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COLUMBUS, Miss. (WCBI) – More than 50 pairs of fresh new eyes have been taking a close look at Oxford. And they’ve come up with some of the good, bad and ugly on the city.

As part of their community nursing studies each year, nursing students at Mississippi University for Women take an in depth look at a community. This year, Oxford was their focus. They study everything from transportation to education to community health services. It helps them better understand community health needs while offering a community some insights it might not have thought about before.

“They had to take a community piece by piece and assess the community, look at the partnerships and the development of the different groups in the community. That leads to a healthy environment for the citizens of that community,” said Associate Professor of Nursing Deborah Miranda.

“Our part was personally on the transportation and the communication in the community and it was really neat to how we understand as a nurse that we can advocate for better crossings at school areas or bicycle lanes to improve health,” said nursing student Al Rayburn.

Oxford long has prided itself as one of the most attractive towns in the state. The MUW students found that attitude reaches throughout the community and is something the city can continue to build on.

“I think a lot of people say it’s not in our back yard or somebody else will pick it up and Oxford really does not do that, they take a lot of pride in keeping their environment clean,” said nursing student Amy Hester.

The students met with Oxford Mayor Pat Patterson and other city leaders this afternoon to present their findings and recommendations for improving the quality of life.

“They pulled together a lot of information in a very short period of time that really demonstrates that this community is thriving and growing and very dynamic,” added Miranda.

Oxford isn’t the only one to benefit. Students also have a little better understanding of what community nursing is all about.

“As far as being a nurse, I mean you’re about being a window for the community, you want to be a resource, people are going to come to you for questions and there going to expect you to have the answers.This is just a good experience to learn the different resources in the community and how we can effect other people and take care of our patients,” said nursing student Tiffany Magee.

52 nursing students were involved in the assessment project. Last year’s project was on the city of Tupelo.

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