Teaching students to work with vulnerable populations through a patient advocacy course

Nurse Educ. 2014 Sep-Oct;39(5):236-40. doi: 10.1097/NNE.0000000000000063.


Nursing students need an in-depth understanding of how social determinants, such as poverty, unsafe housing, and illiteracy, impact the health of patients. The authors describe how a patient advocacy service-learning course increased students' awareness and proficiency in working with the challenges low-income, vulnerable individuals face as they attempt to improve their lives and health. Course learning objectives, essential requirements, and student reflections are presented.

MeSH terms

  • Clinical Competence
  • Curriculum*
  • Education, Nursing, Baccalaureate / organization & administration*
  • Health Status Disparities
  • Humans
  • Models, Educational
  • Models, Nursing
  • Nursing Education Research
  • Nursing Evaluation Research
  • Nursing Methodology Research
  • Patient Advocacy / education*
  • Poverty
  • Social Determinants of Health
  • Students, Nursing / psychology*
  • Teaching / methods*
  • Vulnerable Populations*