Course Outline Template: Aspects of the Course
Community health nursing is a course that deals with the promotion of the health of individuals, families, and groups. This course emphasizes the various concepts that students must learn and understand to effectively function as community health nurses. Firstly, the course is beneficial to students because it provides a platform to understand health promotion and actions that lead to the prevention of diseases in the community. Students will learn the type of interventions made to prevent illness or diseases and health messages that can promote self-management. According to the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AACN) (2008), learners must learn how to apply knowledge to manage complex problems and challenges in the community. AACN recognizes that the benefits of the course to the learner are educational and the application of the knowledge of science is crucial to population health promotion.
Community health nursing is based on the concept that various factors like access to healthcare impair population health outcomes and can be prevented. Evidence from research and expert opinions identifies factors like lack of knowledge, poor transportation, and lack of health insurance that hinder population health. The concept of health promotion is emphasized in the course and it involves enabling individuals to increase control over their health. This concept aligns with AACN’s essential VII which discusses issues with clinical prevention and population health (AACN, 2008). Another key concept of this course is conducting community needs assessments and identifying the strengths and challenges that hinder health promotion. Through community assessment, the students will identify the healthcare needs of the people, resources available, and interprofessional collaborative practices. The course also emphasizes the role of community health nurses in educating the people and ensuring they can effectively manage their illnesses.
Nursing is a profession that is based on the key concept of caring through the diagnosis and treatment of illnesses. This course is relevant to students because it provides an avenue to identify the needs of the people and ways to improve their health. The course introduces students to the fundamentals of nursing, key concepts, strategies, and the application of contemporary trends related to community health. According to AACN’s essential I, liberal education for nursing practice provides a cornerstone for nursing education and practice (AACN, 2008). The course is also relevant because it highlights the importance of health promotion at the individual, family, and community levels. To practice effectively, nursing students must be equipped with knowledge and skills in community health and disease prevention.
Cultivation of Course
To effectively educate students about community health nursing, the course is organized into different topics that will be taught in 8 weeks. The topics are organized in a manner that the students will begin by understanding basic concepts of community health and advance to needs assessment and management of population health problems.
Week one: the topic for this week is Fundamentals of Community Health Nursing and it emphasizes the history of CHN and the role of nurses in the community. Using a collaborative learning approach, students will understand why it is important to prevent illnesses from the community level rather than providing treatment in hospitals.
Week two: This week will focus on the topic of Population Health which discusses the strategies to identify population health needs and the concepts of disease promotion. Using a group discussion approach, students will discuss strategies used to develop individual, family, and population health and health literacy concepts.
Week three: The topic for this week is Community Assessment which allows students to identify the specific needs and challenges of communities towards achieving good health. Using the concept mapping approach, students will assess a specific community and identify relationships between illnesses, treatment, and available resources.
Week four: This week will discuss community health and matters of healthcare policy that shape the health of populations. The students will learn about the healthcare disparities and how issues like culture and socioeconomic status affect their health. The students will also learn about important factors like healthcare financing that impact community health.
Week five: The topic of discussion for this week is Epidemiology which primarily deals with the causes of diseases in the community and measures taken to prevent them. Through community service learning, students will identify a few illnesses in the community and measures to effectively control common diseases.
Week six: This week will focus on the topic of Community Health Promotion and discuss the levels of disease prevention and social determinants of health. Through group discussions, the students will identify specific social determinants of health and measures to improve population health.
Week seven: The topic of discussion for this week is vulnerable populations and it will emphasize specific groups that are disadvantaged in the community. Using a flipped classroom approach, the students will identify interventions for vulnerable groups and other measures to promote their health.
Week eight: The last week will focus on Disaster Management and the role of interprofessional collaboration in promoting the health of communities. The students will interact with the instructor and discuss disasters in the community and response mechanisms available to minimize the disasters.
Student-centered learning is an approach to teaching that shifts the focus from the teacher to the students to enhance active learning (Billing & Halstead, 2016). The eight weekly key concepts identified will promote student-centered learning by presenting information in a way that promotes critical thinking. In week one, the key concept emphasized is the knowledge of the foundations of community health nursing. This concept demonstrates alignment with AACN essential I which deals with having a solid base in liberal education(AACN, 2008). To promote student-centered learning, a collaborative learning approach is used.
