Community Engagement for Local and Global Nursing Excellence

Wednesday, 1 August 2012: 2:10 PM

Pamela Mack-Brooks, MSN, CRNP
Womens Health, Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA
Victoria Rich, PhD, RN, FAAN
Department of Nursing, Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA
Rita K. Adeniran, DrNP, RN, CMAC, NEA, BC
Department of Nursing Education & Development, Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA
Theresa David, MSN, CRNP
Nursing, Hospital of The University Of PA, Philadelphia, PA

Research suggests value in engaging members of community to finding solutions to issues that affect their health and healthcare. Community engagement allows community wisdom and science to work in tandem producing suitable options for long-term solutions. Community engagement can help to build trust, increase communication, and create openness to new ideas between community members and clinicians.  In recognition of the value of collaborating with communities to promote optimal health and nursing excellence, and the significance of a sustainable meaningful partnership between communities and healthcare organization, a community outreach initiative was established in 2007 as another arm of the Global Nurse Program. The community outreach initiative (COI) established a structure that allows for collaboration between the department of nursing of this tertiary academic medical center and the different local, national and global communities. Activities of the COI have resulted in identification and initiation of some solutions that address health issues confronting these communities. It has also fostered a positive relationship between this tertiary academic medical center, the different communities, reinforcing trust, strength, and increasing the communities' capacity to meet their healthcare goals. The success of the COI to effectively partner with the different communities hinges on several factors including leadership, resource commitment, appreciation of diversity, and  the inclusion of community members as stakeholders at all levels of  planning and implementation of projects. Further, nurses were critical to providing holistic education that meets the health care needs of the communities. The outcomes of   the COI reiterate nursing’s ability to lead and provide excellence at local, national and global levels of healthcare delivery