3063.0 Public Health Nursing Research for the 21st Century: Strengthening the Science, Focusing on Evidence, Building Capacity

Monday, November 8, 2010: 8:30 AM - 10:00 AM
Background: Public Health Nursing (PHN) research is essential for informing PHN practice, and, ultimately, improving the health of populations across the globe. Nevertheless, the potential contribution of PHN research has not yet been fully realized. Reasons for this situation have been discussed in national forums. Some reasons are: a lack of clarity about what constitutes PHN research, scarce sources for research funding, and the challenges in developing a cadre of next-generation PHN investigators. PHN research, while unique in its own right, takes place within the larger scientific community and within a deeply rooted history of scientific tradition. This fact often operates in the background, as a latent, philosophical factor; yet, it affects all scientific endeavors within not only PHN, but every other scientific discipline, as well. It underlies prior research that has advanced PHN practice, and is relevant to strategies for the development of future investigators. From a broader perspective, what can lessons from the philosophy of science teach us in terms of advancing PHN research? Description: In this session, we will review perspectives on how science progresses in terms of Kuhn and concepts central to scientific progress proposed by Rauch. Specific attention will be given to the role of paradigm shifts as described by Kuhn, the broader community of science, and Rauch’s classifications for operating within the broader scientific community, such as how subscribing to the Fundamentalist, Liberal, Egalitarian, and Humanitarian frameworks are likely to affect progress in nursing science generally, and PHN research in particular. These views will be examined further within the context of past research programs that have had a major impact on PHN practice, and some examples will be drawn from breakthroughs in nursing research over the past two decades. Finally, we will examine how these perspectives from the philosophy of science and past research can inform current and future process-oriented endeavors to advance the scientific knowledge base of PHN practice and help to ensure a strong contingent of future scientists doing PHN-related work.
Session Objectives: By the end of this session, attendees will be able to: 1.Describe the concept of a ‘paradigm shift’ and how it relates to both scientific progress in general, and advancing PHN research more specifically. 2.Assess how the use of each of Rauch’s frameworks for operating within a scientific community is likely to affect scientific progress within that community. 3.Analyze what the major characteristics are of research programs that have had a major influence on PHN practice, and how they might apply to future PHN-focused research. Identify approaches for advancing the scientific knowledge base of PHN research and practice by building future generations of scientists doing PHN-related work.
Alexandra A. Garcia, PhD, RN, APHN-BC
Shawn M. Kneipp, PhD, ARNP , Carolyn L. Blue, RN, PhD, CHES and Betty Bekemeier, PhD, MPH, RN

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Organized by: Public Health Nursing

CE Credits: Medical (CME), Health Education (CHES), Nursing (CNE), Public Health (CPH)

See more of: Public Health Nursing