NURS 6710 Public Health Nursing Theory & Practice

NURS 6710 Public Health Nursing Theory & Practice

NURS 6710: Public Health Nursing Theory and Practice 

NURS 6710 Entire Course Weekly Discussions And Assignments

Examples to illustrate the scope of public health are nearly limitless. . These programs, led by public health professionals, have saved hundreds of thousands of lives and billions of dollars. As you review these statistics, reflect on what their impact means for communities and individuals alike. What is the next great public health achievement you might be a part of?

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This week, you begin to examine public health through current public health issues and interventions. The individuals directly impacted by the conditions are naturally focused on their own personal health improvement and will require the support of health care professionals. However, every individual represents a piece of the larger picture of health. A focus on the population, and not just the individual, allows for large-scale transformation of future health outcomes. Public health professionals address the needs of entire populations and unique subpopulations or aggregates. They collect and analyze the health data of individuals in order to identify trends and patterns that indicate gaps in services and strategic education and communication needs. This informs the development of public health programs, services, and policy that is evidence-based.

Learning Objectives

Students will:

  • Analyze current issues in public health
  • Identify public health interventions

NURS 6710: Public Health Nursing Theory and Practice

As a public health nurse, you will likely be asked to explain what public health is and how it differs from the common understanding of health care and nursing. As a public health professional, it is important to understand the diverse areas of public health practice, the historical background of the field, and the current landscape of priorities. For this Discussion, you will explore an area of public health that is of personal interest to you by focusing on various components that help define the health issue from a public health practitioner perspective.

To Prepare:

  • Review this week’s Learning Resources.
  • Consider the perspectives on urgent public health issues shared in this week’s media resources.
  • Reflect on the past contributions made within the field and consider the historical context of current issues.
  • Consider a public health issue you are seeing in your community, country, or even globally, and select one that is of personal interest to you.

By Day 3

Post a brief description of a current issue in public health. Explain how this public health issue emerged, the current efforts to address the issue, and whether the efforts have had any effect on the issue. Then, identify how a nurse with public health expertise may intervene to address the current public health issue described.

Read a selection of your colleagues’ responses.

By Day 6

Respond to at least two of your colleagues by sharing knowledge or experience you may have with the issue chosen by your colleagues or share a public health intervention that is being used in your community to address the issue.

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NURS 6720 Week 1: The Role of the Advanced PHN in Population-Based Care

Public health is the science of protecting and improving the health of people and their communities. This work is achieved by promoting healthy lifestyles, researching disease and injury prevention, and detecting, preventing, and responding to infectious diseases. Overall, public health is concerned with protecting the health of entire populations. These populations can be as small as a local neighborhood, or as big as an entire country or region of the world.

Public health professionals try to prevent problems from happening or recurring through implementing educational programs, recommending policies, administering services, and conducting research. In contrast, clinical professionals like doctors and nurses, focus primarily on treating individuals after they become sick or injured. Public health also works to limit health disparities. A large part of public health is promoting healthcare equity, quality, and accessibility (Centers for Disease Control Foundation, 2017).

Public health nurses (PHNs) are an integral part of the public health system. They work to promote the health and well-being of populations in diverse settings through the delivery of population-based care. They might work in public health departments, schools, homes, clinics, jails, shelters, and out of mobile vans. In this advanced practice nursing role, PHNs work with communities, the individuals, families, and aggregates that reside in those communities, and within the systems that impact the communities’ health.

Regardless of where PHNs work or whom they work with, all public health nurses use a core set of interventions to accomplish their goals. Interventions are actions that PHNs take on behalf of individuals, families, systems, and communities to improve or protect health status. This week you will review the Intervention Model framework first introduced in NURS 6710 that defines the scope of public health nursing practice by type of intervention and level of practice. In addition, you will review the primary, secondary, and tertiary levels of intervention toward which PHNs direct their efforts. Over the course of the next eleven weeks, you will have the opportunity to translate the public health nursing knowledge that you are acquiring in a public health setting in which you are completing your practicum.

Learning Objectives

Students will:

  • Analyze public health programs/interventions
  • Create measurable professional development objectives
  • Create detailed time logs*
  • Analyze practicum experiences in the context of public health nursing

NURS 6710: Public Health Nursing Theory and Practice Essay Assignment

Are you prepared to deliver evidence-based public health nursing? This is an ever-present question in the minds of effective public health nurses. The advanced public health nurse is aware that simply inventing a program they want to implement is not appropriate or in the best interest of the population(s) they seek to serve.

For this Discussion, you will review public health programs described in peer-reviewed journal articles. The information you review might spark potential ideas you can use for your own practicum project.

To prepare:

  • Recall the public health issue you selected for NURS 6710.
  • Review the Public Health Journals document provided in the Learning Resources. Explore the journals.
  • Identify an article that focuses on a program/intervention addressing the public health issue that you identified in NURS 6710.
  • Review the Evaluation Criteria for Public Health Program Article Review document prior to reading the article to assist in focusing your review of the article. Record responses to the included sections for your records and to gain practice in analyzing programs.

