Environmental Health Training for Nursing Students
State/Jurisdiction: Rhode Island
Population: Medical & Public Health Professionals
Topic Area: Environmental Justice Workforce Development
Nurses (especially home visiting nurses) are in key positions to prevent, recognize, and manage environmental, exposure-related disease and injury. Although nurses have the potential to promote the health of the public by incorporating environmental health into their practice, nursing education programs often lack meaningful theoretical and clinical activities pertaining to environmental health. In response to national recommendations, the Rhode Island Department of Health developed an active clinical learning experience that is designed to enhance the abilities of undergraduate public/community health nursing students to understand the scope and significance of home environmental assessments. The Environmental Health Training for Nursing Students model is a low-cost method that reaches future home visiting and community health nurses in the state. As these students start their work in Rhode Island (RI), they are equipped with the ability to recognize environmental health hazards and to provide families with referrals to necessary programs. This program has also lead to strong partnerships with many key community partners around environmental health issues.
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