Nursing Students Use Photography to Encourage Change

Dr. Michelle DeBoseDr. Michelle DeBose, an assistant professor in Prairie View A&M University’s graduate Nursing program, recently presented at the 14th Annual Faculty Development Conference in Lexington, Kentucky. Her topic: Community Engagement and PhotoVoice: Innovative Teaching Strategy Incorporated into a Graduate Level Nursing Course.

“At the workshop on May 10, I shared with other faculty members the process of obtaining a service learning grant and how I implemented the project in the fall semester,” said DeBose. “Twelve students in my graduate level nursing course, NURS 5003: Transcultural Family Health Care in Rural and Urban Settings, participated and used PhotoVoice methodology to explore cultural dimensions of health care delivery in urban and rural settings.”

DeBose’s students primarily explored Asian American and Mexican American groups, along with those in the subculture group of homelessness. They documented their findings using pictures. “Using these images, my students were able to learn about and appreciate the culture and diverse needs of each population. They were also able to identify each group’s health care needs,” said DeBose. “In the future, many of them will be able to provide cultural exclusive health education to these groups when they encounter them as practitioners.”

In regards to the PhotoVoice method, DeBose said, “By using this innovative strategy, PhotoVoice is successful for teaching students to think critically and participate in research. My students experienced what it is like to be both a participant and a researcher. They also learned that their lived experiences through these photos could influence policy.”

A few of DeBose’s students plan to solicit Houston’s mayor to see if they can work with the city to address homelessness and the health care needs of that population.

To find out more about PhotoVoice, visit


-This story by Marchita Shilo originally appeared in Academic Insights.