By Day 3

Based on the reflection section of the Evaluation Criteria for Public Health Program Article Reviewdocument, share one strength, one weakness, and a suggestion for improvement for the program of focus in the journal article you selected. Provide the APA citation of the article for your colleagues.

Read a selection of your colleagues’ responses

By Day 6

Respond on or before Day 6 to at least two of your colleagues in one or more of the following ways:

  • Ask a question you would direct toward the authors of the program/intervention article to deepen your understanding of the health issue or program/intervention.
  • Offer a suggestion of how you would address the public health issue differently based on your experience and/or review of a different program intervention.

Assignment: Practicum Professional Experience Plan (PPEP)

As reflected in this week’s Discussion, the skills involved in planning public health interventions provide an invaluable opportunity for professional development.

For this Assignment, you will develop a Practicum Professional Experience Plan (PPEP) to outline how your involvement in the practicum will contribute to your growth as a public health nursing professional and allow you to hone your PHN knowledge and skills. The PPEP consists of two or three objectives related to professional development that you will address during your Practicum Experience.

Note: In the practicum manual these are referred to as your individualized learning objectives.

To Prepare:

  • Consider areas for which you would like to gain application-level experience and/or continued professional growth. How can your experiences in the practicum help you achieve these aims?
  • Discuss your professional aims and your proposed practicum professional development objectives with your Preceptor to ascertain if the necessary resources are available at your practicum site.
  • Download and save the Practicum Professional Experience Plan Form provided in this week’s Learning Resources.

To complete your Practicum Professional Experience Plan:

Record the required information in each area of the Professional Practicum Experience Plan, including two or three objectives you will use to facilitate your professional development during the practicum.

By Day 7

Submit the Practicum Professional Experience Plan Form for Faculty review and approval.

When your Instructor has approved your plan, forward the signed PPEP to your Preceptor and retain a copy for your records.

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NURS 6710: Public Health Nursing Theory and Practice Essay Assignment

NURS 6710 Week 2: The Role of the Public Health Nurse

“Our challenge is this: Join with the community to transform an unjust and failing health care system to one that reflects health for all…” (Anderson & McFarland, 2014, p. 376.)

Community transformation, social justice, advocacy, empowerment, large-scale impact, and prevention are just some of the terms used to explain the contributions of a public health nurse. As diverse as the contexts in which they work, public health nurses represent a group of professional nurses who are equipped with specialized training, knowledge, competencies, and skills. The focus shifts beyond just the provision of individualized care to the delivery of care that is informed by expertise in promoting and protecting the public’s health and an understanding of the multiple determinants of health.

This week, you will gain a better understanding of the roles and responsibilities of public health nurses and compare the skills and competencies needed by public health nurses versus nurses who focus on delivery of individualized care in more traditional health care settings. You will also examine scenarios specific to the public health nurse.

Learning Objectives

Students will:

  • Compare public health nursing and nursing focused on individualized care
  • Analyze the role of the public health nurse
  • Analyze public health case studies
  • Identify interventions focused on population-level care
  • Identify interventions focused on individualized care

In the first week of this course, you learned that a key distinguishing element of the public health field is its focus on the health and health outcomes of populations rather than the individual. Public health nursing integrates the unique skill set of a licensed nurse with the foundational principles of public health. Public health nursing practice, thereby, extends the focus of care delivery from the individual to interventions designed to enhance the health of populations, communities, and specific aggregates living in those communities. Through educational preparation and experience in both nursing and public health, the public health nurse is prepared to respond to the unique needs of not only individuals, but also families, communities, and populations. For this week’s Discussion, you will explore the commonalities and differences between population versus individual directed practice.

To Prepare:

  • Review this week’s Learning Resources and reflect on any insights they provide.
  • Consider the distinguishing characteristics of the public health nurse experience.

By Day 3

Post an explanation of at least two ways that public health nursing differs from nursing practice focused on individualized care. Then, explain how your role as a public health nurse is informed by skills or expertise that you have gained thus far as a professional nurse.

Read a selection of your colleagues’ responses.

By Day 6

Respond to at least two of your colleagues by expanding on one of the ways they think public health nursing differs from individualized care that you didn’t identify. Explain why you agree or disagree with this difference.

Assignment: Response Paper

Review the following case study scenario that explores the roles and responsibilities of a public health nurse providing care for vulnerable populations:

In a rural, Hispanic community, a health department well child clinic nurse identified a child with an elevated blood lead level. A public health nurse made a home visit to assess the home environment. She discovered the child’s father worked at a job where he was exposed to lead. The father wore his work clothes home every day and his wife washed them with the family laundry. The nurse collected blood samples from the other children in the home. In addition, she gathered dust samples with a small, handheld vacuum. The children had never seen a vacuum cleaner before. They always used a broom and dust rags to clean.

