ADN education

  1. I am a clinical instructor in an ADN program and a graduate student pursuing my MSN in nursing education. I am currently enrolled in a nurse educator theory course. I know from some literature review and nearby ADN programs that community health is only lightly touched upon in current ADN curriculum. Because the trend in nursing is pointing towards community health and prevention, this is a very important part of the profession. I am wondering how can/should an ADN program add curriculum to effectively and thoroughly encompass community health? And how many hours should be devoted to classroom vs. clinical settings? Thanks in advance to those who can respond. I really appreciate your input.

    Cindy Bower, RN, BS
    Ventura County, California
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  2. 9 Comments

  3. by   BrandyBSN
    Good question. I really do believe that ANY educational program putting out nurses should have a community component. With the shift from keeping patients in the hospital for weeks to sending them home in 24 hours or less, more community health resources are needed.

    I can't tell you what "should" be included in an ADN program, as I dont know what would be possible. I can tell you that in my BSN program Community Health Nursing was a 5 credit course. We met for one class session a week for 3 hours for a full semester, and had to complete 180 clinical hours for that course alone, and after all of that, I will feel like we barely touched on what was really needed.

    I wish you luck in adding community health to your curriculum, its too important to nursing today to leave out.

    BrandyBSN
  4. by   caliotter3
    After reading what Brandy had in her program, I feel like I was shortchanged in my BSN program. I would use her description as a guideline. Add a course strictly devoted to community health nursing with the appropriate number of clinical and classroom hours. If this does not fit in, then consider adding a winter term (if your school has them) or a summer session. With today's trends in nursing, community health is too important to let fall by the wayside. It would be well worth it, even if your institution has to add a summer term.
  5. by   flowerchild
    Community/Public health nursing should be added to ADN studies.
    The nursing students could do clinicals with the health dept nurses and/or with the school nurses. Time is short in ADN programs so there is no way, imo, that you could teach everything they need to know about community health. Could you take 2 weeks to focus on this during the last rotation? I don't think doing it before then would be wise, b/c the students wouldn't have the background to apply it in a beneficial way. Obviously 2 weeks isn't enough but at least it would be better than nothing and would minimally take away from other experiences. You would have to take away something in order to give them this experience. Have the students do a care plan at the school on a specific student. They could see how things are done in the school setting and get a good idea of the fast pace of a school clinic. Could you fit in some time during the peds rotation? The health dept would give them some experience but the areas are so specific, maybe spending a couple of days during OB with the gynie services could be included. Could they hook up with the HIV, communicable disease area of the health dept during the time they are studying these topics? It is commendable of you, imo, to be looking out for these soon to be nurses. I think it is not included in the ADN programs b/c most jobs in public health require a BSN but not all of them! It certainly would be beneficial either way to your students b/c even the nurses who don't work in public health should have a knowledge base of the services available to their patients. Perhaps you could have a speaker come in from the state level to explain how they track trends and respond to those trends. Good luck!
  6. by   live4today
    Cindy.......welcome to Allnurses! Glad to have a new fresh perspective aboard here!

    As an ADN graduate myself, I have NEVER understood why the ADN programs did not have a community health course. I sure hope you are able to institute one where you work for the students entering any future programs there.
  7. by   VivaLasViejas
    As an ADN nurse myself, I've had to learn my community-based nursing the old-fashioned way: by being out in the community. I've worked in hospitals, but most of my experience is in LTC and assisted living. Luckily, my program emphasized these things in the classroom, even as we did most of our actual clinicals in the hospital setting. I'll probably ignite a huge debate with this next observation, but I've got to say it: I would rather work with an ADN nurse who has some life experience than some of these 22-year-olds who come out of their BSN programs having studied all the "-ologies", but not knowing how to be a nurse. That's NOT to say that all BSNs are poor nurses---I've known many who are both "book-smart" and street-smart. But I don't believe we ADNs are less qualified as community-based nurses just because we haven't taken statistics or some of the other more "exotic" courses required by a bachelor's program. Nor are we necessarily being excluded from management positions; I've worked my way up the ladder to nursing director in an assisted-living community, and at some point in the future I'll probably end up in the DON position at my current LTC facility.......all without benefit of a BSN. I may go back to school at some point because I really would like to teach (I've also been a substitute clinical instructor at the local community college, and I'd love to do more of that!). But I don't really feel that my program lacked any major components, and I've taken advantage of many continuing-ed courses in my chosen field (gerontology) without having to go to the expense of another degree. JMHO.
  8. by   cbmt
    Thanks to all who have responded so far. I appreciate your input. I agree, too, that a new grad with life experiences is likely going to make a "better nurse." The literature shows that the nursing student population is aging (just like us nurses!) - thus, many come in with previous educational degrees, families, jobs, etc. Seems they arrive at nursing knowing what they are getting into and therefore, have greater success both in school and in their careers.
  9. by   live4today
    Originally posted by cbmt
    Thanks to all who have responded so far. I appreciate your input. I agree, too, that a new grad with life experiences is likely going to make a "better nurse." The literature shows that the nursing student population is aging (just like us nurses!) - thus, many come in with previous educational degrees, families, jobs, etc. Seems they arrive at nursing knowing what they are getting into and therefore, have greater success both in school and in their careers.
    I....for one.......TOTALLY agree with you on this, cbmt!
  10. by   fergus51
    Only our BSN programs do a real community health segment, they have never had it in the Diploma course mainly because with so much acute hospital stuff to learn, there isn't a lot of time. When a program is less than 3 years long and every student has to have a medical, surgical, pediatric, ob and psych rotation just to write the RN exam, plus 3 other acute practicums, there isn't a lot of room for PH and community health. Plus all those positions here require the BSN anyways.
  11. by   cactus wren
    My ADN program did have a little community component. We spent only a few days at each place, but was at least a way to get our toes wet...went to Mds. office, a school, health center,home health, and some others that have gone away.........just don`t remember.At the time we thought that it was a nice brwak from our usual clinicals, where I swear all I saw were cholys......... ,and DM.....

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