Community engagement isn’t just a form of service at Penn Nursing: it’s essential to who we are. Community engagement is a fundamental aspect of Penn Nursing’s social justice mission. Our research and clinical expertise benefit those who live and work around us. Our community, in turn, helps us truly understand what we seek to learn in the classroom, lab, and clinical setting.
The heart of our work
At Penn Nursing, community engagement forms the backbone of how we communicate, translate, and apply nursing knowledge. For us, this is not only our mission but a heartfelt commitment to partner with our community to improve health and promote positive social change in communities around Philadelphia and the world.
Several Penn Nursing students have successfully incorporated community engagement as winners of the competitive President Engagement Prize. These prizes reflect Penn Nursing and Penn’s commitment to public service by rewarding students who demonstrate a purpose-driven desire to get out and make a difference — in their community, across the country, and around the world.
Community partnerships and outreach
Working with our community partners has helped our outreach programs touch hundreds of thousands of lives, especially those of marginalized communities.
For more information on our engagement with the community, visit our heat map.
Part of the curriculum
Penn recognizes that putting theory to practice not only drives home academic concepts, it opens the eyes of students to related, real-life, human issues. Our Academically Based Community Service (ABCS) courses help you turn your knowledge into civic leadership, and are offered at Nursing and across the University.
The Elizabeth Wright Fund—which gave Penn Nursing its first student exchange program—has its roots in a time when post-operative hospital stays were longer, and when private duty nurses attended patients in the hospital as well as at home after discharge.
Emily Beisser and Rachel Ohrenschall–nursing interns for the Penn Futures program at Kensington Health Science Academy, Community Champions, and students in N354- Social Determinants of Health: Community Engagement Immersion–and their faculty advisor, Dr. Kate McDonald, have been working closely with KHSA students in KHSA’s Health Related Technologies (HRT) program.
Emily and Rachel have provided health education and developed a skills boot camp to prepare the HRT students for their certification exam. Penn Nursing undergraduate and graduate students were recruited to staff various boot camp skill stations that included obtaining blood pressure, measuring height and weight, hand washing, transferring patients, and donning personal protective equipment (PPE). The boot camp was evaluated very highly by the HRT students and their teachers.
Kudos to Rachel, Emily and the multiple Penn Nursing volunteers!