Next, the public health nurse visited the father’s worksite, where she took blood samples from other workers and identified 23 others with elevated blood lead levels. She worked with the reluctant, sometimes hostile, employer to develop worksite policies to protect the workers from exposure and to prevent the lead dust from being transported to the workers’ homes.

The nurse then visited the 23 families and interviewed each about their laundry and cleaning practices. She drew blood samples from family members and collected dust samples from their homes. Many of the children had elevated blood lead levels. The nurse had great difficulty convincing the reluctant families to travel many miles to see a doctor for what appeared to them to be an insignificant illness. The nurse revisited the worksite to assist with implementation of the new policies, ensure compliance and assure medical follow-up for the workers and their families.

For this Assignment, you will explore the roles and responsibilities of a public health nurse in providing care for vulnerable populations in the community such as migrant farm workers.

To Prepare:

  • Review this week’s Learning Resources.
  • Review key concepts of public health nursing practice and interventions in terms of public health’s three core functions and essential services.
  • Review the case study description provided for this Assignment.

The Assignment:

Write a 1- to 2-page response to the case study presented. In your response, provide an explanation of the roles and responsibilities of the public health nurse in providing care for the population depicted in the case study scenario. Identify actions taken by the nurse which correspond to the three core public health functions you learned about in your readings and explain potential interventions that you might propose at the community, family, and individual levels. Then, explain the role a public health nurse would play in the interventions you identified.

By Day 7

Submit your Assignment.

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NURS 6710: Public Health Nursing Theory and Practice Essay Assignment

NURS 6710 Week 3: Public Health Organizations and Agencies

At its core, the public health system strives to protect and promote the health of the public by meeting the identified needs of populations at the local, national, and global levels. The work of meeting these complex needs can be quite challenging! Through examination of the operating organizations and agencies of public health, you can appreciate the key priorities and working framework for the field.

This week, you will examine the process by which organizations and agencies address complex public health issues across a global, national, and local lens.

Learning Objectives

Students will:

  • Analyze how organizations and agencies address public health topics
  • Compare global and national programs to local and state programs

“Public health systems are commonly defined as all public, private, and voluntary entities that contribute to the delivery of essential public health services within a jurisdiction. This concept ensures that all entities’ contributions to the health and well-being of the community or state are recognized in assessing the provision of public health services.”

The role played by organizations and agencies is vital to the progress and efficiency of public health. They aim to provide strategic and high-level measures of achievement. For this Discussion, you will use your previously selected topic of interest to understand the roles and initiatives of organizations and agencies.

To Prepare:

  • Review the media for this week. Then, select a topic for this Discussion.
  • Review the World Health Organization (WHO) website to familiarize yourself with a public health organization at the global level; Review a public health organization at the national level (for the United States, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC))and then look into your state and local health agencies.

By Day 3

Post an explanation of how global and national public health organizations/agencies have developed programs, initiatives, or activities to address your selected public health topic of interest. Then, explain how your local and state health organizations/agencies have developed programs, initiatives, or activities to address your selected public health topic. Explain how the global/national programs, initiatives, or activities compare to the local/state programs, initiatives, or activities. Are the initiatives similar? Are there differences? Discuss similarities and/or differences that you identify.

Read a selection of your colleagues’ responses.

By Day 6

Respond to at least two of your colleagues who selected a different topic than you. Explain how your local and state health organizations/agencies have developed programs, initiatives, or activities to address your colleagues’ selected topics.

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NURS 6710: Public Health Nursing Theory and Practice Essay Assignment

NURS 6710 Week 4: Public Health Laws and Ethics

Public Health: A Day in the Life
Many cities in the state in which public health nurses practice have enacted public health laws including a provision for detention of people with infectious disease, such as tuberculosis, if necessary to ensure treatment or halt further spread of disease. Much of the literature around this issue is on the ethics of detention.
Angela is a public health nurse for Lee County and she is asked by her supervisor to identify evidence that detention is an effective public health practice that can be used to justify her agency’s use of this strategy.

Ethics is at the core of everyday life. Ethical beliefs shape the way we live—what we do and the world we create through our choices. Being ethical is part of what defines us as human beings. Complex ethical problems can be individual and private or widespread and systemic, involving groups, organizations, or whole communities. Ethical principles provide a framework upon which we can address ethical problems, including those involved in protecting the public’s health.

Public health nursing practice is directly impacted by government, law, and policy. Historical policies and laws have shaped the current public health system. In turn, public health professionals work to shape future law and policy with the populations they serve in mind.

This week, you will explore the influence law and policy has on the public health nursing profession and the ethical principles upheld in public health nurses’ daily work with diverse populations in various contexts.

Learning Objectives

Students will:

  • Analyze diverse perspectives on public health issues
  • Analyze ethical and legal issues related to public health issues
  • Analyze unintended consequences related to a public health interventions
  • Analyze public health nurses’ roles in advocating for the health of populations

One important ethical principle is the concept of “autonomy” or an individualistic approach. This principle places primary emphasis on the liberty, privacy, and informed consent of individual persons in the face of a health intervention carried out by other parties, such as immunizations to prevent infectious disease. These are public health interventions carried out with the justification of “doing good” by protecting the welfare of the public. These interventions are grounded in the ethical belief of actions being informed by determination of the greater good for the benefit of the larger society—the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few.

