Student Impact on Health: Providing Collaborative Care to Underserved Populations with the Implementation of a Mobile Health Program
Kathleen Rindahl, DNP, FNP-C

In recent years nursing programs have turned away qualified applicants, citing one reason as a lack of clinical sites. Additionally, traditional nursing curriculum is now challenged to meet the differing needs of health care and shift nursing education from acute care settings to focus on community, and public health. This shift challenges nursing programs to educate students on the needs of communities, particularly rural communities. The challenges of rural health and the need for clinical training sites, led to the implementation of a University based Mobile Health Program. The Mobile Health Program had three goals; provide preventive health screenings to underserved populations in rural areas; provide clinical training sites for nursing students; and provide an opportunity for inter-professional collaboration amongst students at the university. The project began spring of 2015, with just 3 clinical sites, and has increased to 26 clinical sites in Spring 2017. Services offered to individuals included physical examinations, screening for diabetes and heart disease. Thus far, 2,952 patients were served and over 9,405 clinical and service learning hours logged in by the students. Several individuals were referred on for an urgent health concern. It was concluded that if the program is thoroughly explored, developed and well-funded, it could greatly improve the capacity of universities to train more nurses on yearly basis. It could also significantly encourage inter-disciplinary collaborations and ultimately improve rural health.

Full Text: PDF     DOI: 10.15640/ijn.v4n2a1