The Power of One: Using Service Learning to Promote Community Engagement

By Crystal Shannon.

Published by The International Journal of Health, Wellness and Society

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Published Online: January 20, 2016 $US5.00

Service learning is an important component of nursing education. However, the impact of these activities on the development of prelicensure nurses can vary. The concepts of volunteerism, community engagement and social responsibility are inherent to nursing values but may not be translated to students in an academic setting. Therefore, the ability of new nurses to care for vulnerable community-based populations may be limited. A mixed methods survey of first year nursing students report the impact recent service learning activities and educational experiences has on their planned nursing practice. Students acknowledged personal and professional perceived value to promoting health in community-based populations. Participants reported that quality service learning activities increase the future integration of community service in careers and professional development. Additionally, nursing students stated that they developed a stronger desire to promote community-based health through continued engagement efforts outside of the classroom setting. These insights offer useful information for nursing educators as they seek innovative methods of curriculum delivery.

Keywords: Service Learning, Community Engagement, Nursing Education

The International Journal of Health, Wellness and Society, Volume 6, Issue 1, March 2016, pp.23-33. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published Online: January 20, 2016 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 509.485KB)), ISSN: ISSN 2156-8960.

Dr. Crystal Shannon

Assistant Professor of Nursing, College of Health and Human Services, School of Nursing, Indiana University Northwest, Gary, IN, USA