Note: You will be assigned to one side of the debate for this week.

By Day 3

Post and participate in a debate via the Discussion threads.

Debate the topic: Is a family’s choice to not vaccinate/immunize their child a threat to the public’s health or is it an individual right? As a public health nurse, what are the key ethical and legal issues that contribute to the issue of vaccinations and immunizations?

By Day 6

Respond to one or more of your colleagues assigned to the other side of the debate with your opposing arguments.

Assignment: Unintended Consequences

There are unintended consequences to almost everything we do. Laws and policies established for the greater good can have unbearable unintended consequences. As we examine public health laws and policies intended to protect the public, it is important to look downstream to anticipate these unintended consequences.

In 1990, the Ryan White Comprehensive AIDS Resources Emergency (CARE) Act, which provides states with funds for AIDS treatment and care, required every state to certify that its criminal laws were adequate to prosecute any HIV-infected individual who knowingly exposed another person to HIV. At least 35 states have criminal laws that punish HIV-positive people for exposing others to the virus, even if they take precautions such as using a condom. Supporters of these laws say they deter people from spreading the virus and set a standard for disclosure and precautions in an ongoing epidemic. But critics say they thwart public health goals because they stigmatize the disease; undermine trust in health officials, who are sometimes enlisted to assist with criminal prosecutions; and fail to take into account the latest science surrounding HIV transmission. In addition, these laws can also prevent individuals from being tested for HIV—if a person doesn’t know their HIV status then they don’t risk prosecution if they fail to reveal their status to a sexual partner. Yet, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly 92 percent of new HIV infections occur from people who do not know their HIV status. Therefore, public health laws designed to protect have the potential to also do harm. This is an important advocacy role for public health nurses as they strive to uphold the ethical principles governing public health.

To Prepare:

  • Review this week’s Learning Resources.
  • Consider the example of unintended consequences and the impact on the public’s health.

Note: For this Assignment, you will use the topic of interest you chose for your Discussion in Week 1. If the topic does not align with the expectations of this Assignment, please consult with your Instructor to identify another issue.

The Assignment:

Write a 2- to 3-page paper that addresses the following:

  • Explain the potential unintended consequences of interventions used to address the public health issue you selected in Week 1.
  • Explain the role of the public health nurse in advocating for this population.

By Day 7

Submit your Assignment.

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NURS 6710: Public Health Nursing Theory and Practice Essay Assignment

NURS 6710 Week 5: Public Health Theories and Models

Imagine you are the head of the Maternal, Infant, and Reproductive Health program in Lee County—a community with a high rate of adolescent pregnancy. Many of these teenagers do not receive prenatal care until late in the pregnancy. You are working with community-based organizations that serve teens to come up with some strategies to increase rates of prenatal care. As you approach this task, you select the Community as Partner Model to guide all phases of your project from assessment, analysis, diagnosis, planning, implementation, and evaluation, recognizing that your target population—adolescents who are pregnant—are embedded within a larger community. This model allows for you to take into consideration the multiple points of influence that impact the complex health issue of teen pregnancy, including identification of resources that might be used to help address this problem.

The evolution of the public health field has resulted in many lessons learned over the years through advancements in knowledge informed by the development of theories and models to explain various public health issues, such as disease outbreaks. A theory is simply a description of how something works. It’s a set of statements about the relationships between variables influencing an outcome. The use of public health theories and models allows for a systematic approach to tackling complex issues impacting the health of communities and their residents.

After identifying a public health problem, the next task facing a public health professional is to articulate an explanation of what caused the problem. This is a critical step in determining what intervention or group of interventions will be most effective in addressing the issue. In designing programs to address specific health issues, a theory allows the public health nurse to explain not only the problem, but the factors (variables) that contribute to that problem. This is vitally important, as these represent potential points of intervention.

This week, you will examine various theories and models which can be used to guide your practice as a public health nurse. After reviewing each of these theories and models, you will then select one that can be applied to address the public health issue that you have previously identified.

Learning Objectives

Students will:

  • Evaluate public health theories and models
  • Apply public health theories and models to public health issues
  • Analyze public health issues through the application of public health theories or models

NURS 6710: Public Health Nursing Theory and Practice Essay Assignment

The application of a theory and/or model to address population-based health problems is a skill developed through continual practice. For this Assignment, you will gain familiarity with the process of asking questions and taking the first steps to applying a theory/model to an identified issue. In practice, you would not be doing this alone but as part of a team. However, going through the process in the context of this Assignment will assist in gaining familiarity and confidence with the general process.

To Prepare:

  • Based on the public health issue you identified in Week 1, think about how you might apply one of the theories/models from this week’s Learning Resources to develop interventions for the public health issue.

