Web site spotlight: Nursing students learn about rural healthcare

Nurse Leader Insider, August 24, 2009

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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 goals of the course are to give students new opportunities in rural settings with healthcare challenges and give students an opportunity to work with those communities," says Diane Boyer, RN, MSN, PMHNP-BC, DNP, clinical instructor at the School of Nursing.

Boyer and Cathy Campbell, an assistant professor at the school, designed the course through collaboration with the Appalachian Partnership for Pain Management and the Healthy Appalachia Institute. The program will educate nurses about working in rural clinics and hospitals where resources and funding are often sparse.

Editor's note: This excerpt was adapted from the article, "Nursing students learn about rural healthcare" featured in The Reading Room on HCPro's online resource center,

Do you need continuing education (CE) credits? Check out this month's CE article to learn about infection control in the MRI suite or visit our archives and view a compilation of CE articles (marked with an asterisk).

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