Nurses in primary health care have an opportunity to enhance community health and wellness. Primary health is central to the 2016 New Zealand Health Strategy.
At Dunedin’s Otago Polytechnic we mentor student nurses to partner with a community as their client. Student nurses advocate for their clients’ expressed health needs; engage with community resources and primary health care practitioners to promote the health of the population for which they care; manage episodes of illness, disease and life challenges by producing evidence-based strategies that are actioned by the community. With the entire community as the client, the student nurse requires a model and tools with which to achieve sustainable, meaningful health.
This presentation endorses the importance of access to clinical practice opportunities where student nurses can build trust, respect, integrity and partnership with the community with the intention of improving opportunities for health. We will showcase student practice examples and discuss the rationale and background for engaging in community development. We will also explore the theoretical tools and models utilized dependent on community context, and the ethical processes embedded within Nursing Council of New Zealand competencies for registered nurses.
Transformational change has been embedded in the educational activities leading to students demonstrating their innovative practice to improve community health.