Health Literacy Initiative Launched by College of Nursing and Health Professions at Arkansas State University

The College of Nursing and Health Professions, Arkansas State University, launched a Health Literacy initiative throughout the College in 2013. An education session was offered to faculty reviewing the concept, current data, toolkits available, and research opportunities. An educational module on Health Literacy of similar content  will be offered in the Fall for all students in  health profession disciplines to be introduced during their first clinical class or immediately prior. This promotion of Health Literacy education will provide an opportunity for faculty research to measure the effects of additional Health Literacy education efforts. In addition, it will provide information on needed elements in the curriculum. Guiding the planning of this Health Literacy focus, a pilot project was conducted with Graduate Nursing students in 2011-12 and presented at the International Conference on Teaching and Learning in 2012. Results identified a need for improved communication in practicing RNs and the need for strategies to improve health literacy.

The College of Nursing and Health Professions has also partnered with the Senior Center Northeast and Women’s Advisory Council in Jonesboro to promote Health Literacy in the medical community. An education effort and research project will be introduced in July 2013 to be implemented in the Fall 2013. This effort will be directed at improving the awareness of Health Literacy with strategies to improve communication in the Primary Care Medical Clinics in the area. Results of these efforts and study results will be reported in 2014.

For more information contact Angela Stone Schmidt, PhD, MNSc, RNP, RN, Director of Graduate Programs School of Nursing & Associate Dean, College of Nursing  & Health Professions, Arkansas State University-Jonesboro at 870-972-3074 or [email protected].