Human Development Center

HDC News

HDC partners with LSU Health nursing students to bring baby wellness screenings to Early Head Start programs

LSUHNO Human Development Center’s (HDC) Early Head Start Child Care Partnership (EHS-CCP) collaborates with the LSU Health New Orleans School of Nursing to offer nursing students clinical opportunities in early childhood well-child settings. Spearheaded by EHS-CCP Health Specialist Courtney Bissonnette, RN, MSN, nursing students will begin screening EHS-CCP’s eight Early Head Start childcare partner sites in early July. LSUHNO students will provide vision screenings for ages 6-months to 3-years, hearing screenings for ages 6-weeks to 3-years old, developmental screenings, and growth charts that include height, weight, head circumference.



Courtney Bissonnette

Health screenings and well-child visits are crucial for healthy growth and development. Screenings ensure that children reach developmental milestones and that families receive necessary early intervention if children do not meet milestones. The LSU Health School of Nursing is excited that their Junior 2 nursing students can have this experience. Faculty Kristen Ramsey, DNP, APRN, CPNP-PC says, “Our faculty are passionate about health promotion in the child health practicum. Bringing nursing students to the childcare centers for clinical experiences in the community provides them with a better understanding of the importance of health promotion early in life as primary preventive care. This clinical experience expands our students’ experiences that includes providing nursing care to children in the hospital setting, by providing various nursing opportunities to care for children in our communities and health settings.” 


As an Early Head Start collaboration, nursing students will gain an understanding of family-centered practice through the lens of comprehensive care and support for families in a lower income environment. Courtney Bissonnette, RN, MSN hopes this experience will positively influence the students’ bedside knowledge and care in their future careers. She states, “I want nursing students to understand the importance of primary and preventive healthcare for all children, especially those children differentiated by lower income, who occasionally have limited access to healthcare settings due to poverty, transportation, or crisis. In addition, I want the nursing students to witness the rewarding emotional state of advocating wellness for children in our early head start demographic.”


This clinical rotation experience will also give the students the opportunity to work outside of traditional healthcare settings and with healthy children, which is the opposite end of the pediatric health spectrum most clinics see. Clinical rotations in healthcare settings tend to screen sick children who need in-patient care.  Because of this EHS-CCP screening experience, nursing students can see the full range of pediatric health.



EHS-CCP promotes early childhood success by supporting education, health, and family services provided by childcare partners in the community.

Visit the EHS-CCP website