Online Program

Importance of Including Registered Nurses in Population-Focused Health Programs: The Healthy Beginnings Program

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Stephanie Rogers, MSN, RN, Obstetrics and Gynecology, Christiana Care Health System, Newark, DE
Background/Issue:Cost effectiveness of personnel plays a major factor in programs funded by public health dollars. Staffing models often limit the number of registered nurses based on nurses being labeled as expensive members of a multidisciplinary team. Some programs hire social workers, case managers, and health coaches instead of investing in public health nurses (PHNs).  PHNs help improve access and quality, and lower costs through care coordination and prevention efforts, and are trusted and valuable members of a multidisciplinary team.

Description:Healthy Beginnings is a multidisciplinary maternal health program embedded in an outpatient OB/GYN practice with the goal of reducing infant mortality. The program is located within a large regional birthing hospital serving primarily vulnerable, underserved women with complex psychosocial and medical issues. Program enrollment is completed by a bachelor’s prepared registered nurse at one of two clinical sites.  The six ANA standards of nursing practice are utilized in the enrollment and ongoing case management.  

Lessons Learned: 1) The hiring and management team should utilize the ANA SOPs and the Quad Council Competencies for PHNs, even in non-traditional settings such as hospitals. 2) Continuing education opportunities should be available in areas aligned with the Quad Council Competencies to enhance population-focused standards of nursing practice.

Implications/recommendations:  Public health programs should continue to support and recognize the essential role that PHNs play within a multidisciplinary team. Ongoing training, shadowing and employment opportunities in PHN should be available to bedside nurses who want to expand into PHN roles.

Learning Areas:

Public health or related nursing

Learning Objectives:
Identify two sources for standards or competencies for the public health nursing profession.

Keyword(s): Nurses/Nursing

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have a degree in nursing and in public health and I manage the program staff described in this abstract. I have also obtained and maintained public health grant funding for the program described in my abstract.
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.