Service learning is the engagement of students in
activities designed to address or meet a community need, where students learn
how their service makes a difference in themselves and in the lives of the
service recipients, and where learning is intentionally linked to academics.
All students who major in nursing are required to
complete three credits of service learning. Some students choose to spread the
three credits over the last three semesters of the program.
During the service learning experience, students offer
their skills to potential recipients and collaborate with them in designing
interventions. Students have worked in soup kitchens, the YMCA, schools, senior
centers, legislative committees, free clinics, the state food bank and camps.
Students who choose to complete
their service learning credits in one semester may apply to visit Belize or
Ireland for two weeks in late May.
The Belize trip provides nursing
students with an opportunity to apply the nursing process to the care of
impoverished individuals in an international setting. Emphasis is on
bio-psychological, spiritual, ethical and evidenced-based practices. Through interdisciplinary
exchange and a blend of classroom and clinical encounters, students apply this
knowledge to provide ethically and culturally sensitive care.
The Ireland trip provides nursing
students with an opportunity to compare and contrast the delivery of health
care in Ireland and the United States, and to apply theoretical concepts of
health care policy and nursing in an international setting. Students identify
commonalities and differences in health care issues, health care delivery and outcomes
as they relate to the aging population and explore implications for palliative
care and end-of-life within the Irish population.