Category Archives: Public health agencies
Have you signed up to receive Sharing Nursing’s Knowledge? The monthly Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) e-newsletter will keep you up to date on the work of RWJF’s nursing programs, and the latest news, research, and trends relating to academic progression, leadership, and other critically important nursing issues. These are some of the stories in the July issue:
Public Health Nurses Satisfied With Their Jobs, In High Demand
“It was so fulfilling to be seen as that kind of community resource and be able to have an impact on the lives of so many people at once,” RWJF Executive Nurse Fellows program alumna Joy Reed, EdD, RN, FAAN, president of the Association of Public Health Nurses, says of her first job with a local health department. A report from RWJF finds that public health nurses are satisfied with their jobs and feel they are making a difference in their communities, but they have concerns about job stability, compensation, and career growth in light of budget-tightening at many state and local health departments.
Nurse Historian Helps Build “Nest” for Nurse Scholars
A nurse, a nurse educator, a historian of nursing, and a nurse administrator at the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing, Julie Fairman, PhD, RN, FAAN, is now adding another title to her lengthy resume: co-director of the Future of Nursing Scholars program, a new $20 million initiative launched by the RWJF that will support some of the best and brightest nurse scholars as they pursue research-focused doctorates in nursing.
Shirley Orr, MHS, APRN, NEA-BC, is a public health consultant and an alumna of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Executive Nurse Fellows program (2009–2012).
According to President Hoover’s Research Committee on Social Trends, public health nurses numbered just 1,413 in 1909. That number skyrocketed to 15,865 by 1931. In the midst of the Great Depression, the President’s committee articulated the value of public health nursing to the nation by declaring that, “. . . the importance of the public health nurse cannot be overestimated.” In that difficult time, those familiar with the work of public health nurses saw great value in their commitment to social and humanitarian causes, evident through outreach to populations in greatest need of health improvement.
The Enumeration and Characterization of the Public Health Nurse Workforce report, just released by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF), tells us that approximately 34,500 nurses currently practice in local and state governmental health departments, making public health nurses one of the largest segments of the public health workforce. While today’s public health nurses maintain the commitment to social and humanitarian causes evident in the 1930s, public health nursing practice has changed significantly in the ensuing decades. The major trends and shifts we see in the public health system today are key factors influencing the ongoing evolution of contemporary public health nursing practice. For today’s public health nurses, the challenge of the future is systemic change.
A report funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) and produced by the University of Michigan Center of Excellence in Public Health Workforce Studies is the first comprehensive assessment of the size, composition, educational background experience, retirement intention, job function and job satisfaction of nurses who work for state and local health departments.
Paul Kuehnert, MS, RN, CPNP, team director of Public Health at RWJF, and an alumnus of the RWJF Executive Nurse Fellows program, discusses the report’s findings.
Read more about the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s work on public health nursing.
A report released today by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) finds the nation’s public health nurses report very high levels of job satisfaction and feel they are making a difference in their communities. But they also report concerns about job stability, compensation, and lack of opportunities for promotion in light of budget-tightening at many state and local health departments.
The findings come from the new report, Enumeration and Characterization of the Public Health Nurse Workforce: Findings of the 2012 Public Health Nurse Workforce Surveys. It was produced by the University of Michigan Center of Excellence in Public Health Workforce Studies and funded by RWJF. It is the first comprehensive assessment of the size, composition, educational background, experience, retirement intention, job function, and job satisfaction of nurses who work for state and local health departments.
The new study also finds that more than two in five public health departments report having “a great deal of difficulty” hiring nurses, and nearly as many state and local health departments report having insufficient resources to fill vacant nurse positions.
Melody S. Goodman, PhD, is a grantee of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) New Connections program (2007), and an assistant professor at the Washington University in St. Louis School of Medicine. This post is the first in a series in which RWJF scholars, fellows and alumni who are attending the American Public Health Association annual meeting reflect on the experience.
On your mark…. get set…. APHA! Yes it is that time of year again for the American Public Health Association (APHA) annual meeting & exposition. Are you ready for all things public health?!
APHA is my favorite conference to attend because it fulfills all of my public health senses. I am a biostatistician interested in health disparities doing community-based participatory research (yes you read that correctly). APHA is the one conference that speaks to all my research interests in one place. There is no other conference that allows me to go to theta beta land with my statistics friends in the Applied Public Health Statistics Section and then discuss developing community-academic partnerships with both community and academic colleagues in the Community-Based Public Health Caucus (CBPHC). Last year I served as the academic program planner for the CBPHC and this year I am section council of the Statistics section.
Some people say they don’t like APHA because it is too big but the New Yorker in me loves every moment of it. I always arrive at the conference early and grab that phonebook-like program and attack it with a highlighter and sticky tabs the way only a true nerd could. I spend an hour or so planning my life over the next few days; noting when and where I am presenting, where my colleagues and students are presenting and finding other scientific sessions I am interested in attending. Then I take a walk around the convention center locating the rooms where I will be presenting. This makes life easier when over 10,000 people are walking though hallways, many of them lost; I don’t have to be one of them.
Barbara A. Garcia, M.P.A., a RWJF Community Health Leader (1993), began her duties as director of the San Francisco Department of Public Health in January. Garcia had been the Department’s deputy since 1999. “Becoming the director is a really exciting opportunity to continue the work I’ve been doing with the department,” she said.
Her appointment by then-mayor Gavin Newsom was announced in October at the Latino Heritage Month Celebration and Awards ceremony, where Garcia was honored for her contributions to the Latino community in health and medicine.
Garcia received the Community Health Leader award for her work at Salud Para La Gente in Watsonville, California. As the executive director of the small clinic in a rural, predominantly Latino community, Garcia transformed the clinic into a federally-qualified, bi-cultural comprehensive health care center.
Congratulations are in order for Sue Birch, R.N., M.B.A., an alum of the RWJF Executive Nurse Fellows program. In January, this blog reported that Colorado Governor-Elect John Hickenlooper had nominated Birch to serve as the executive director of that state’s Department of Health Care Policy and Financing. The Department administers the state’s Medicaid and Child Health Plan Plus (CHP+) programs, which together cover more than 600,000 residents, as well as a number of other health care programs aimed at low-income families, the elderly and persons with disabilities. On February 14, the state Senate confirmed Birch to the post.
Since 1994, Birch has been CEO of the Northwest Colorado Visiting Nurse Association. In January, she told the Steamboat Today newspaper that a chief focus for her at the Department would be working “to get as much access as possible for all Coloradans” from the newly passed health reform law.
Congratulations are in order for Sue Birch, R.N., M.B.A., an alum of the RWJF Executive Nurse Fellows program. Colorado Governor-Elect John Hickenlooper has named her the new executive director of that state’s Department of Health Care Policy and Financing. The Department administers the state’s Medicaid and Child Health Plan Plus (CHP+) programs, which together cover more than 600,000 residents, as well as a number of other health care programs aimed at low-income families, the elderly and persons with disabilities.
Since 1994, Birch has been CEO of the Northwest Colorado Visiting Nurse Association. “Sue Birch has made herself an expert on how to provide medical care in rural areas with limited budgets,” Hickenlooper said in making the announcement. “Her regional and collaborative approach will serve well to address health care issues on a statewide basis.”
The University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) has appointed David Vlahov, Ph.D., R.N., the new dean of the School of Nursing. Vlahov is co-director of the national program office for the RWJF Health & Society Scholars program, and president of The New York Academy of Medicine (NYAM). His term will begin in April 2011.
Learn more about Vlahov and his new position.