236389 PHN Ready Program

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Michelle Cravetz, MS, RN-BC , Center for Public Health Continuing Education, University at Albany School of Public Health, Rensselaer, NY
Background/Issues: Local Health Departments (LHDs), especially in those in rural areas, report being challenged to recruit and retain staff with educational and experiential backgrounds in public health nursing and that obtaining additional education in public health nursing is challenging due to limitations on travel, attending conferences/workshops, and worktime release. Description: Public Health Nurse (PHN) Ready is an easily-accessible, free, on-line, public health nursing-specific, certificate program to support staff new to public health nursing and those returning to public health. Funds were used to package and market new and existing offerings to make them pertinent and readily available to nurses practicing in LHDs. Courses are based on the Quad Council Competencies for PHNs. An advisory committee, composed of nurses and other stakeholders from education and practice, helped with design and marketing. Enrollees complete 7 core courses, for a total of 10.5 hours, and may choose electives to total an additional 4.5 hours, for 15 hours total. Data are kept on learners' residence, work setting, occupational title, gender, race, and educational level (61% already possess a Bachelors degree or higher). The program has achieved enrollment from across the US. Lessons: Practicing PHNs require flexible educational offerings to meet their unique needs. Agencies and enrollees responded favorably to availability of the certificate and the entrée to other free, on-line educational offerings. Many enrollees go on to complete higher level courses for PHN2 and Supervising PHN. Recommendations: PHN Ready is meeting the need for pertinent, practical, readily-accessible educational offerings specific to public health nursing.

Learning Areas:
Public health or related nursing

Learning Objectives:
1.) Identify unique learning needs of new PHNs and those returning to Public Health Nursing; 2.) Describe how key components of the PHN Ready Program meet the unique learning needs of new PHNs and those returning to Public Health Nursing.

Keywords: Public Health Nursing, Competency

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: 35 years of experience as a public health nurse Currently Nurse Planner for PHN Ready 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.