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Keywords:

  • Rural Health;
  • Public Health Nursing Education;
  • Population-based nursing;
  • Collaboration

Abstract

With the expansion of public health nursing beyond cities into rural areas, leaders in nursing education early on recognized the need for additional training to prepare nurses for the rural experience. To this end, nursing faculty at Teachers College, Columbia University developed a pilot program designed to prepare nurses for work in rural areas. These leaders recognized the unique conditions confronting the rural public health nurse in her daily work, including distances to be covered, isolation, and the dearth of facilities for health work. The pilot program discussed in this reprint, published in The Public Health Nurse in 1925, describes the genesis of this project, and the collaborative relationship that was developed with Dutchess County, a rural county about 2 hours north of New York City, to provide practical experiences for students. The project included a series of lectures on rural health issues and rural nursing, as well as field work that included school nursing, and nursing care of special populations such as tuberculosis and maternal and child health, as well as experiences in population-based nursing akin to what we think of as community development today.