Social Determinants of Health Fact Sheet


OADN conducted a survey of 85 members at the organization’s annual 2020 convention to assess factors regarding how associate degree nursing programs address social determinants of health, a critical component health equity and the social mission of nursing. The survey took place over three days, November 6 – 8, 2019.
54% of survey respondents report that their ADN programs are incorporating social determinants of health when teaching health assessments. The determinates assessed most over cover adequate access to food, housing, transportation, public safety and medicine, among others.

All survey respondents, 100% (N =85) reported conducting a portion of clinical education in community-based settings, a significant finding considering that associate degree nursing is often erroneously regarded as focusing solely on traditional acute care settings.

OADN collaborated with one such program to explain how clinical education can be accomplished in community settings, Middlesex Community College in Edison, NJ. Recognizing the need to prepare graduates for a more realistic approach to patient care across all settings, this ADN program implemented curriculum-wide community and population experiences. The students have independently designed and implemented significant formal and informal volunteer activities, as well as reported unexpected cognitive and affective gains. These experiences have provided a more holistic approach to caring for patients throughout the trajectory of health, illness and recovery.
Program was presented on webinar through NurseTim and can be viewed with coupon code OADNWEB1:

Nurse managed clinics at community colleges are another way that students are learning about the social determinants of health, while completing clinical rotations, and helping to meet the needs of their communities. Examples of these clinics include Lewis and Clark College, Godfrey, IL; Allegany College of Maryland, Cumberland, MD, Hartnell College, Salinas, CA; and College of Marin, Marin, CA. Lewis and Clark Community College received over $2 million in HRSA funding (grants D11HP07733 and UD7HP28529).

Additional exemplars that emerged from OADN’s work include:

  • Exemplar: Kankakee Community College, Kankakee, IL
    This school utilizes IPE simulation across six health career programs, plus law enforcement students. The objective: communication using the Team STEPPS framework, a common evaluation rubric, and standardized patients (SPs). Scenarios move through an acute condition from pre-hospital care to preparing for discharge. Students are introduced to the Team STEPPS (Team Strategies and Tools to Enhance Performance and Patient Safety) framework as a way to enhance communication skills. Faculty utilize a common grading rubric that incorporates four interprofessional simulation learning objectives and one discipline specific objective. A standardized patient (SP) cast to play the role through the entire scenario allows for enhanced communication between the healthcare provider and the patient. In this session, we will walk you through our process from initial implementation to where we are now and from pre-brief to de-brief.
  • Exemplar: College of Central Florida, Ocala, FL
    The Pediatric On-Campus Clinical Experience was developed as a solution to limited or unavailable pediatric clinical sites, an issue facing nursing programs across the country. In groups of 3-4 students, student nurses care for a school-aged child diagnosed with asthma and pneumonia, a school aged child diagnosed with seizure disorder, and an infant diagnosed with hydrocephalus and myelomeningocele. In addition to learning how to care for these clients, the simulation experiences also address a variety of cultural competencies, exposing students to Spanish-speaking and single parent household families in the scenarios. The informal feedback from student evaluations has been overwhelmingly positive. With clinical sites, particularly in a specialty such as pediatrics, becoming more limited to nursing programs nationwide, simulation presents an innovative and effective method to prepare student nurses.
  • Exemplar: Modesto Junior College, Modesto, CA
    The program has embraced a collaborative model in simulation, between our associate degree nursing students and medical students, residents, and local physicians, to build trust between nursing and medicine before they are in real-life patient interaction. Forging a partnership between disciplines is beneficial in identifying communication challenges, potential errors, and discussing the team role in patient care. Using simulation to collaborate and practice communication between nurses and physicians can improve patient outcomes.


Last update 12/17/19
Please, check back for further updates as OADN continues this important work.


Download a PDF of this fact sheet.