Linking Service-Learning Education to Health Equity Research in a Nursing Baccalaureate Program in Honolulu, Hawaii

Chaminade University-Honolulu (CUH) is a Marianist University founded on the principles of serving Hawaiian and Pacific Island communities, and is a federally designated Native Hawaiian-serving institution. In 2010, the School of Nursing at CUH opened its doors to 75 baccalaureate nursing students. Since 2011, University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) School of Nursing faculty are partnering with CUH faculty to offer curriculum support and research focusing on health equity. The goal of the current research study is to prepare CUH baccalaureate nursing students to integrate concepts of social determinants of health and health equity in their future nursing practice. The aims of the study are to 1) measure changes in nursing students’ perceptions of social determinants of health and health equity, with a focus on the Hawaiian communities of Oahu; 2) build research capacity among nursing students to investigate the Hawaiian community’s perceptions of social determinants of health and health equity and; 3) integrate concepts of social determinants of health and health equity through courses, service-based learning and evidence-based practice. Results of Aim 1 were presented at the UCSF Health Disparities Research Symposium in October 2011.