268271 Education for public health nursing and rural nursing leaders: Evaluation of a distance education program

Wednesday, October 31, 2012 : 9:10 AM - 9:30 AM

Doris F. Glick, PhD, RN , School of Nursing, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA
Pamela A. Kulbok, DNSc, RN, FAAN , School of Nursing, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA
Catherine Kane, PhD, RN, FAAN , School of Nursing, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA
Hannah Walker, BA , School of Nursing, University of Virginia, 225 Jeanette Lancaster Way, VA
Hannah Beth Clymer Showalter, BSN , School of Nursing, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA
Background: The need for well-prepared public health nursing and rural nursing leaders is critical as health care reform is implemented to address escalating health disparities and unremitting shrinkage of state healthcare budgets. This presentation evaluates outcomes of two advanced nursing education grants preparing public health nurses, rural nursing managers, and psychiatric mental health nurses for leadership to tackle preventable health problems and social determinants of health among vulnerable populations living in rural areas. Description: Rural areas are characterized by barriers to quality health and mental health care, inadequate health workforce, and diminished access to advanced education for nurses. In 2003 the University of Virginia began to offer masters preparation for public health nursing and health systems management using distance education modalities. By recruiting students who practice in rural areas, collaborating with an advisory committee comprised of public health leaders from rural areas, and by delivering essential curriculum components electronically, the program promotes education and retention of rural nurses. Grant funding from HRSA enabled expansion of online Masters courses, established a DNP program, updated and strengthened technological capabilities, and implemented our conceptual model for transformational leadership in rural areas. Lessons Learned: Evaluation data includes program outcomes, enrollment data, technological challenges, and student surveys about the strengths and challenges of distance education from students' perspective. Recommendations: MSN and DNP graduates who are educated in their home communities and empowered with transformational skills are prepared to assume leadership and to become change agents, influencing the nursing workforce, other disciplines, and communities.

Learning Areas:
Public health or related education
Public health or related nursing

Learning Objectives:
Describe outcomes of a distance education program that prepares MSN and DNP nurses in rural areas with transformational leadership skills in public health nursing. Evaluate the pedagogical strengths and weaknesses of on-line technology for educating public health nurses. Analyze data regarding student perspectives of the distant education experience.

Keywords: Public Health Nursing, Leadership

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been the principal investigator/ Project Director of two HRSA funded grants related to this presentation. My specialty focus is education of public health nursing leaders.
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.