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Teaching Students to Work With Vulnerable Populations Through a Patient Advocacy Course

Bell, Meghan L. MPH, RN; Buelow, Janet R. PhD, RN

doi: 10.1097/NNE.0000000000000063
Feature Articles

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.

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Author Affiliation: Adjunct Faculty (Ms Bell) and Professor (Dr Buelow), Department of Health Sciences, Armstrong State University, Savannah, Georgia.

Funding was received from the Health Resources and Services Administration (grant UD7HP25051).

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Correspondence: Dr Buelow, Department of Health Sciences, Armstrong State University, 11935 Abercorn St, Savannah, GA 31419 (

Supplemental digital content is available for this article. Direct URL citations appear in the printed text and are provided in the HTML and PDF versions of this article on the journal’s Web site (

Accepted for publication: May 10, 2014

Published ahead of print date:

© 2014 Wolters Kluwer Health | Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.