Making the community a classroom
The community provides a training ground for patient interaction and care for all programs in the department. The nursing department has 175 community partnerships with area organizations that allow students to interact and participate in helping those with medical needs in southwest Missouri. As part of a nursing program, students discover the importance of community and the ability to help those around them.
A wide variety of partnerships are in place to allow students the opportunity to develop an understanding of different nursing specialties while gaining experience. Students benefit from the supervision of a preceptor in the community to assist them in their outreach experiences.
The nursing department is always developing new relationships with organizations. Some of the partnerships are listed below:
Assisting a school nurse
Students work with a school nurse in a local school district to do health assessments and screenings for health issues with students grades K-12. While working with the school nurse, students also assist in health education and learn medical management skills. In school districts that do not have a nurse on staff, nursing students and nursing faculty provide screenings for health-related issues that require attention. Health fairs at schools serve as an opportunity to teach school-aged children the importance of good health habits.
To complete their pediatric rotation, students spend one week of the second summer of nursing school at Camp Barnabas helping children of various ages and abilities. A faculty member is assigned to every clinical rotation group, allowing nursing students to receive one-on-one attention while giving campers the opportunity to enjoy their camp experience.
Coalition of Healthy Communities
The Coalition of Healthy Communities is a collaborative program between the Department of Nursing and about a dozen community sites. Designed to provide senior nursing students with community experience, students are directed to host nursing wellness clinics on a weekly basis targeting at-risk and vulnerable populations within the Springfield, Missouri, area. Current collaboration is directed to multiple community agencies such as Victory Mission; Harmony House; The Kitchen, Inc.; Isabel's House; Catholic Charities Ministries; and the Salvation Army, to name a few.
While working weekly at these community sites, students are encouraged to meet clients' healthcare needs where no nursing or healthcare is provided on a regular basis. As with any community nursing program, students perform assessments, referrals, and education. Clients are free to meet with students on a regular or one-time-only basis. Much emphasis is placed on the "stories" that clients frequently need to share for healthcare to be properly offered. These stories both open the eyes of the student to the many factors involved with assessment and compliance and also build trust within a client population who often have been the beneficiaries of poor healthcare delivery. Students offer one-on-one educational services to clients, as well as develop at least one group educational program once they have completed a community survey/assessment.
Jordan Valley Health Center
Some BSN students intern in this federally qualified health center that provides services to low-income individuals.
The Kitchen, Inc.
Undergraduate students provide health screenings, health education, and medical referral management to all individuals served by The Kitchen, Inc., including the medical clinic, the Missouri Hotel, Bill’s Place, and Rare Breed. Students work with individuals of all ages and those with many different needs.
MSU Care is a partnership between the Kitchen Medical Clinic and the family nurse practitioner program at Missouri State. In this clinic, family nurse practitioner students participate in clinical rotations and treat patients who do not otherwise have access to quality medical care. With supervision from faculty in the department, family practitioner students begin seeing patients in this clinic.