200288 Public health nursing (PHN) workforce crisis: A young perspective on an old problem

Monday, November 9, 2009

Amanda Slagle, MPH, MSN, RN , York State Health Center, Pennsylvania Department of Health, Hummelstown, PA
Methods: A personal account of one nurse's experience as a new hire in a department of health. Additionally, a supportive literature review was conducted as well as interviews with persons who are positioned to influence change within the workforce. Persons targeted were union representatives, public health nurse administrators, and organizations that are incorporating public health programs outside of the government structure. Reference will be made to the first-prize poster presented at ACHNE's 2006 annual conference, entitled Graduate Nursing Students' Perceptions of the Public Health Nursing Workforce Dilemma.

Results/Discussion: Public health nurses and other public health professionals agree that there is a growing public health workforce problem. There are efforts to address the nation-wide nursing shortage, but most states lack an organized effort to specifically address the PHN workforce crisis.

Retention is improved when a goal-oriented orientation is offered to newly hired nurses and often leads to increased job satisfaction and reduces burn-out rates. State and local health departments are in key positions to improve the orientation standards for PHNs by adopting a career-path model. Health departments' academic partnerships can assist with the development of goal-oriented PHN orientation programs. Finally, implementation of orientation standards and practices for new hires in the public health nursing profession will ensure a competent public health workforce.

Learning Objectives:
Learning Objectives 1.)Describe one nurse’s transition from the academic setting to the public health work setting, highlighting the orientation dilemma 2.)Discuss the impact that the various nursing degrees have on recruitment and retention for the PHN workforce 3.)Provide ideas for increasing the academic/practice partnership that are long-term, profitable and measurable 4.)Recommend new ways to promote public health nursing in non-traditional workplace settings

Keywords: Workforce, Public Health Nursing

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I currently work in the field of public health, I have a graduate degree in public health and I have presented on the topic of public health nursing workforce at academic conferences in the past. I also have experience giving other educational presentations on a myraid of public health topics in the community setting.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.