206696 University of Washington School of Nursing advanced practice environmental health nursing certificate program

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Kara Mochan, MN, APRN-BC , School of Nursing, University of Washington, Seattle, WA
Environmental health (EH) and disaster preparedness/response (DP/R) receive little attention in nursing curricula, even though both are critical to the development of competent nursing workforce. Fourteen years ago converging activities by the Institute of Medicine, the National Institute of Nursing Research, and the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry argued persuasively for the need to enhance the quality and quantity of EH-related training that nurses received. Although these efforts launched EH as an important and substantive area of nursing practice, the work is incomplete leaving a legacy of nurses committed to EH with few mechanisms to advance the profession. Additionally, the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks precipitated another focused call for training in DP/R nursing. In response to these calls to develop EH, DP/R, and globalization trends, the University of Washington, School of Nursing initiated a unique 15-credit Advanced Practice EH Nursing Certificate program. Advanced practice DR/P training is interwoven to facilitate cross fertilization of concepts, principles, and related competencies from both areas of nursing study.

In the program, graduate students consider a variety of dimensions of EH, ranging from health disparities and environmental justice to technical classes addressing specific agents or methods. Flexibility is built into the program via a 2-3 credit capstone project that meets students' individual needs, interests, and career goals. As such, nursing practice, research, and theory building is extended beyond individual to population-focused nursing. Lessons learned are captured via exemplar illustrations of student projects while recommendations are centered on recruitment, training, and program sustainability.

Learning Objectives:
Discuss the blended advanced practice environmental health nursing certificate program.

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I currently work on the HRSA training grant that funds the Environmental Health Nursing Certificate Program
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.