One thing that came into focus early-on was the need to provide this workshop in Spanish as well as English because a majority of the patients St. Vincent’s serves are Spanish speakers. 

“In order to really tailor our intervention appropriately, we wanted to make sure we could speak to them in their native language. Since one of our cohort members is bilingual we wanted to use her skills so everyone who attended could get the most out of the workshop,” Cura said.

Not only was the workshop delivered in both languages but the supporting materials, including a pamphlet that participants could take home and a survey, were printed in English and Spanish.

With their content intact and a plan to deliver it, they needed to start recruiting women to attend the workshop. Again they turned to their community partner for guidance and best practices.

“They were very receptive to taking my feedback as far as how to engage the participants," said Elva Hooker, director of the Center for Family Wellness at St. Vincent de Paul. "Anytime we do recruitment for any of our programs, we are in direct contact, so either in-person or engaging them over the phone. The students were open to coming in and being able to offer their time to get these phone calls done and get the participants scheduled for their workshop.” 

It was such a mutually beneficial collaboration that Hooker said they’d love to build on this partnership and do more workshops with Edson College students in the future.

The feeling was mutual. Through this process, each of the nursing students, who are graduating in May, said they gained valuable experience and reaffirmed the importance of taking their practice outside of the clinical setting.

“We are really dedicated to supporting and caring for other people — and I think that extends beyond the bedside experience," Cura said. "As advocates for health, we should be nurses who reach out to the community. We want to be able to walk into the spaces they’re familiar with and provide that education so it’s easier for them to feel comfortable and empowered as patients.”

Amanda Goodman

Senior communications specialist, Edson College of Nursing and Health Innovation