Page 14

2015 Winter Magazine

Big picture nursing 1 4 - l i n f i e l d m a g a z i n e Winter 2015 Elena Englund ’14 is surrounded by senior citizens in colorful hats and scarves, with a cacophony of languages bouncing off the walls. She patiently takes their blood pressure, checks prescriptions, chats with some of them in Russian, while finding an interpreter to help communicate with those from other countries. It’s Tuesday at the Immigrant and Refugee Community Organization (IRCO) and Englund is spending several hours at her nursing station. She is not only assessing seniors’ health status and history of chronic illness, she is also learning about cultures, customs and experiences while fulfilling requirements for her bachelor’s in nursing. Englund was just one of approximately 200 students enrolled in Linfield’s RN-BSN program who are having a major impact in their communities and around the world, while completing their bachelor’s degrees. Thanks to a new service learning requirement, students are honing leadership skills and learning about health needs outside of an inpatient setting with a focus on the needs of vulnerable individuals and populations. Linfield’s online RN-BSN program is designed for nurses with RN licenses who want to complete their bachelor’s degrees while continuing to work. Because most of them work in hospitals and already have strong clinical skills, the focus of the RN-BSN program is on developing leadership skills and increasing students’ awareness of needs within their communities, according to Melissa Jones and Henny Breen, both faculty members in the RN-BSN program. Breen noted that this program not only builds on RNs’ previous experience, but offers a broader outlook on the nursing profession as a whole. “The service learning experience brings together all the things students are learning in the program,” she added. “They are excited about this opportunity that they plan in collaboration with their faculty member as it provides them an opportunity to pursue an experience that is important to them as well as making a difference in the community.” Breen and Jones said students have been both challenged and excited about the service learning component, which supports the community-based philosophy of the Linfield-Good Samaritan School of Nursing. “Because health care is changing in the community, we want to prepare our students to approach nursing practice by promoting health, rather than just treating illness,” Jones said. “We are trying to expand on our students’ current education and practice skills beyond an inpatient setting. They are learning different ways to influence health in a variety of settings in their local communities.” Experiences are as varied as the students and have included working with homeless and other underserved populations; developing health materials to aid in mentoring or counseling teenagers; and serving a teen pregnancy center and Boys & Girls


2015 Winter Magazine
To see the actual publication please follow the link above