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Academic-Practice Partnership in Public Health Nursing: Working with Families in a Village-Based Collaboration




The purpose of this program development and evaluation project was to promote healthy families and communities by creating academic-practice partnerships, educating BSN students and building family-nursing student partnerships that were supported by a “village” of interconnected resources.

Design and Sample

A mixed-methods design was used for the project. Data were collected from a convenience sample of vulnerable families, BSN students engaged in PHN practica, and partner members.


Nine tools were developed to capture data over two semesters including a GIS mapping strategy.


One hundred and seventy-five home visits were completed with 20 families, 14 of whom needed interpreter assistance. Families reported satisfaction with the quality of home visits, education, and assistance toward health goals. Fifty-three students provided 202 educational interventions, 39 community resource connections, and 46 care transitions. Students reported linking theory with practice and valued the PHN practicum experience. Academic-practice partners identified opportunities for program development and sustainability. GIS mapping illustrated complex family linkages to community resources.


Results suggest that young, vulnerable families benefit from public health nursing (PHN) home visits, but sustaining home visit programs is challenging. Academic-practice partnerships can guide students and families partnered in a reciprocal relationship with “village” resources.