In week two, the key concept is to analyze population health and disease prevention whereby students will have group discussions in class. The utilization of these discussions will ensure the students understand better the causes of ill-health and preventive measures at the community level. Another key concept described in weeks three, five, and six is health and assessment and health promotion. Active learning strategies like community service learning, concept mapping, and group discussions are utilized to ensure students actively participate in the assessment and promotion of health. Week eight of this course discusses the concept of disaster management and uses an interactive lecture learning strategy to promote sharing between the teacher and students. Active participation during learning through the exchange of information will ensure students air their views, challenge the instructor’s knowledge, and understand better about disaster management.
Professional Standards and Guidelines
The Essentials of Baccalaureate Education for Professional Nursing Practice (2008) have been selected for this discussion.
See table 1 in the appendix section
Alignment of Weekly Key Concepts to Overview
The weekly key concepts align with the course overview because they expand on what the student must know upon completion of the course. Week one aims at providing background information about community health nursing and the role of nurses in promoting the health of populations. In week two, the focus is on population health and the strategies to analyze concepts of health in the community. Week three further educates the student on community assessment to determine the needs of the people and factors that shape the identified needs. In week four, the key concept is healthcare policy and global health trends that shape community health service delivery. The students will develop knowledge of healthcare policy and management of healthcare systems as outlined in the course overview.
The course overview identifies epidemiology as a key area of focus in community health nursing. Week five deals with common diseases, epidemiology, and prevention of these diseases at the community level. During week six, the students will further explore the levels of disease prevention and the social determinants of health. Understanding these concepts will enable the student to know about health education and health promotion as stated in the course outline. Week seven of this course will deal with vulnerable populations and focus on interprofessional collaboration to address the needs of special populations. In addition, week 8 will discuss disaster management and how interprofessional teams can work together to prevent disasters in the community.
Course Outline Relevance
The course outline is used by nurse educators to organize topics, content, and learning materials necessary for successful teaching and learning. A course outline is relevant for all educators because it allows for planned teaching and prevents discussion of issues outside the main topic (Bastable, 2019). Secondly, the course outline ensures that the nurse educator remains within the context of learning and understanding areas that should be emphasized. This tool helps educators to organize topics accordingly to ensure the flow of ideas from the most to least important. The organization of topics also ensures an easy transition from one area of teaching to another and this promotes students’ understanding. According to evidence-based literature, effective learning occurs when students can relate previous information with new knowledge (Bastable et al., 2019). Lastly, the outline serves as a tool to help the student understand what is required during the semester. The learner can easily assemble all the required resources and plan to study ahead.
Group discussions. Discussion is important to learning in all disciplines because it enables students to process information rather than receive it. The involvement of all students during discussions can encourage learning and articulation of course content (Kulkarni et al., 2018). The primary reason for using this strategy is to encourage the participation of all students in the learning process. Discussions take into account the opinion of each student and it encourages reflective thinking (Kulkarni et al., 2018). To address the diverse needs of students, discussions are beneficial to those that learn better through engagement. Discussions also help students that find it difficult to recall material and accommodate all the needs of the learners.
Concept mapping. A concept map is a visual diagram that shows the relationship between concepts by connecting the flow of information (Dorttepe & Arikan, 2019). This learning strategy is observed to establish a bridge between acquired knowledge and its application. Concept mapping addresses the diverse needs of students by encouraging memory recall and full utilization of the student’s thinking capacity (Dorttepe & Arikan, 2019). Compared to other learning strategies, concept maps meet the needs of those that learn through observation and practice. Students can challenge their minds and connect the flow of ideas during difficult situations.
Interactive lecture. An interactive lecture is an easy way for instructors to intellectually engage and involve students during learning. The instructor breaks the class at least once to allow students to interact with the material and ask questions (Horntvedt et al., 2018). Students are allowed to challenge the material and seek clarification of areas that are difficult to understand. Using methods like role-playing, demonstrations, and think-pair-share, interactive lectures encourage students to participate in learning (Horntvedt et al., 2018). Interactive lectures are beneficial to students who spend less time studying after classes and allow other students to ask questions on behalf of the silent learners.
Implementation of Learning Strategies
Group discussion is identified as the predominant learning style during weeks two and six. To implement this strategy, I will identify a small topic and give students ten minutes to actively exchange information, feelings, and opinions. Each group will select a leader to take down key points that will later be presented after the ten minutes. This method will foster teamwork and encourage students to be more interactive. To encourage the active participation of members, the group leader will ascertain whether each individual contributes during discussions.
