Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science

Degree Level





Dunn, Karee

Committee Member/Reader

Miller, Bettie

Committee Member/Second Reader

Aslin, Larry W.


The purpose of the proposed project was to develop a Pre-professional Recruitment Plan (PRP) for the Support for and Promotion of Optimal Nutritional Status (SPOONS) at Washington Regional Medical Center (WRMC). Additionally, this project determined if the PRP led to a significant increase in the number of volunteer participants in WRMC’s SPOONS program. Finally, this research examined the attrition rate of participants related to the mandatory Tuberculosis (TB) skin test and drug screen, and extensive SPOONS training program required to volunteer at WRMC. Malnutrition is a serious medical concern among hospitalized older adults. Socialization can improve the nutritional intake of older adults and there is a need for volunteer services to provide that socialization. WRMC was in need of a larger population of University of Arkansas students to draw volunteers from for the SPOONS program, and a sustainable mechanism to do so. The Volunteer Action Center (VAC) at the University of Arkansas was recruited to partner with WRMC to recruit volunteers for the SPOONS program. Data was collected prior to the implementation of the PRP in August, 2013 to determine the initial number of SPOONS volunteers and again in December, 2013 to determine the number of volunteers after the implementation of the PRP. A convenience sample was used for this study. Demographic data was collected upon participants’ arrival at the SPOONS orientation meetings via a demographic survey. Respondents who identified themselves as having been recruited through the PRP were included in the data analysis. Descriptive statistics were used to determine if there was an increase between the number of participants before and after the implementation of the PRP. Descriptive statistics were utilized to determine the percentage of new volunteers recruited through the PRP. The percentage of PRP potential volunteers who completed the TB test and drug screening was to be calculated as well. The results of this research project contributed to the nutritional well being of hospitalized older adults at WRMC, as well as provided opportunities for University of Arkansas pre-professional students to gain clinical experience. The research results also identified if there was an issue of attrition of volunteers through WRMC’s screening process. Results of this study indicated that the number of SPOONS volunteers at WRMC did increase after the implementation of the PRP. Results also identified that there was an issue of volunteer attrition between the SPOONS training session and the completion of WRMC’s volunteer requirements. The findings and limitations of this study are discussed, in addition to recommendations for future research.