Registered nurses (RNs) working to the full scope of licensed practice can expand the capacity of the health care system and influence patient care quality. However, preparation of prelicensure nursing students to practice in primary care is particularly challenging due to curricular and practice site barriers.
As part of a federally funded project to expand the primary care RN workforce, learning activities to teach key concepts of primary care nursing were designed and implemented. Students studied the concepts while placed in a primary care clinical setting and debriefed in a topical, instructor-facilitated, seminar. Current and best practices in primary care were explored, compared, and contrasted.
Pre- and postsurveys revealed significant student learning related to selected primary care nursing concepts. Overall knowledge, skills, and attitudes increased significantly pre- to post-term.
Concept-based learning activities can effectively support specialty nursing education in primary and ambulatory care settings.