Date of Graduation

Fall 12-13-2019

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)


School of Nursing and Health Professions




DNP Completion

First Advisor

Dr. Jo Loomis

Second Advisor

Dr. Juli Maxworthy


Baccalaureate nursing programs across California (CA) are required by the state board of nursing to provide theory of public health and applied clinical learning to meet the requirements of the state’s public health nurse (PHN) certification. Students in Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) programs are expected to enter the workforce prepared to address population health needs that synthesize community-based assessment and understand epidemiologic approaches to strategize interventions in diverse populations at the local, state and national levels. To adequately prepare nurses for true population health practice, clinical experiences need to be in appropriate settings where they can apply theory to practice and experience interacting with vulnerable patient populations. Opportunities for interprofessional collaboration and multi-sector system partnerships are essential to preparing BSN graduates for the workforce. Give the growing trends in nursing education to meet the Institute of Medicine recommendations to prepare thirty percent more nursing graduates with BSN as the point of entry to practice by 2020, the competition for clinical placements has accelerated. Parallel to this problem is a growing homeless population across CA. The county of San Diego has become the fourth-largest homeless population in the United States (U.S.), growing at a nearly 10% increase annually. This is a local crisis requiring cooperation at all levels of public and private sectors to unite and develop innovative solutions to address the humanitarian needs of those affected. Preparing nurses who understand the historical, ethical and unique healthcare needs of this population is imperative to solving this urgent situation. An innovative approach to meeting the needs of BSN students and individuals experiencing homelessness with unmet healthcare needs is to provide nurse-led pop-up clinics within the homeless community of San Diego. This upstream approach brings students to the patients where they are. Students gain intimate experiences with diverse patients in community-based settings working alongside community partners to develop public health skills. This authentic immersive experience not only meets the competency requirements for the CA PHN certification but serves to support the multi-disciplinary actions needed to address the homeless crisis in San Diego. This paper outlines the development and implementation of a pop-up clinic model led by Point Loma Nazarene University School of Nursing beginning in 2019.