The Assignment:

Write a 2- to 3-page paper that includes following:

  • Identify a public health theory or model that you think is the most appropriate model to apply to the public health issue you selected in Week 1.
  • Justify why this public health theory or model is the most appropriate choice for this public health issue.
  • Explain how you might apply the public health theory or model to the public health issue you selected.
  • Explain what you learned about the public health issue you selected by applying the selected public health theory or model to the issue.

By Day 7

Submit your Assignment.

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NURS 6710: Public Health Nursing Theory and Practice Essay Assignment

NURS 6710 Week 6: Defining the Determinants of Health

Powerful, complex relationships exist between health and biology, genetics, and individual behavior, and between health and health services, socioeconomic status, the physical environment, discrimination, racism, literacy levels, and legislative policies. These factors, which influence an individual’s or population’s health, are known as determinants of health. The health of individuals, populations, and the communities in which they live is influenced by a wide range of contributory factors. Therefore, if our ultimate goal is to promote health for all, then we must have a clear understanding of those determinants of health.

Public health nurses and other public health professionals are entrusted with protecting and ensuring the health of individuals, populations, and communities. Armed with knowledge of the multiple determinants of health, public health nurses can approach health promotion and disease prevention from a broader perspective. This week, you will analyze some of the specific determinants of health and examine their influence on health outcomes of individuals and populations.

Learning Objectives

Students will:

  • Define health
  • Analyze determinants of health
  • Compare resources necessary to achieve optimal health between populations

“The range of personal, social, economic, and environmental factors that influence health status are known as determinants of health. Determinants of health fall under several broad categories: Policymaking, Social factors, Health Services, Individual Behavior, and Biology and Genetics”. —Healthy People 2020

As stated, these categories of health are broad. One important competency of a public health nurse is the ability to recognize and consider the linkages between these categories when addressing the health needs of a population.

For this Discussion, you will consider definitions of health across populations.

To Prepare:

    • Review the Healthy People 2020 website and reflect on what makes some people healthy and others unhealthy.
    • Review this week’s Learning Resources, giving specific attention to perspectives provided by the “Determinants of Health” video.

By Day 3

Post a response to the question: “In your own words, how do you define health?” Explain the resources needed to achieve optimal health in a population. Then, explain what resources are available in your own community for supporting the achievement of health.

Read a selection of your colleagues’ responses.

By Day 6

Respond to at least two of your colleagues by comparing your responses to the question: “How do you define health?” Then, compare the resources you included as necessary to achieve optimal health in your community to those cited by your colleagues and explain why the necessary resources may differ between individuals and communities.

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NURS 6710: Public Health Nursing Theory and Practice Essay Assignment

NURS 6710 Week 7: Social Determinants of Health

On a beautiful spring morning two healthy babies were discharged from a university hospital in a large city. One baby traveled from the hospital to a household with parents who both have advanced degrees. Their home is a short distance to several food markets, parks, a highly rated public school and a well-funded local library with excellent early childhood programming. The rate of crime is low and the neighborhood actively fosters relationships with city politicians. The other baby went to a low-income household whose parents are high school graduates, the baby’s father is currently unemployed, and the mother has a low-wage position for an employer nearly one hour from their home. It’s difficult to find affordable healthy food options. They were hopeful given a community garden that was started nearby last year, but due to a lack of sustainable support, it was not maintained and is now barren. This family is considering moving closer to extended family for additional support once the father finds employment. What health status will these children exhibit in 5, 10, 15 years? To what extent is health determined by these different life circumstances?

This week, you will explore how social determinants influence health outcomes and the impact of health inequity.

Learning Objectives

Students will:

  • Analyze social determinants of health
  • Analyze aspects of population health

Public health nurses contribute to the promotion of positive health outcomes by addressing social and physical environment needs within the communities they serve. International and national public health organizations and initiatives are unified in the premise that health is significantly influenced by factors beyond the individual level. These factors are termed the social determinants of health. According to the World Health Organization, the social determinants of health (SDH) are the conditions in which people are born, grow, work, live, and age, and the wider set of forces and systems shaping the conditions of daily life. These forces and systems include economic policies and systems, development agendas, social norms, social policies, and political systems.

Healthy People 2020 highlights the importance of addressing the social determinants of health by including “Create social and physical environments that promote good health for all” as one of the four overarching goals for the decade. This emphasis is shared by the World Health Organization, whose Commission on Social Determinants of Health in 2008 published the report, Closing the Gap in a Generation: Health Equity Through Action on the Social Determinants of Health. The emphasis is also shared by other U.S. health initiatives such as the National Partnership for Action to End Health Disparities and the National Prevention and Health Promotion Strategy.”

For this Discussion, you will choose a topic that is considered a social determinant of health and explain how it influences the health outcomes of a population.

To Prepare:

  • Review the video from the Worlds Apart series included in this week’s Learning Resources which highlights the experience of Alicia Mercado who is attempting to manage chronic disease within a challenging social and economic environment.
  • Choose a topic that you think is a social determinant of health and review academic literature and reliable online information on the topic you choose.

