204288 Graduate public health nursing students and public health practice: A win-win partnership

Monday, November 9, 2009: 9:00 AM

Katharine K. Lewis, PhD, MPH, RN , Nursing Department, University of Hartford, West Hartford, CT
Tina Ferreira, RN , Nursing Department, University of Hartford, West Hartford, CT
Rita Foster, RN , Nursing Department, University of Hartford, West Hartford, CT
Hazel Henry-Joseph, RN , Nursing Department, University of Hartford, West Hartford, CT
Agnes Keyerematen, RN , Nursing Department, University of Hartford, West Hartford, CT
Marianne Marola, RN , Nursing Department, University of Hartford, West Hartford, CT
Beth Ann Mertz, RN , Nursing Department, University of Hartford, West Hartford, CT
Rita Petroro, RN , Nursing Department, University of Hartford, West Hartford, CT
Katherine Raboin, RN , Nursing Department, University of Hartford, West Hartford, CT
Karen Wexell, RN , Nursing Department, University of Hartford, West Hartford, CT
Kristin Sullivan, MA , Workforce and Professional Development Section, Connecticut Department of Public Health, Hartford, CT
Richard Melchreit, MD , Coordinator, Healthcare Associated Infections Program, Connecticut Department of Public Health, Hartford, CT
Background: Partnerships are fundamental to successful public health practice. Collaborations between academia and public health practice, as recommended by the Institute of Medicine and the Council on Linkages between Academia and Public Health Practice are vital to ensuring a competent public health workforce.

Description: Graduate public health nursing students who have clinical expertise, people and communication skills, and critical thinking capabilities are uniquely positioned to bridge the gap between academia and public health practice. Nine graduate public health nursing students bring these qualities to two relevant and important public health projects. The first is a chart review with the state's Department of Public Health epidemiology program, analyzing factors associated with a spike in vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE) infections from 2005 2007. The second is a collaborative project with the state's public health nurse liaison, in which students develop an evidence-based practice public health nursing manual to be used by public health nurses employed in local health departments statewide.

Lessons learned: These win-win partnerships provide local and state health departments with public health and nursing expertise during a time of enormous fiscal constraints. In addition, graduate public health nurses learn by actively engaging in essential public health services and partnering with epidemiologists, physicians and public health nurses.

Recommendations: Collaborations are critical to the success of graduate public health nursing education and ultimately to the practice of public health. Academic and practice collaborations offer win-win partnerships for students, professors and public health practitioners.

Learning Objectives:
By the end of this session, the participant will be able to: 1.Describe the importance of academic and public health practice partnerships. 2.List at least two collaborations between academia and public health practice. 3.Discuss the necessity of collaboration between public health professionals and academia.

Keywords: Education, Partnerships

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: This is my area of expertise and interest and I have no conflicts to report.
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.