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May 2003 Issue

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Nursing Students Act as Resource, Provide Company to Needy Community

Published May 2003

The UC College of Nursing offers an accelerated program for students with baccalaureate degrees in fields other than nursing who have decided to make nursing their career choice. These students receive transfer credit for equivalent courses, complete support course requirements, then proceed with five quarters of full-time course work which will make them eligible to take the state board of licensure examination for registered nurses and core courses in the master's nursing program curriculum.

The UC College of Nursing has taken this accelerated program one step further. This year, the accelerated College of Nursing students spent two days per week communicating with patrons at Our Daily Bread, a community food bank and gathering at 1730 Race Street, downtown. Our Daily Bread provides nutritious hot meals to needy persons and serves as a safe haven for many. A social worker is on hand to assist patrons with housing, clothing and medical needs. Many of the patrons of Our Daily Bread are homeless and mentally ill.

"The chronically mentally ill persons attending the program have many needs," said Jean Anthony, PhD, assistant professor in the UC College of Nursing. "The students were able to sit and communicate with the clients, allowing the clients to talk about their issues and receive some assistance in problem solving and issue identification."

The value of this program is seen by Our Daily Bread's director, Mary Jo Hulahan as double-sided. While the patrons get the opportunity to communicate with health science students and garner information about their own health and well being, students are given the opportunity to interact with mentally ill persons and test their skills with issue/problem assessment.

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