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Using Service Learning to Improve CPR Competency



Skill Competency, Service-Learning, Community Outreach

Presented by:

Lenna Westerkamp, Ferris State University

Kristen Kunik, Ferris State University

Key Statement:

CPR competencies decay over time. Offering CPR practice sessions lead by nursing students as part of a service-learning project reinforces CPR competency.


Healthcare providers are required to be certified in CPR. CPR training only occurs every two years and as a result, a decay in CPR skills is observed. Offering CPR practice sessions lead by nursing students as part of a service-learning project may reinforce CPR competency. This presentation describes creating a service-learning project in which nursing students conduct CPR practice sessions for both students and in the community. The nursing students involved in the project had to correct participant’s technique and provide feedback provided by the mannequins used during sessions.

Learning Outcomes:

Summarize the need for CPR practice sessions in the community.

Understand how offering CPR practice sessions improves confidence in CPR skills. 

Describe how service-learning can improve competency in skills.

Hear it from the author:

Using Service Learning to Improve CPR CompetencyLenna Westerkamp, Ferris State University
00:00 / 01:30


Hello, this is Lenna Westerkamp and Kristen Kunik and we're going to present using service learning to improve CPR competency. We asked the question for this project, does providing CPR practice sessions at nursing students need improve their CPR competency? Currently, CPR training occurs only every two years. And during that time, there's a decay in CPR skills. Additionally, in the community, only 25% of people will respond to a cardiac arrest. We designed a service-learning project with our nursing students to offer CPR practice sessions. We also obtained mannequins that provide feedback through a grant through the Ferris Foundation. And so, for our outcomes for this presentation were to discuss the need for CPR practice sessions in the Community, understand how offering CPR practice assessments improves confidence in CPR skills and describe how service learning can improve confidence and skills.

We did a number of different sessions for CPR practice, including the health professionals, students, athletes, employees of Ferris State University and other community events. We did evaluate our students who completed their service learning and found that it improved their overall CPR ability and that they felt it was beneficial to the community. So, in conclusion, it was beneficial to have as a project for students and community members and that we are going to continue to plan for future events.


Newman, M. (2022). Latest statistics. Sudden Cardiac Arrest Foundation.  

Oermann, M. H., Krusmark, M. A., Kardong-Edgren, S., Jastrzembski, T. S., & Gluck, K. A. (2020). Training interval in cardiopulmonary resuscitation. PLoS ONE, 15(1), e0226786.  

Villalobos, F., Del Pozo, A., Rey-Reñones, C., Granado-Font, E., Sabaté-Lissner, D., Poblet-Calaf, C., Basora, J., Castro, A., & Flores-Mateo, G. (2019). Lay people training in CPR and in the use of an automated external defibrillator, and its social impact: A community health study. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 16(16), 2870.

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