The Coalition & Jersey College partner to offer a community-based experience to students

IMG_2444Nursing students at the Jersey College School of Nursing – Jacksonville will soon have a better understanding of maternal and child health issues in the community as part of a partnership between the Northeast Florida Healthy Start Coalition and Jersey College.

A community-based clinical experience will be incorporated into a required Jersey College course in maternal and newborn nursing in which content related to social determinants of health, the life course perspective, collective impact, health equity, toxic stress, cultural competence and nursing leadership will be provided to senior nursing students. The community-based clinical experience will be held at the Magnolia Project and the Magnolia Project OASIS, an AGAPE Community Health Center and facilitated by experienced maternal child health nurse educators and interdisciplinary staff.

IMG_2464Alex Tarabochia, a summer intern with the Coalition and 2014-15 National Health Corps Florida Americorps member who served at the Magnolia Project, conducted the original research that laid out the foundation for the community-based experience. And with the help of Faye Johnson, executive director of the Coalition; Joy Burgess, associate dean of nursing at Jersey College and a Healthy Start Coalition Board member; and many other health care professionals, the curriculum grew into a 28-hour clinical practicum.

“What’s interesting about this course is that the students can relate directly to what they will be learning,” Joy Burgess said. “Many of our nursing students are impacted by toxic stress and live in communities affected by limited resources and health disparities. I think that the scenario in the community-based clinical experience is going to get their attention and entice them to want to learn and pay attention.”

The community-based clinical experience is broken up into four sections:

  • Session I: Describes the life course perspective and the social determinants of health and applies those concepts to the practice of maternal child health nursing.
  • Session II: Describes the concepts of collective impact and nursing leadership and applies those concepts to a clinical scenario about a high-risk maternity client.
  • Session III: Describes the concept of toxic stress and unsafe client practices that warrant nursing education skills. Students will learn about safe sleep, breast feeding and mandated reporting.
  • Session IV: Allows the students to review the impact that racism, life course theory, social determinants of health and toxic stress have on racial disparities in birth outcomes and infant mortality in Northeast Florida. It will also help students better understand the role of Maternal Child Health nurses in promoting positive birth outcomes in childbearing families.

After looking at the statistics of infant mortality and the factors that play a huge role in it, the administration at Jersey College quickly supported this important community-academic partnership and the new community-based clinical experience.

“It is going to be a great experience for the students here and I cannot wait to see how they respond” Campus Administrator Maryanne Moore said.IMG_2486

“When Joy (Burgess) first talked me to about infant mortality, I said ‘no way!’ There was no way that many babies were dying in Duval County. But after meeting with Faye (Johnson) and many other players, I saw that it was a reality, and how important this experience is going to be for our students.”

The community-based clinical experience is set to be pilot from February through May 2017. Evaluation methods will be explored and implemented to determine the impact of this experience on student education at Jersey College and the role that nursing students can play to promote the health and wellbeing of child bearing families in Northeast Florida.