Educational Needs of Community Health Nursing Supervisors


  • Sonia A. Duffy M.S., R.N.,

    Corresponding author
    1. Sonia Duffy is a part-time Lecturer at the University of Michigan School of Nursing, Ann Arbor, Michigan, and part-time Coordinator of Hospice Services at the Michigan Cancer Foundation, Detroit, Michigan.
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  • Nancy Fairchild M.S., R.N.

    1. Nancy Fairchild is a Branch Manager at Henry Ford Hospital Home Care.
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Address correspondence to Sonia A. Duffy, M.S., R.N., University of Michigan School of Nursing, 400 North Ingalls Building, Ann Arbor, Ml 48109-0482.


Recent legislative trends toward early hospital dismissal and cost containment have shifted the setting for health care from the hospital to the home. Consequently, community health nursing supervisors are becoming increasingly responsible both for coordinating care for sicker clients with fewer available resources, and for guiding staff nurses who provide high-tech nursing skills in the home. This has resulted in new educational needs for these supervisors. To determine their educational needs and the barriers to implementing their roles, 160 community health nursing supervisors employed by community health nursing agencies in Michigan were surveyed. They reported educational needs related to labor relations, reimbursement procedures, fiscal management, marketing, and computer systems. Several types of educational experiences were found to influence their abilities to handle supervisory responsibilities, including enrollment in an educational program, highest level of education, and selected content areas taught in their formal educational programs. Nursing implications include using the research results to develop educational programs to meet the needs of community health nursing supervisors. Those who are adequately prepared educationally will be better able to provide effective supervision of staff nurses and ultimately, coordinate high-level client home care.