254486 Public Health Concepts for Nurse Practitioners: Putting the “Doctorate” into the DNP

Monday, October 29, 2012

Maria Sistrom, RN MSN PhD , School of Nursing, University of Alaska, Anchorage, Anchorage, AK
Patty Hale, RN, FNP, PhD, FAAN , School of Nursing, James Madison University, Harrisonburg, VA
Background and Issues: The Institute of Medicine's report, The Future of Nursing, describes nurse practitioners with clinical doctorates to “have the capacity to…potentiate individual care into care needed to serve populations.” Curriculum standards for the Doctorate of Nursing Practice (DNP) identify population health and epidemiologic principles as requisite knowledge with emphasis on improving health outcomes for patient aggregates and understanding clinical prevention and population health. Population health in clinical practice, however, is often simplified and misunderstood as health services provided to a specific group, e.g. diabetic patients. DNP curricula often portray population health in familiar terms that fit a concept of individual care supported by the current healthcare and educational systems Description: This paper identifies population concepts relevant NP with a clinical doctorate, including epidemiology, population health, and social determinants of health. Strategies for teaching population concepts through critical analysis and clinical application are discussed. Vital content includes research critique; quality outcomes and program evaluation; preventive screening and clinical decision-making; and policy leadership. Lessons Learned: A DNP using a curriculum based on population health and epidemiology will produce NPs who have a richer understanding of health determinants, who will be able to apply population concepts to clinical decision-making, as well as take on leadership roles in health policy. Recommendations: A clear understanding of population health is vital to the clinical doctorate for evidence-based decision-making, to plan for, deliver and evaluate services, and to ensure quality outcomes. Population health concepts are critical to include in DNP curricula.

Learning Areas:
Public health or related education

Learning Objectives:
1. Describe population health concepts as they related to the clinical doctorate for nurse practitioners 2. Identify the utility of population health concepts for leadership and policy development skills for nurse practitioners with clinical doctorates

Keywords: Practice, Education

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am qualified because I have developed and taught DNP curriculum on population health and public health leadership.
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.