By Day 3

Post an explanation of why the issue you identified is a social determinant of health and explain how this issue contributes to health, both positively and negatively.

Read a selection of your colleagues’ responses.

By Day 6

Respond to a colleague who chose a different issue than the one you selected for your initial post to focus on and compare their issue analysis to yours. What similarities exist? What differences exist between the issues?

Assignment: Social Determinants of Health Reflective Paper

NURS 6710: Public Health Nursing Theory and Practice Essay Assignment

Inconsistencies in health outcomes are readily identifiable across populations. Once data is used to confirm disparities, what actions can a public health nurse, partnering with a given community, take? If information were enough, many long-standing health issues would be resolved. Consider what you have learned so far about public health and specifically the role of the public health nurse as you deepen your knowledge on the breadth of issues with which public health professionals engage.

For this Assignment, you will analyze two media pieces providing additional perspectives on the social determinants of health.

To Prepare:

  • Review the media for this week.
  • Reflect on the role of the public health nurse in the situations presented.

The Assignment:

After viewing the “Place Matters” and “Not Just a Paycheck” videos, complete a 2- to 3-page reflective essay in which you address the questions below, while integrating your personal reactions/responses to the media content:

In “Not Just a Paycheck,” two communities experiencing job loss after the closing of local manufacturing plants are discussed: Greenville, Michigan; and Vastervik, Sweden. Explain why you think the health outcomes of the citizens in Greenville and Vastervik are so different.

  1. Based on the video, “Place Matters,” explain why zip code and street address are good predictors of population health?
  2. What is the overarching theme illustrated by these two videos?

By Day 7

Submit your Assignment.

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NURS 6710 Week 8: Culture and Health

The social policy statement of nursing reminds us of our professional duty to serve society:

Nursing’s social contract reflects the profession’s long-standing core values and ethics, which provide grounding for health care in society. It is easy to overlook this social contract underlying the nursing profession when faced with certain facets of contemporary society, including depersonalization, apathy, disconnectedness, and growing globalization. But upon closer examination, we see that society validates the existence of the profession through licensure, public affirmation, and legal and legislative parameters. Nursing’s response is to provide care to all who are in need, regardless of their cultural, social, or economic standing. (American Nurses Association, 2010, p. 10)

Values inherent in this social contract include the recognition that 1) human experience is contextually and culturally defined; and 2) the relationship between the nurse and patient occurs within the context of the values and beliefs of the patient and nurse.

Cultural awareness and competence are contributing factors to achieving positive health outcomes for the populations you serve. Culture deeply influences perspectives on health and illness and a lack of awareness in this area could lead to unintended outcomes. Educating nursing professionals about culturally appropriate services is in fact an important step toward elimination of racial and ethnic health and health care disparities. In the most recent edition of Nursing: Scope and Standards of Practice (American Nurses Association, 2015), a new standard is set forth which calls for culturally congruent practice, which is defined as “the application of evidence-based nursing that is in agreement with the preferred cultural values, beliefs, worldview, and practices of the health care consumer and other stakeholders. Cultural competence represents the process by which nurses demonstrate culturally congruent practice. Nurses design and direct culturally congruent practice and services for diverse consumers to improve access, promote positive outcomes, and reduce disparities” (p. 31).

This week, you will examine cultural competence and its influence on health care delivery, as well as your own experiences as a unique cultural being. In addition, you’ll explore strategies for addressing the needs of specific populations through enhanced cross-cultural understanding and more effective cross-cultural communication.

Learning Objectives

Students will:

  • Evaluate personal traits influencing cross cultural encounters
  • Analyze strategies to support culturally competent health care practice
  • Analyze diverse populations
  • Analyze community resources available for providing public health services to a specific population
  • Analyze strategies for providing care to diverse populations

NURS 6710: Public Health Nursing Theory and Practice Essay Assignment

An important first step toward cultural competence is an awareness of one’s own culturally-informed beliefs, values, attitudes, and potential biases. Recognizing the potential limitations in one’s cultural knowledge and being open to new ideas, contradictory information and advice illustrates an important concept referred to as “cultural humility.” When you understand how culture shapes your own beliefs, you become more open to understanding that someone of another culture may have a different perspective on a specific health issue and different strategies for achieving health. As a core competency of effective public health nursing, this Discussion assists in exploring your own cultural perceptions.

To Prepare:

  • Complete the Diversity Eye-Opener Self-Assessment.
  • Review this week’s Learning Resources.
  • Reflect on the intersections of health and culture.

By Day 3

Post an explanation of the traits you believe you possess that enable you to effectively facilitate cross-cultural communication. Then, explain what traits you possess that might make it challenging for you to be effective in cross-cultural encounters with diverse others .

Lastly, summarize at least two strategies for effective, culturally competent health care practice.

Read a selection of your colleagues’ responses.