Assessment of Learning Needs and Styles
Learning styles can be categorized into auditory, visual, kinesthetic, and reading/writing (Bastable, 2019). The predominant learning style in group discussions is auditory because it involves listening and perhaps taking down points. An auditory learner relies on speaking and listening and best retains information when it is delivered through speech (Bastable, 2019). Group discussions encourage students to listen actively and develop strong speaking or storytelling skills.
Clinical Reasoning and Self-Reflection Skills
Group discussions can be important strategies to improve the student’s clinical reasoning and self-reflection. Discussions encourage students to learn from each other and recall information later when required. The student can understand the material better when it is explained by their peers and this information can later be retrieved when a similar situation is observed during clinical practice. Group discussions enable students to develop abilities in gathering, analyzing, and evaluating information (Billings & Halstead, 2016). Regarding the aspect of reflective practice, students are observed to learn from their peers and later re-think how problems were solved during discussions. During their clinicals, students can recall problem-solving approaches to complex situations and apply the same to improve patient outcomes.
Interprofessional education (IPE) is an experience that occurs when students from two or more professions come together and learn about a certain area of care (Billings & Halstead, 2016). An example is nursing and pharmacy students learning about medication reconciliation. Interprofessional collaboration can be implemented in face-to-face, online, and clinical learning environments. Face-to-face learning is the traditional approach whereby students are taught in class. The students attend classes daily, interact with the teacher and take notes. To utilize IPE in this learning environment, I will invite guest speakers from other professions to talk about a specific area of population health promotion. To foster teamwork, I will utilize simulation-based learning to involve students from other departments (Reeves et al., 2017). I will organize group discussions among these students and encourage open communication and learning.
Advancement in nursing education has led to the adoption of online learning in almost all institutions. This learning environment can easily encourage interprofessional collaboration by allowing students to share knowledge using online discussion boards (Reeves et al., 2017). To utilize this environment, I will organize discussion forums and live feedback sessions. I will ensure to utilize strategies like pee-tests, virtual excursions, and blogs to encourage students to achieve higher learning domains like application and creation. The other learning environment that can easily promote IPE is the clinical area. The clinical areas form almost half of the nursing curriculum to ensure students gain practical skills for effective care of patients (Billings & Halstead, 2016). To promote IPE and teamwork, I will encourage students to work in groups during rotations and interact with doctors and other professionals. I will provide case studies that will require the input of other professionals and encourage case presentation during learning sessions.
Nursing Student’s Experiences
Many factors affect student learning and subsequent development including elements such as culture, society, and life experiences. An individual’s culture is defined by membership in groups based on ethnicity, race, socioeconomic status, language, and religion (Kang & Chang, 2016). The cultural background of the student may affect the ability to interact in groups, share information, make jokes, or mix with students of the opposite gender. Such students may prefer to study alone and the utilization of methods like group discussions may yield fewer results compared to individual learning.
Regarding the societal aspect, the environment where one grows and how one interacts with people may influence learning outcomes. For example, students who do not have English as their primary language may find it difficult to interact during online discussions or clinicals making the achievement of certain objectives difficult (Bastable, 2019). Life experiences like prior knowledge, interaction with the outside world, and family relations may impair the student’s ability to learn. Students who grow up without siblings or those from dysfunctional homes may find it difficult to blend in and discuss freely with their peers.
Constructivist theory. Constructivism is a theory that is based on observation and science about how people acquire knowledge. The main idea behind this theory is that people construct their understanding and knowledge of the world through experiencing things and reflecting on those experiences (Billings & Halstead, 2016). It is observed that people experience the world and reflect on those experiences, building their own representations. To utilize this theory, students learn best when engaged in learning experiences rather than passively receiving information (Fernando & Marikar, 2017). I will utilize learning strategies like group discussions and flipped classrooms to ensure students actively participate in learning. The nurse educator should organize materials systematically such that one topic leads to the generation of ideas for the next topic. Encouraging a kinesthetic style of learning through experimentation and practicals is also another way of utilizing the constructivist learning theory.
American Association of Colleges of Nursing. (2008). The essentials of baccalaureate education for professional nursing practice. https://www.aacnnursing.org/portals/42/publications/baccessentials08.pdf
Bastable, S. B. (2019). Nurse as educator: Principles of teaching and learning for nursing practice. Jones & Bartlett Learning. (5th ed.). Sudbury, MA: Jones and Bartlet. ISBN: 9781284155464.
