Nursing Students Share Life-Skills with Clark County Community

by Public Relations

Cedarville University continues to encourage students to engage local communities for Christ using various talents, gifts and fields of study. In fall 2011, nursing students partnered with the Pregnancy Resource Center (PRC) of Clark County, giving students the opportunity to explore the field of public health nursing and participate in a service learning project.

As part of a clinical experience, senior nursing students Katie Lanphier and Felicia Dyksterhouse spent their semester developing a life-skills education program for the PRC.

“The students developed a survey to assess the health education needs among clients of the PRC,” said Rachel Parrill, Ph.D., assistant professor of nursing and the clinical advisor for the project. “They were able to apply what they learned about assessing the needs of a population and developing an intervention to meet those needs within a local community.”

“After compiling and analyzing the data, we put together a suggested schedule for classes that will address the highest priority needs while keeping in mind the interests of the client,” Lanphier said.

The students learned that although most of the clients were seeking crisis care, the majority also needed education in basic life skills such as money management, grocery shopping, meal planning and time management.

“The project showed me the need for life-skills education in most of the clients and gave me a curiosity for how life-skills education could help,” Dyksterhouse said. “Working with the PRC also gave us many opportunities to share our faith and encourage women in difficult situations.”

Ellen Dudney, the executive director of the PRC of Clark County, said that she is always excited to work with Cedarville students.

“They bring enthusiasm, compassion, and a real heart for the girls we serve here,” Dudney said. “The students set a positive example for our clients of faithfulness and godly living, and they provide the much needed volunteer staff for our evening shifts and allow us to provide services that, without their help, would be difficult to provide.”

The PRC of Clark County was founded in 1987 and exists to share Jesus Christ and His respect for life. The center offers at-risk pregnancy services through providing free and confidential pregnancy testing, ultrasounds, parenting classes, material services, adoption counseling, community referrals and post abortion recovery support.

“As Christians, many times we come short of the mark Christ has set and fail to seek out opportunities to meet needs that are right in our community,” Lanphier said. “We need to be affecting our communities for Jesus Christ.”

Cedarville has a history of working with the PRC of Clark County, and over 16 students are currently volunteering at the organization. Parrill is a former board member of the organization, and many Cedarville alumni also serve as volunteers or employees at the center.

Nursing students from Cedarville have also partnered with other pregnancy resource centers such as the Miami Valley Women’s Center in Xenia, Ohio. The students who served at this location assisted volunteer staff in counseling clients regarding healthy nutrition for pregnancy.

Cedarville University attracts 3,300 undergraduate, graduate and online students to more than 100 areas of study. Cedarville is a Christ-centered learning community recognized nationally for rigorous academic programs, strong graduation and retention rates, accredited professional and health science offerings and leading student satisfaction ratings. Visit the University online at