By Day 6

Respond to at least two of your colleagues by offering at least one strategy your colleague could use to mitigate the traits that would make it challenging for them to effectively communicate in cross-cultural encounters.

Assignment: Reflection Paper

“Culturally aware nurses are conscious of culture as an influencing factor on differences between themselves and others and are receptive to learning about the cultural dimensions of clients.” (Stanhope & Lancaster, p. 147). For this Assignment, you will analyze effective ways to work with culturally diverse populations in your practice settings.

To Prepare:

  • Review this week’s Learning Resources.
  • Reflect on this week’s media.
  • Think about some of the diverse populations that you might encounter in your nursing practice.

The Assignment:

Write a 1- to 2-page paper that includes the following:

  • Identify and describe a diverse population that you might encounter in your nursing practice.
  • Identify and describe potential community resources that might be available in helping provide public health services to this population.
  • Explain at least two strategies you might use in providing culturally competent care to the population you selected.

By Day 7

Submit your Assignment.

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NURS 6710: Public Health Nursing Theory and Practice Essay Assignment

NURS 6710 Week 9: Addressing Health Disparities, Inequalities, and Inequities

“Social justice is a matter of life and death. It affects the way people live, their consequent chance of illness, and their risk of premature death. We watch in wonder as life expectancy and good health continue to increase in parts of the world and in alarm as they fail to improve in others. “—World Health Organization

Inherent in discussions about social justice are the concepts of health disparities, inequalities, and inequities. Have you heard these terms? For the purpose of this week’s Discussion, it’s important that we all have a shared understanding of these concepts which are of fundamental importance to public health nurses.

Healthy People 2020 defines a health disparity as a “particular type of health difference that is closely linked with social, economic, and/or environmental disadvantage.” Health disparities adversely affect groups of people who have systematically experienced greater obstacles to health based on their racial or ethnic group; religion, socioeconomic status; gender; age; mental health; cognitive, sensory, or physical disability; sexual orientation or gender identify; geographic location; or other characteristics historically linked to discrimination or exclusion.

Health inequalities can be defined as differences in health status or in the distribution of health determinants between different population groups. For example, differences in mobility between elderly people and younger populations or differences in mortality rates between people from different social classes. It is important to distinguish between inequality in health and inequity. Some health inequalities are attributable to biological variations or free choice and others are attributable to the external environment and conditions mainly outside the control of the individuals concerned. In the first case, it may be impossible or ethically or ideologically unacceptable to change the health determinants and so the health inequalities are unavoidable. In the second, the uneven distribution may be unnecessary and avoidable as well as unjust and unfair, so that the resulting health inequalities also lead to inequity in health.

One common goal shared by all public health professionals is the attainment of the highest level of health for all people—a concept known as health equity. Achieving health equity requires us to value each person equally, with focused efforts toward elimination of health inequities where they are identified. Public health nurses play a significant role in pursuing health equity within their own community, as well as contributing efforts toward national and global efforts.

Learning Objectives

Students will:

  • Analyze state health indicators
  • Analyze the relationship between health indicators and public health nursing practice

Public health nurses play an important role in addressing the health needs identified during the assessment process. Only by close examination of health data can health professionals identify health disparities and take steps to address them. Numerous sources of community-level health data are available to guide public health nurses as they partner with communities in the pursuit of health for all. It is vital that all public health professionals have an understanding of the health status of their city, county, region, state, and nation, as well as global health issues of concern. This week, you will analyze health indicators for your own community, identify potential health disparities seen in your own area, and then compare your findings with your classmates from across other localities.

For this Discussion, you will examine multiple localities to identify health disparities within and across states for a given health indicator.

To Prepare:

  • Review this week’s Learning Resources.
  • Take the Health Equity Quiz found on the Unnatural Causes website.
  • Research health indicators (outcomes) for your state, city, and/or county.
  • Research a state other than your own that is similar demographically with higher health indicators.

By Day 3

Post a health indicator for which your state ranks high and explain why you think your state ranks high on this indicator. Then, identify a health indicator for which your state ranks low and explain why you think your state ranks low on this indicator.

Compare your findings to a state that is similar to yours demographically but has higher indicators. Explain why you think this state is achieving higher health indicators than yours.

Read a selection of your colleagues’ responses.

By Day 6

Respond to at least two of your colleagues by comparing your state to your colleagues’ states, offering insights on your findings. Then, explain what this information might mean in regard to current and future public health nursing practice.

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NURS 6710: Public Health Nursing Theory and Practice Essay Assignment

NURS 6710 Week 10: Health Promotion and Disease Prevention

The effectiveness of health promotion and disease prevention interventions is closely aligned with the quality of relationship a public health program, represented in part by nurses, has with the population of focus. Empowering communities to define their health needs and to collaborate on an agreed upon plan of action makes a difference in measurable health outcomes. The following quote from this week’s Learning Resources offers insight into what this might look like in practice: “Nurses participate in this collaborative and interprofessional process through community assessments, community development activities, and identification of key persons in the community with whom to build partnerships for health programs.” (Stanhope, p. 383)

This week, you will analyze health promotion programs and public health models for a health indicator of interest.

