Development of the Public Health Nursing Competency Instrument

Authors

  • Sharon Cross M.S.P.H., B.S.N.,

    1. PHN Clinician, St. Paul-Ramsey County Department of Public Health, Little Canada, Minnesota and Adjunct Instructor, School of Nursing, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota.
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  • Derryl Block Ph.D., M.P.H., B.S.N.,

    1. Professor and Chair, Professional Program in Nursing/Director BSN LINC, University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, Green Bay, Wisconsin.
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  • LaVohn Josten Ph.D., M.N., B.S.N.,

    1. Associate Professor Emeritus, School of Nursing, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota.
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  • Dawn Reckinger M.P.H., Ph.D.,

    1. Research Consultant, Lino Lakes, Minnesota.
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  • Linda Olson Keller M.S., B.S.N.,

    1. Senior Research Scientist in Public Health Nursing in Policy and Partnership, School of Nursing, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota.
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  • Sue Strohschein M.S., B.S.N.,

    1. Public Health Nursing Consultant, Center for Public Health Nursing, Office of Public Health Practice, Minnesota Department of Public Health, St. Cloud, Minnesota.
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  • Mary Rippke M.S., B.S.N.,

    1. Public Health Nursing Consultant, Center for Public Health Nursing, Office of Public Health Practice, Minnesota Department of Health, Mankato, Minnesota.
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  • Kay Savik M.S.

    1. Statistician, School of Nursing, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota.
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Sharon Cross, St. Paul-Ramsey County Department of Public Health, 70 West County Road B-2, Little Canada, MN 55117-1402. E-mail: sharon.cross@co.ramsey.mn.us

Abstract

ABSTRACT This paper describes the development and initial testing of an instrument to measure population-based public health nursing competencies. Although multiple lists of public health competencies exist, literature review did not elicit a valid instrument that could measure changes in public health nursing competency over time. The public health nursing competency instrument, consisting of 195 measurable activities organized in the framework of the nursing process, was developed. Competency scores of practicing public health nurses significantly increased after a continuing education series, and the instrument was confirmed by experts to be a valid reflection of public health nursing practice. The time required for instrument development exceeded expectations because of the multiple stages of delineating competencies and validating data with national experts.

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