The author ascertained the need to ameliorate the public health nursing skills and knowledge of the BSN studying at the Western Kentucky University. This was done through the implementation of projects with the Barren River District Health Department. Previously, the students had minimal exposure, prompting the researchers to execute a trial curriculum for a year wherein students had the opportunity to participate in at least one program in the public health setting. The study is moderately valid and is due to partially fulfilling several criteria for such, among others.
One is mentioning of key points which include stating the purpose of the study and partially fulfilling this in the results. The eligibility criteria for her subjects were mentioned also, stating that only BSN are allowed to take part in the projects, and all of them were assumed to have the same level of knowledge regarding public health nursing, which is a good baseline data to measure improvement, if any. The study design was flexible to accommodate the needed changes when the study required an external consultant.
Albeit a survey was administered to the public health staff, it was not directly used to affect the study but was only specified to serve as a guide for future educational programs. The measures for key outcomes were solely based on the additional number of hours of clinical experience of the students in public health nursing and their involvement in the projects that were implemented during the exposure. However, the author’s literature justifies that because of the lack thereof, it is important that these students get more clinical experience and have field work on how the actual public health nursing scenarios.
The effects of which have not been identified in the said study. The reliability of her measures, however, has not been tested because the questionnaire she presented has just been created, and she did not do a pilot study prior to this. A pilot study for the questionnaire is recommended to test the validity and reliability of its measures and would be more appropriate if it was utilized in the study, and not as recommended only for future studies. The American Public Health Association gives the following definition of public health nursing, which demonstrates a blend from many areas of expertise.
It is defined as “the practice of promoting and protecting the health of populations using knowledge from nursing, social, and public health sciences”. To fulfill this expectation there is a need to increase the number of BSN-prepared nurses in the public health nursing workforce. BSN-prepared nurses are critical members of the public health workforce because they have the skills to deal with present public health problems, such as the re-emergence of communicable diseases (e. g.., tuberculosis and Malaria) in more virulent forms, the emergence of new infectious diseases (e. g. , SARS and H1N1 flu ) and the reality of bioterrorism.
For the future of public health service nursing and the next generation of public health service nurses to meet new challenges posed by globalization, medical advances and an aging and increasingly diverse population improvement in the education of public health is vital. Education of public health professionals must occur so graduates can provide leadership to strengthen the capacity of the public health system.