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 Ireland for two weeks in late May. The 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.