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Keywords:

  • community health nursing;
  • curriculum;
  • public health nursing competencies;
  • public health nursing education;
  • undergraduate nursing education

ABSTRACT Community/public health nursing (C/PHN) educators and practitioners need a framework from which to plan, implement, and evaluate curriculum and community-based practice. The Association of Community Health Nursing Educators (ACHNE) periodically updates the Essentials of Baccalaureate Nursing Education for Entry Level Community/Public Health Nursing to reflect changes in core knowledge, basic competencies, and practice. This update reflects relevance to 21st-century health care and to national trends influencing nursing education. The 2009 revision is based on critical analysis of key C/PHN literature and input from public health nursing educators and practitioners. A key assumption is that a baccalaureate nursing degree is the minimum requirement for professional C/PHN. Fifteen essential concepts for baccalaureate nursing education are delineated along with related competencies. Newly defined essentials include communication, social justice, and emergency preparedness, response, and recovery. Issues related to didactic and clinical experiences are addressed. The ACHNE Essentials is an important guide for baccalaureate education curriculum planning and evaluation. The Essentials may be useful as a baseline from which to develop competencies of graduate nursing programs. The document is also useful for guiding practice setting orientation and professional development.