Epidemiology and Biostatistics Content in Baccalaureate Education for Community Health Nursing


  • Grace P. Erickson M.P.H., M.S.N., R.N., C.

    1. Virginia Commonwealth University, Medical College of Virginia School of Nursing. Box 567, MCV Station, Richmond, Virginia 23298-0567, Phone: (804) 786-0835.
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Abstract Community health nursing leaders recommend including epidemiology and biostatistics in baccalaureate curricula but do not define essential content. Topic coverage and emphasis vary across schools; students differ in academic achievement and in readiness for an epidemiologic approach to nursing. A review of textbooks showed wide variance in topic presentation. A survey of baccalaureate community health nursing faculty in a southeastern state uncovered a core of epidemiology course work comparable to that in graduate programs. Biostatistical content was sparse, and participatory learning strategies were seldom noted. Definition of essential introductory epidemiology and biostatistics content and greater linkage between knowledge and application is necessary to show their congruence with community health nursing practice, and enable differentiation between the level and scope of learning appropriate for undergraduate and graduate education.