Community Partnerships in Nursing Education

By Allen, Patricia; Nero, Lydia | ABNF Journal, March/April 1999 | Go to article overview

Community Partnerships in Nursing Education


Allen, Patricia, Nero, Lydia, ABNF Journal


Abstract: A community partnership for a seamless education process is explored. Mechanisms for program delivery to a distance education site such as: the use of interactive videoconferencing, student support services, and changing faculty roles are reviewed. Positive outcomes of the community partnership have developed for both the community college and the participating university.

Key Words: Nursing Education; Community Partnerships

The nursing profession has provided the community with three options for obtainment of a nursing license. Nurses may choose to receive their education in a hospital- based program, a community college for an associate degree in nursing (ADN) or a four year program to earn a bachelor's degree in nursing (BSN). All three programs lead to licensure as a registered nurse. Nursing, however, requires the baccalaureate degree for advancement in many areas in nursing; therefore, many nurses choose to further their education in a BSN program. The purpose of this article is to share a new avenue available in the community for nurses to obtain the BSN degree. A partnership or alliance between a State University and local community college provides a route for nurses to obtain the degree at the State University without leaving the community where they work and live. This BSN completion program is for registered nurses with an associate degree in nursing or a diploma in nursing. The program is provided through the use of interactive video conferencing, sharing of resources from the community college for the BSN program, articulation agreements with the community college for pre-requisite offerings, and affiliation agreements with local hospitals, clinics, hospices, and nursing homes for the advanced clinical experience in the community of residence.

INTERACTIVE VIDEO CONFERENCING

Upon pre-requisite completion the student is admitted to the university and begins full or part-time enrollment for the degree. The program admits only once per year to accommodate the movement of the group to the goal of graduation. The classroom without walls consists of a multi-point delivery of class to three sites simultaneously. The sites for delivery of this program are Houston, Bryan-College Station, and Montgomery County. Students meet at the local site for class where the instructor may or may not be physically present for class activities. The instructor will bring the three sites together through the use of interactive videoconferencing (ITV) where lecture/discussion may occur or group activities are assigned. Group activities do not necessarily consist of persons present at your site. Each classroom has use of a phone, fax, e-mail and televised video for conferencing and/or group work across the lines.

Instruction via interactive-videoconferencing (ITV) requires the instructor to re-create his or her teaching style to accommodate a mature self-directed learner who is an active participant in the learning process. Therefore, in this educational environment few lectures are given over the ITV and group discussions and group activities are the norm with moderation and direction given to the sites by the faculty person.

STUDENT SUPPORT

Student support services are provided on locally at each of the three program sites. This is made possible by partnerships and articulation agreements with the surrounding communities. Off-campus advising occurs for current and potential students by informed community college advisors or the local college of nursing site coordinator. Support services for student learning is obtained through the articulation agreements. Currently students have access to learning resource laboratories at the community college sites, nursing laboratory space and equipment, and library services and access to web based databases. Additional library access is also made available to the student by the use of a Tex-share card. This Tex-share access allows the student to utilize the libraries of the A & M campus as well as the Houston Medical Center library directly or online. …

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