VCU School of Nursing

Educating nurses from entry-level through the doctorate. Ranked in the top 4% of undergraduate nursing programs nationally.

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The VCU School of Nursing was recently featured in the Sacred Heart Center’s newsletter for an ongoing partnership designed to help improve medical literacy among Hispanics in the community, while offering service-learning experiences for nursing students.

Established in the fall of 2013, the partnership between the School of Nursing and the Sacred Heart Center, a non-profit community organization that serves the Hispanic community in Richmond, provides an opportunity for nursing students to learn about health care outside of the hospital setting where health promotion and disease prevention begin.

“The partnership benefits our nursing students in many ways, from learning cross-cultural communication and communicating with people with low -English proficiency, to the importance of building trust and rapport with a patient or a whole community to learn about their needs and build on their strengths,” said Allison Gregory, M.S., RN, FNP-BC, clinical assistant professor in the Department of Family and Community Health Nursing.

During the spring 2015 semester, a clinical group of students taking the Community Health Nursing course (NURS 416) visited the center biweekly and interacted with over 40 English as a Second Language (ESL) community participants in the center’s Family Literacy Program. NURS 416 is a two-credit, service-learning designated course that tasks student with completing a community assessment, identifying a need and implementing a health promotion project that meets the community need. To meet the medical literacy need, students simulated role-plays of doctor’s visits and appointment phone calls, as well as hosted a large-scale mock clinic for the first time.

The students also gained valuable experience communicating compassionately with literacy program participants who do not have an extensive medical vocabulary in English and are at varying levels of literacy.,

Another group of students will have the opportunity to partner with the Sacred Heart Center for clinical and service-learning experience in the spring of 2016.

Sacred heart
Students Sabine Pierre-Louis and Emilija Motivans participate in the mock clinic experience at the Sacred Heart Center.


Categories Community Engagement, Education, Students
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