Online Program

Preparing public health nurses for population-focused practice

Tuesday, November 5, 2013 : 5:30 p.m. - 5:50 p.m.

Jeanne B. Hewitt, PhD RN, NIEHS-funded Children's Environmental Health Sciences Core Center P30 ES004184, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Milwaukee, WI
Deborah Pasha James, BS (nursing), PhD dissertator, Multidisciplinary Degree Program: The Built Environment and Public Health, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Milwaukee, WI
Ann Backus, MS, Harvard School of Public Health, Room 1-1402, Harvard-NIEHS Center for Environmental Health, Boston, MA
Luis Delgado, School of Letters and Sciences, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Milwaukee
Background and Issues: The Institute of Medicine (1988; 2002) mandate to focus on population level practice has not been accompanied by a paradigm shift in how public health nursing is taught. We reframed the baccalaureate level Public Health Nursing course to meet expectations set by public health professional bodies including the Scope and Standards of Public Health Nursing Practice (2007) and the Core Competencies for Public Health Professionals (2010). Description: The course is framed by public health core functions and 10 essential services (IOM, 1988). Emphasis is placed on knowledge and skill development such as epidemiology, interdisciplinary collaboration, mobilization of partnerships, health policy, and essential content regarding communicable diseases, environmental and occupational health, public health literacy, and mass communication. Environmental health content emphasizes the built environment. Learning strategies include using data (e.g., census, crime, traffic, behavioral, epidemiological) to assess the population's health and case studies (Lyme Disease, arsenic, and fish advisories) to apply knowledge to simulated practice. Lessons Learned: There is a dearth of ‘ready-made' materials to support population-focused learning. Select materials developed for this course are being used in local public health departments. We report on the evaluation of this course across 4 semesters and formative evaluation of the community health assessment components piloted in a local health department. Recommendations: Population-focused public health nursing requires an expanded knowledge base and skill set to implement academic and practice mandates. Further work is needed to develop expertise across academic and practice settings, as well as materials to support this transformation.

Learning Areas:

Public health or related education
Public health or related nursing

Learning Objectives:
Describe the conceptual basis for the public health nursing course. Discuss 3 types of materials used to learn population-focused content and skills. Identify applicability of concepts and materials to you own academic or practice setting.

Keyword(s): Public Health Education, Public Health Nursing

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the developer of this innovative PHN course and a main contributor to materials developed specifically for this PHN course. I have 20+ years in curriculum development and evaluation, and as director for the Community Outreach and Engagement Core for the Children's Environmental Health Sciences Core Center, I practice public health nursing on an almost daily basis.
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.