Learning Objectives

Students will:

  • Analyze local health promotion programs
  • Evaluate benefits and challenges of health promotion programs
  • Analyze public health theories or models to guide efforts to address a specific health indicator
  • Evaluate public health theories and models
  • Apply public health theories and models to public health issues

Health promotion programs provide a conduit for public health nurses and the individuals, communities, and populations they collaborate with to achieve the ultimate goal of health and well-being, as defined in partnership, for all.

For this Assignment, you will analyze a selected health indicator through the lens of health promotion programs and a public heath theory, model, or framework.

To Prepare:

  • Review this week’s Learning Resources.
  • Research health promotion programs in your state or area tied to the health indicator rankings selected in Week 9.

The Assignment:

Write a 2- to-3-page paper that addresses the following:

  • Identify and provide a brief description of at least two health promotion programs that address the health indicator you selected.
  • Explain the benefits and challenges of identified health promotion programs in addressing the health indicator selected.
  • Identify a public health theory, model, or framework that may apply to the public health issue you selected.
  • Identify relevant core concepts and assumptions of the theory, model, or framework and how they relate to the public health issue you selected.
  • Justify why this public health theory, model, or framework is the most appropriate choice for this public health issue.
  • Explain how you might apply the public health theory, model, or framework to the public health issue you selected.
  • Explain what additional insight you gained regarding the public health issue as you viewed it through the lens of the theory, model, or framework you selected.

Note: This Assignment will serve as your Portfolio Assignment for this course.

By Day 7

Submit your Assignment.

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NURS 6710: Public Health Nursing Theory and Practice Essay Assignment

NURS 6710 Week 11: Prevention and Management of Public Health Emergencies

“Public health nurses have a skill set that serves their community well in disaster to include health education and disease screening, mass clinic expertise, an ability to provide essential public health services, community resource referral and liaison work, population advocacy, psychological first aid, public health triage, and rapid needs assessment.” (Stanhope & Lancaster, p. 511)

Public health emergencies are another area in which the public health nurses’ distinguished skill set is needed. Like the topic of health promotion and disease prevention covered last week, the goal in preventing and managing public health emergencies is health for all. This week, you will focus on the vital contributions of the public health nurse during times of emergency.

Learning Objectives

Students will:

  • Analyze the role of the public health nurse in preventing and managing public health emergencies
  • Assess contributions of public health nurses

Multiple natural and man-made disasters have occurred throughout history. These events represent community emergencies when they are large enough to have a major impact on community functioning. When such events exceed the community’s capacity to manage them, they are called disasters. Because of the nature of these events and their impact on the people living in the affected communities, organized efforts must be employed to plan for, manage, and recover from the impact. Planning for, preventing, and responding to public health needs during times of emergencies and disasters has long been a role of public health nurses.

In 2005, Hurricane Katrina demolished many U.S. communities in the southern Gulf of Mexico region, especially in the states of Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama. Imagine you are transported back in time and are practicing as a public health nurse with the New Orleans health department during the weeks leading up to, during, and following this disaster.

Group 1: Planning Surveillance Phase

Group 2: Acute Phase

Group 3: Recovery Phase

Note: The Instructor will assign students to one of the three groups/phases for this Assignment.

To Prepare:

  • Review this week’s Learning Resources. Pay close attention to this week’s readings that discuss the nurse’s roles during public health emergencies and disasters in one of the following categories: Planning/Surveillance Phase, Acute Phase, Recovery Phase.
  • Review and consider the disaster scenario provided in the Discussion introduction from the perspective of the role you have been assigned.

By Day 3

Post an analysis of your assigned phase and provide an explanation of the role, responsibilities, and actions of a public health nurse in responding to the threat during that specific phase. Take into consideration any special community aggregates that might need extra support during times of crisis.

Read a selection of your colleagues’ responses.

By Day 6

Respond to at least two of your colleagues who were assigned the other two phases by offering a new suggestion for actions that might have been beneficial during that time.

Assignment: Reflection Paper

Presented with a specific health issue, a nurse whose role focuses on delivery of care to individuals and a public health nurse whose role focuses on population health would likely respond with a different set of questions, and engage in a different set of actions, although, with some overlap. At this point in the course, how would you define the distinguishing characteristics and skills of a public health nurse? For this Assignment, you will reflect on your evolving knowledge in the specialty practice area of public health nursing in general and in the context of a specific health indicator.

To Prepare:

  • Review this week’s Learning Resources.
  • Reflect on the content of the course as it relates to your understanding of the role of the public health nurse.

The Assignment:

Write a 1-page paper that addresses the following questions:

After engaging with the content of the course, how has your vision of your role as a public health nurse changed based on your initial reflection for the health issue described in Week 1? What additional skills or expertise can you now identify that you bring to the table in asserting your role as a public health nurse?

By Day 7

Submit your Assignment.

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