Web site spotlight: Nursing students learn about rural healthcare

Staff Development Weekly: Insight on Evidence-Based Practice in Education, August 21, 2009

A divide commonly exists between rural communities and healthcare access, but a grant will soon allow University of Virginia nursing students to be in closer reach.

Located in Charlottesville, the university's School of Nursing is making community engagement a new component of its psychiatric mental health nursing course. Fourth-year nursing students will no longer spend their clinical studies solely in traditional mental healthcare settings. Instead, they will travel to some of the state's rural communities-partnering with patients and healthcare providers-to devise interventions for the locations' largest health problems.

The course will focus heavily on substance abuse, addiction, and depression because such healthcare conditions occur in Virginia at a higher rate than they do in many other places in the country. Chronic pain management will be another aspect of nurses' studies due to high death rates linked to prescription pain medications.

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