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July 2010 Issue
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Nursing students (from left to right) Kristy Essen, Tiffany Schoster, Shannon Berridge and Emily Mayhaus act as one “family” as they try to manage their money.
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Nursing Hosts Poverty Simulation

By Angela Koenig
Published July 2010

What’s a mother to do? Pay the rent, buy groceries for her children or get her prescriptions filled? 

These are the types of decisions that College of Nursing students faced when participating in a poverty simulation exercise as part of their community health nursing course. 

More than 60 students, faculty and community volunteers participated in the May 24 event, which was conducted by associate professor Donna Shambley-Ebron, PhD, and doctoral student Kate York.

Given an hour—broken into four, 15-minute weeks that simulated a month—students had to decide how to spend a meager income and deal with the domino effect when unexpected expenses arose, which is often the case with health care needs.  

The simulation was designed to sensitize participants to the realities faced by low-income families.

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