Online Program

Public Health Nurses' Awareness of Cognitive Processes While Using Evidence-based Care Plans in Family Home Visiting Practice

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Sadie Swenson, BSN, PHN, School of Nursing, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN
Karen A. Monsen, PhD, FAAN, RN, School of Nursing, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN
Madeleine J. Kerr, PhD, RN, School of Nursing, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN

The Omaha System provides defined terms and relationships that structure healthcare information. Evidence-based structured care plans provide decision support for appropriate and effective care. Family home visiting care plans have been developed using evidence from home visiting models, existing guidelines, and the literature. The new care plan was introduced to PHNs with a review of the evidence and a question and answer session. Thereafter, PHNs used the new care plan when admitting a new client. The purpose of this study was to evaluate PHN awareness of cognitive processes while using evidence-based care plans in family home visiting practice.  


This study was conducted with five PHNs providing family home visiting services from a northeastern county in Minnesota. Semi-structured interviews examined their cognitive experience transitioning from usual practice care plans to new care plans. Interviews were transcribed and analyzed using a content analysis approach.


Four themes were identified in the analysis. They were 1) having expert knowing, 2) using care plans as a way to structure information in my head, 3) using my expertise, and 4) the importance of having a way to relate everything together into a whole. Quotes representative of these themes will be provided in the presentation.


Themes from these interviews suggest that PHNs are confident in their expertise and practice, and aware of cognitive information management process. The evidence-based care plans may support cognitive information management more than providing practice guidance. Further research is needed to determine generalizability of these findings.

Learning Areas:

Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
Explain how the Omaha System helps PHNs structure healthcare information. Relate PHN knowing to clinical decision support. Describe the cognitive experience of public health nurses using an evidence-based care plan for family home visiting

Keyword(s): Public Health Research, Evidence-Based Practice

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: In addition to this current project, I have worked as a public health nurse and manager in the area of family home visiting for the past 13 years, working on health informatics and collaboratively developing evidence-based interventions using the Omaha System. These guidelines are published on My long-term research interests involve the examination of public health nursing data to determine how public health nursing interventions impact healthcare quality, customer satisfaction, and cost of services.
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.