On Nov. 21, 2013 an EF-4 tornado raged through Washington, IL leaving a path of deadly destruction. And in the central Illinois region, the utility for nursing curriculum to develop and practice community emergency management is evident. In this student-learning centered poster presentation the “Truly Flipped Practicum: From Patient Safety to Community Safety Story Quilt” serves as a unique example of taking community health nursing students beyond traditional learning strategies to “being in the moment.” This exceptional educational experience of walking beside community leaders was paramount in actively contributing to the city office (Office of Emergency Management), and for the community and population health curricula by revising the abridged “Call to Action” in-class program.
Oftentimes, as nursing students progress from acute care to community based clinical settings, the change of thinking, sensing, and seeing “community as client” may be obscure until the light fog begins to lift and broader ways of “thinking like a community and population health nurse” begin to emerge. As faculty, I joined the new journey of a senior nursing student group, and served to carry the light for these student’s paths, to walk beside the students, and help them through the experiential learning process to catalyze the change in behavior that bears evidence of growth and personal satisfaction. In a short time, the fog began to dissipate, the vision became clear, and evidence flourished as the group moved through the assignments focusing on downtown Peoria, Illinois and the Office of Emergency Management. Included in the assignments were; a windshield survey, agency analysis, and a comprehensive community health assessment and analysis using the goals of Healthy People 2020. By working together the group developed a most creative and unique presentation; “From Patient Safety to Community Safety Story Quilt.”
Notably, nursing faculty imprint the development of tomorrow’s nurses as community health and population health nursing students are engaged in innovative teaching/learning environments to facilitate the transitions from education to practice and reach toward the benchmark of the AACN Essentials VI Inter-professional communication and collaboration for improving patient health outcomes; and VII Clinical prevention and population.” While nursing students were “being in the moment” the distinct set of newly created pictorial storytelling blocks captured the underlying story, and yielded both formative and summative assessment data for the practicum. Up and coming practice challenges will surely be evidenced as nurses step out into the health care environment generating partnerships with practitioners and stakeholders to promote and support our national treasure-health. The “From Patient Safety to Community Safety Story Quilt” process and project is an educational redesign with a goodness –of –fit for present-day nursing education.