The OHSU Street Nursing Team is a grant-funded program that engages nursing students in unique clinical learning opportunities that improve health and health care access for people experiencing homelessness in southern Oregon communities (Medford, Ashland, Grants Pass, and Klamath Falls).
The Street Nursing Team identifies the needs of people who are experiencing homelessness and provides care coordination, wound care, foot soaks, therapeutic listening, harm education, mental health services, telehealth appointments initiated from the street, advocacy in the hospital and clinics, and referrals to other services in the area.
OHSU's School of Nursing Ashland and Klamath Falls campuses partner with community-based organizations to provide care coordination, mental health, wound care, foot soaks, and supplies that support survival on the streets. Faculty and students use patient-led approaches to build relationships.
In the first year of the Street Nursing Team grant, 58 undergraduate and graduate nursing students engaged with 2,459 people experiencing homelessness. Of these, 813 were complex care encounters.
Homelessness is a critical public health issue in Oregon, and a lack of understanding of the more significant issues at play can lead to a biased approach to caring for this population. The Street Nursing program combines didactic education on root causes of homelessness, trauma- and violence-informed care models, harm education, comorbid conditions, and mental health with an immersive clinical education approach based on approaching people experiencing homelessness with humility.
With this background, our graduates will be better prepared to address structural inequity and bias within their practice environments and bring more effective evidence-based care to all patients and especially to those who are unhoused.
There are two academic aspects to the Street Nursing Team program:
- Undergraduate: The didactic portion of the street team curriculum is offered to all undergraduate students at the Ashland and Klamath Falls campuses and to the Accelerated Baccalaureate students on the Ashland campus. Immersive clinical experience at foot soak clinics and on street nursing rounds are clinical practicum options in core nursing courses.
- Graduate: Students in the Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP) and Master in Nursing Education programs completing clinical rotations in southern Oregon are eligible to participate on the Street Nursing Team as part for clinical course credit.
The Street Nursing Team aims to engage 280 nursing students from the Ashland and Klamath Falls campuses by June 2026.
The Street Nursing Team provides stipends and tuition reimbursement scholarships to students facing financial hardship, especially those with housing or food insecurity. To be eligible, students must be enrolled in one of the following programs:
- OCNE 3-year program (Ashland or Klamath Falls campuses)
- Accelerated bachelor program (Ashland campuses)
- Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner DNP (Ashland campus)
Learn more about the Street Nursing Team scholarship from the Admissions Scholarships page.
The Street Nursing Team is made possible through a four-year grant from the Health Resources & Services Administration (HRSA) Nurse Education, Practice, Quality and Retention- Mobile Health Training Program (HRSA 22-056) totaling $916,329, and an OHSU Foundation Philanthropic Funding gift of $40,000.
If you would like to become a donor, please contact Tanya Sloan at email@example.com.