing, oral health, sleep hygiene, substance abuse, immunizations and the use of multiple drugs to treat a single condition (polypharmacy) through partnerships with Clinica Amistad, Pima County Public Library, Tucson Unified School District, Sunnyside Unified School District, Boys & Girls Club, St. Luke’s Home, Miracle Square and Carondelet Casita Jose Day Care.
Delivering care to rural, medically-underserved patients
Through our innovative Rural Health Professions program, led by Clinical Assistant Professor Christy Pacheco, DNP, FNP-BC, we are preparing nurse practitioners to provide primary-care services in rural, medically-underserved areas, and to serve as leaders in improving quality and access to care for these patients.
By providing additional support to students during their clinical rotations in rural and medically underserved sites across Arizona, our goal is to encourage students to return to these sites after graduation. Through this program, we also provide students with clinical experiences and instructional opportunities to develop expertise in interprofessional collaboration among health-care disciplines.