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Matching a Graduate Curriculum in Public/Community Health Nursing to Practice Competencies: The Rush University Experience

Authors

  • Susan Swider Ph.D., R.N.C.,

    1. Associate Professor, Rush University Medical Center, College of Nursing, Department of Community and Mental Health Nursing, Chicago, Illinois
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  • Pamela Levin Ph.D., R.N.C.,

    1. Associate Professor, Rush University Medical Center, College of Nursing, Department of Community and Mental Health Nursing, Chicago, Illinois
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  • Sarah Ailey Ph.D., R.N.C.,

    1. Assistant Professor, Rush University Medical Center, College of Nursing, Department of Community and Mental Health Nursing, Chicago, Illinois
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  • Susan Breakwell DNP, R.N.C.,

    1. Assistant Professor, Rush University Medical Center, College of Nursing, Department of Community and Mental Health Nursing, Chicago, Illinois
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  • Julia Cowell Ph.D., R.N.C., F.A.A.N.,

    1. Professor and Department Chair, Rush University Medical Center, College of Nursing, Department of Community and Mental Health Nursing, Chicago, Illinois.
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  • Diane McNaughton Ph.D., R.N.C.,

    1. Assistant Professor, Rush University Medical Center, College of Nursing, Department of Community and Mental Health Nursing, Chicago, Illinois
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  • Marilyn O'Rourke M.S.N., R.N.C.

    1. Assistant Professor, Rush University Medical Center, College of Nursing, Department of Community and Mental Health Nursing, Chicago, Illinois
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Susan Swider, Rush University College of Nursing, 600 S. Paulina, #1080, Chicago, IL 60612. E-mail: susan_swider@rush.edu

Abstract

ABSTRACT An evidence-based approach to Public/Community Health Nursing (P/CHN) requires that P/CHN educators prepare practitioners with the relevant skills, attitudes, and knowledge. Such education should be competency-based and have measurable outcomes to demonstrate student preparation. In 2003, the Quad Council competencies were developed to be applied at two levels of public health nursing practice: the staff nurse/generalist role and the manager/specialist/consultant role. This paper describes a process for evaluation and revision of a graduate curriculum to prepare Advanced Practice Clinical Nurse Specialists (CNS) in P/CHN, to ensure that the educational program addresses and develops knowledge and proficiency in all relevant competencies. This paper documents the process of integrating the competencies throughout the P/CHN graduate curriculum at varying levels, guiding students to achieve proficiency in each competency by the end of the program. Measurement of achievement in these competencies will be discussed, and examples provided. Advanced Practice Public Health Nurses educated via this competency-based approach will be prepared to sit for national certification as a CNS in Public/Community Health, and to assume leadership roles in public health nursing.

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