Billings, D.M., & Halstead, J. A. (2016). Teaching in nursing: A guide for faculty. [Western Governors University]. https://wgu.vitalsource.com/#/books/9780323290548/cfi/6/58!/4/2/8/20/4/2@0:0
Dorttepe, Z. U., & Arikan, B. (2019). Use of concept maps in nursing education/Hemsirelik Egitiminde Kavram Haritalari Kullanimi. Journal of Education and Research in Nursing, 16(2), 160-166. http://doi.org/10.5222/KUHEAD.2019.160
Fernando, S. Y., & Marikar, F. M. (2017). Constructivist teaching/learning theory and participatory teaching methods. Journal of Curriculum and Teaching, 6(1), 110-122. http://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/EJ1157438.pdf
Horntvedt, M. E. T., Nordsteien, A., Fermann, T., & Severinsson, E. (2018). Strategies for teaching evidence-based practice in nursing education: A thematic literature review. BMC Medical Education, 18(1), 172. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12909-018-1278-z
Kang, H., & Chang, B. (2016). Examining culture’s impact on the learning behaviors of international students from confucius culture studying in western online learning context. Journal of International Students, 6(3), 779-797. https://doi.org/10.32674/jis.v6i3.356
Kulkarni, J., Lama, P., Tamang, B., & Sinha, P. (2018). The impact and significance of small and large group teaching and learning in first year medical curriculum in anatomy. Journal of the Anatomical Society of India, 67, S53. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jasi.2018.06.085
Reeves, S., Pelone, F., Harrison, R., Goldman, J., & Zwarenstein, M. (2017). Interprofessional collaboration to improve professional practice and healthcare outcomes. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, (6).
Key Concept Alignment with Professional Standards and Guidelines
|Weekly Key Concept||Competency||Alignment Explained|
|Week 1: Demonstrate basic knowledge of the foundations of community health nursing and the role of community health nurses.||Essential I: Liberal Education for Baccalaureate Generalist Nursing Practice
|This concept deals with the student’s ability to obtain the basic knowledge of community health and the role of nurses in promoting population health outcomes. A solid liberal education on community health provides the cornerstone of practice (AACN, 2008).|
|Week 2: Students will recognize strategies to analyze population health and concepts to prevent diseases in the community.||Essential VII: Clinical Prevention and Population Health
|The concept of population health and disease prevention aligns with essential VII which requires baccalaureate generalist nurses to promote health and prevent illness at individual and population levels (AACN, 2008).|
|Week 3:Identify strategies to assess the needs of a community and how various factors shape the health needs of populations.||Essential IX: Baccalaureate Generalist Nursing Practice
|Baccalaureate students are prepared to practice with patients, individuals, groups, and families (AACN, 2008). Identifying strategies for assessing the needs of populations aligns with this competency.|
|Week 4: Describe how communities are affected by healthcare policies, cultural diversity, economics, and global health trends.||Essential V: Health Care Policy, Finance, and Regulatory Environments
|This week’s concept aligns with AACN essential V because both deal with healthcare policy and regulatory environments (AACN, 2008). The students will further discuss the functioning of healthcare systems and global health trends affecting community health nursing practice.|
|Week 5: Analyze the epidemiological strategies to prevent diseases and the barriers to effective disease prevention in the community.||Essential VII: Clinical Prevention and Population Health
|Essential VII discusses issues with clinical prevention and population health (AACN, 2008). This week’s concept expands on this competency and focuses on epidemiological strategies and barriers to effective disease prevention in the community.|
|Week 6: Demonstrate knowledge on the levels of disease prevention and social determinants of health.||Essential VII: Clinical Prevention and Population Health
|This week’s concept also continues to expand on disease prevention and social determinants of health. AACN essential VII highlights the student’s role in health promotion and understanding of factors hindering the promotion of health in the community (AACN, 2008).|
|Week 7: Identify vulnerable populations, risk factors that impact quality of life, and the interventions to prevent ill-health among these groups.||Essential III: Scholarship for Evidence Based Practice
|The key concept in this week is vulnerable populations and key interventions to improve the health of these populations. AACN essential III emphasizes the nurse’s role in using evidence-based practices to solve problems of individuals and special groups at the community level (AACN, 2008).|
|Week 8: Describe the process of disaster management, multidisciplinary approaches involved, and the role of community health nurses.||Essential VI: Interprofessional Communication and Collaboration for Improving
Patient Health Outcomes
|The key concept in this week is disaster preparedness and management. Through effective communication and interprofessional collaboration, nurses can help in preventing disasters in communities (AACN, 2008).|
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