Nursing student community engagement barriers, facilitators and satisfaction: Perceptions of community champions

Evangeline Chen, Naun Kim, Emily Webster, Claire Bocage, Terri H. Lipman


Nursing students could benefit professionally by participating in community engagement, but barriers to student involvement in community engagement exist. Community Champions, a nursing student-led, faculty-mentored service-learning group, promotes local outreach and engagement with a variety of community initiatives for nursing students. The purpose of this study was to examine former and current Community Champions perceptions of the barriers and facilitators to participating in community engagement initiatives, as well as their satisfaction with the community engagement initiatives. The study used a 14-item survey, consisting of both Likert-scale items and open-ended questions. Of the 130 Community Champions invited to complete the survey, 40 Community Champions responded (30.8% response rate). Quantitative responses were analyzed using descriptive statistics, and qualitative responses were reviewed for themes to generate future recommendations for program improvement. Respondents rated Community Champions highly and reported personal and professional benefits to community engagement.  Reasons for program satisfaction were synthesized into “opportunities for interactions with diverse community members”, “stress relief”, and “professional development”; reasons for program dissatisfaction were summarized as “disorganization of community sites”, “competing academic priorities”, and “lack of information”. Academic student programs that engage the community can positively impact both the community partners and university students.

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Journal of Nursing Education and Practice

ISSN 1925-4040 (Print)   ISSN 1925-4059 (Online)

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