Gannon University Nursing Professors Present a Flu-Fighting Strategy
Posted: July 9, 2013
Gannon University nursing professors took a closer
look at living in close proximity to one another. College students
are in an ideal situation for the incubation of learning,
exchanging ideas and . . . the flu. Immunization is critical, but
how do you get laissez-faire college students to participate?
That was the problem addressed by a podium presentation by two
Gannon University nursing professors at the Building Healthy
Academic Communities National Summit at Ohio State University. In
"Nursing Students As Health Ambassadors: Implementing a University
Influenza Immunization Program," Kimberly R. Blount MSN, CRNP,
assistant professor and associate professor Lisa Quinn Ph.D. CRNP,
MSN, explored creative ways to solve this public health
It's a bigger problem than you might imagine. A 2010 study by
the American College Health Association (ACHA) revealed that the
vaccination rates for influenza on college/university campuses are
Using the Gannon campus as a public health laboratory, Blount
and Quinn devised an innovative strategy that utilized senior
baccalaureate nursing students enrolled in a community health
course in the University's Villa Maria School of Nursing to
coordinate a University Influenza Vaccination Program.
The nursing students acted as "Health Ambassadors" to students,
faculty and staff. The performed a community assessment, worked to
produce informational materials, established policies and
procedures and provided immunizations. The program was
service-learning at its most essential: students helping students -
a lot of them.
More than 550 influenza immunizations were provided at a one-day
event, a startling number considering that in previous years, the
University's Student Health Services had provided less than 50
influenza immunizations annually.
The favorable outcomes extended beyond reducing the number of
illnesses, missed classes and boxes of tissues sold during the
annual flu season.
Nursing students gained collaborative skills by working with a
diverse range of University staff and departments, and professional
staff learned from the students, who taught registered nurse
volunteers the intradermal technique used for the
Among the findings of the project were the importance of
starting small and growing, teamwork and the freedom to be
creative. And that's nothing to sneeze at.