NDSU students apply community health nursing lessons to make a difference

Photo of NDSU Nursing students working with plants in a community garden

There are many different factors at any time that might result in someone experiencing food insecurity, and a group of NDSU nursing students wanted to apply skills learned in their community health nursing class to make a difference during fall semester. As part of the class, students and faculty work together to address barriers, community priorities and create an engagement activity.

Food insecurity is an area that affects not only students but communities within the Fargo-Moorhead area. In its most recent fiscal year, the Great Plains Food Bank supplied over 126,000 people in the area with food.

NDSU nursing students in the course partnered with Jack Wood from Growing Together Community Gardens to turn their community health nursing efforts into action. They also volunteered at the Goods for Herd pantry and helped stock food that was donated. In addition, students collected over 20 pounds of food for the pantry and helped bring eight new volunteers for the food pantry.

Recent nursing graduate Alex Duerr who was previously involved in student government at NDSU participated in the class and the project. “I have had the wonderful opportunity to meet with local groups in Fargo such as Growing Together Farms and entities on campus to start a conversation about community gardens at NDSU that could help us fight food insecurity right in our backyard,” said Duerr. “My experiences in student government have given me an avenue to give back to the community that I have called home for the past four and a half years.”

Recent nursing graduate Kalli Lautt also participated in the community engagement efforts.

“We were able learn about gardening and the importance of access to fresh foods. Jack (Wood) showed us the variety of plants they grow each year thanks to the help of volunteers,” said Lautt. “I learned that all the excess veggies picked each week are donated to places such as the New Life Center, so nothing goes to waste. In my nursing career, I plan to help others learn about gardening and the importance of nutritious foods. I also plan to start a community garden locally in my hometown of Lisbon, North Dakota.”

Nancy Turrubiates, assistant professor of practice in the NDSU School of Nursing, works with students to apply what they learn to enhance the health of populations. “I’m excited to see these students advance in the nursing profession and have no doubt that in time, they will make a difference in population health wherever their career takes them,” said Turrubiates.

NDSU School of Nursing offers multiple in-person and online paths for those who want to pursue or advance their nursing careers through programs that include:  Pre-Licensure BSN, Accelerated BSN, online RN to BSN, online blended LPN to BSN, and DNP/Family Nurse Practitioner degrees.

As a student focused, land grant, research institution, we serve our citizens.

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