Women on their Way (WOW) Community Health Clinical

Nature and scope of the project

Collaboration with the community can simultaneously build community partnerships, provide services to community members, foster health equity, and create transformational clinical opportunities for nursing students.

Synthesis and analysis of supporting literature

Innovative community partnerships enrich community health nursing clinical rotations. The Future of Nursing 2020-2030 report provides our profession’s 10-year road map to health equity. This document mandates us to develop curriculum and academic-clinical community partnerships that prepare nurses to work outside acute care settings. Nurse educators should empower future nurses to be change agents in health equity who create systems that bridge healthcare delivery and community health and social needs.

Project implementation

Above and Beyond (ANB) Family Recovery is an addiction recovery center in East Garfield Park. A Certified Peer Recovery specialist at ANB created an in-reach group at ANB’s food pantry in North Lawndale, Chicago. In collaboration with Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing faculty and students, the in-reach group merged with a community health clinical rotation to create a 16-week educational project. Food pantry community members, Women on Their Way (WOW), self-identified their issues of interest, and each student presented an educational session and guided discussion. These sessions were accompanied by the Peer Recovery Specialist leading the group in dance, meditation, and song.

Evaluation criteria

We evaluated ANB's continuing partnership with MNSON, community members engagement and attendance, and student evaluations.


Our ANB partners have requested ongoing community health clinical rotations at the food pantry. Community members’ engagement and attendance grew over 16 weeks. One community member said, “this group is an answer to my prayers.” Our students’ comments indicated a transformational experience: "I became a nurse to help people, but this clinical made me realize that nursing will help me,” and “this taught me more about cultural humility than any book or lecture ever could.” Course objectives were achieved through innovation while following our 10-year roadmap to health equity.


Innovative clinical opportunities can meet course objectives, and community needs when community members lead projects with collaboration from nursing students and faculty.



Women on their Way (WOW) Community Health Clinical