Service learning in public health nursing education: How COVID-19 accelerated community-academic partnership

Ashley Gresh, Sarah LaFave, Veena Thamilselvan, Anne Batchelder, Jenna Mermer, Keilah Jacques, Amy Greensfelder, Melissa Buckley, Zeke Cohen, Ann Coy, Nicole Warren

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Days after COVID-19 physical distancing precautions were implemented, a coalition of community leaders in Baltimore City founded the Baltimore Neighbors Network (BNN), a volunteer network established to provide proactive phone-based support to older adults in Baltimore City. BNN was a community-driven approach aimed at reducing social isolation and improving health equity both during the pandemic and long-term. This paper describes how the Johns Hopkins School of Nursing's (JHUSON) public health nursing clinical faculty and students partnered with BNN to support a community-driven crisis response effort while creatively meeting student learning objectives. While engaging in the work of BNN remotely, nursing students were able to meet competencies across all eight domains of the Quad Council Coalition of Public Health Nursing Organizations. Schools of Nursing throughout the country can use this partnership as a model of a service-learning strategy for public health nursing education during a crisis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)248-257
Number of pages10
JournalPublic Health Nursing
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 1 2021


  • aging
  • community
  • community-academic partnership
  • isolation
  • older adults
  • public health nursing
  • service-learning
  • social support

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nursing(all)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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