201368 Nursing faculty development program as a strategy to affect change in public health

Wednesday, November 11, 2009: 8:30 AM

Ruth McDermott-Levy, PhD, RN , College of Nursing, Villanova University, Villanova, PA
Elizabeth Keech, PhD, RN , College of Nursing, Villanova University, Villanova, PA
Background and Issues: Healthy People 2010 has identified environmental quality as a leading health indicator and has further estimated that 25 percent of preventable diseases globally are the result of poor environmental conditions which lead to increased morbidity and mortality. However, many community/public health nursing faculty have not had formal education in environmental health and are not adequately prepared to teach environmental health topics.

Description: In the fall of 2008, a nursing school at a mid-sized northeastern university hosted a faculty development program to infuse environmental health concepts into the curriculum. Faculty within a 200 mile radius attended the program. Environmental health experts provided current information and how it related to nursing practice and curriculum development. Representatives from governmental, non-profit, and environmental advocacy agencies offered strategies to include nursing students in their programs for learning experiences. A panel to discuss innovative teaching strategies was also included in the program.

Lessons Learned: Post program follow-up revealed that the one-day program inspired and influenced nursing faculty to include, up-date, and/or expand the curriculum to incorporate current environmental health issues into their curricula. Program participants used a variety of creative strategies to teach undergraduate nursing students environmental health concepts.

Recommendations: The faculty development program was valuable and could also be used as a model for other current and innovative public health issues to promote the understanding for the future nursing workforce.

Learning Objectives:
1) Identify at least two strategies to incorporate and synthesize environmental health concepts into a nursing curriculum. 2) Describe a faculty development program as a model to integrate new and innovative public health initiatives into a nursing curriculum.

Keywords: Nursing Education, Environmental Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Dr. Ruth McDermott-Levy received her bachelor’s degree in nursing from Wilkes University and earned her masters degree and doctorate at Villanova University. Her clinical practice area is community health nursing. As Assistant Professor at Villanova University’s College of Nursing, Dr. McDermott-Levy teaches environmental health in the undergraduate nursing program. She has taught students in clinical rotations involving integrative pest management in public housing and hospital “Green Teams.” She is a recipient of a Health Care Without Harm mini-grant to conduct a faculty development program that infuses environmental health concepts into the nursing curriculum. She serves on Pennsylvania State Nurses Association’s Environmental Health Task Force. She also is the community member of Main Line Health’s Healthy Workforce Council which examines the environmental impact of health care delivery on the nursing workforce. She has addressed the Pennsylvania State Nursing Association members about nurses’ role in environmental health advocacy and leadership and is enrolled as a Health Care Without Harm Luminary.
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.