Online Program

Lighting the Way: A Quality Improvement Project to Increase Public Health Nursing Staff Effectiveness in Precepting Nursing Students

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Patricia M. Schoon, DNP, MPH, PHN, School of Nursing, Metropolitan State University, Mendota Heights, MN
Preparing nursing students to become the public health nursing (PHN) workforce for the 21st century is a core function of public health nursing agencies and PHN staff functioning as preceptors. Major barriers to carrying out this function include PHN staff availability, preceptor preparation, organizational support, and academic-practice partnership engagement. A DNP quality improvement (QI) project to address these barriers was carried out using a dual intervention approach of staff development and organizational consultation. A blended curriculum was provided using online tutorials followed by face-to-face sessions. A Lead Team of PHN supervisors and program coordinator worked with the DNP student to assess, plan, implement, and evaluate the project. Ongoing consultation with the Public Health Director occurred. Several positive outcomes were achieved. Staff PHNs demonstrated an increase in confidence to precept as measured by a pre- and post-test Likert Scale self-efficacy tool. Dialog between PHN staff, team supervisors, and administration resulted in organizational changes for planning student learning experiences. QI project outcomes supported published research findings and recommendations for nursing preceptor staff development and effectiveness. This QI project approach demonstrated the benefit of using organizational consultation and staff development concurrently to create sustainable organizational change. Learner outcomes support recommendations that PHN preceptor staff development include both preceptor skill building and an update of public health nursing theory and practice.  This project stimulated submission of a seed grant to develop a model for partnership engagement between nursing faculty and PHN staff. The seed grant was funded by an external source.

Learning Areas:

Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Program planning
Public health or related education
Public health or related nursing
Systems thinking models (conceptual and theoretical models), applications related to public health

Learning Objectives:
Identify the quality improvement gaps or barriers to effective PHN precepting of baccalaureate nursing students in a community setting. Design a preceptor staff development program for PHN staff employing both online and face-to-face modules. Discuss the benefits of a dual-intervention QI approach of staff development and organizational consultation to create sustainable organizational change.

Keyword(s): Nursing Education, Workforce Development

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I completed the QI program discussed as my DNP project in 2014. I have taught PHN and nursing for 35+ years. I have long term experience as an organizational consultant. I am a co-author of a text on public health nursing and used material from this text in staff development curriculum.
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.