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Nurse Retention Issue: Public Health Nursing Shortage

Written by LeAnn Thieman, CSP, October 17th, 2013

Researchers with the University of Michigan Center of Excellence in Public Health Workforce Studies collected data from state and local public health departments and surveyed public health nurses. According to the report released by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the following are some of the suggestions made by the project’s advisory committee:

• Develop feasible opportunities for additional education and training for public health nurses.

• Determine how changes in the functions of public health departments, due to healthcare reform and the transformation of public health agencies’ work, may affect the education public health nurses need.

• Identify options to address concerns about recruitment, compensation and promotion opportunities.

• Conduct follow-up studies to monitor size, composition, capacity and functions of the public health nurse workforce over time, to help ensure the workforce is well-prepared to meet emerging needs.

“It should be a high priority to address gaps and take steps to strengthen the public health nursing workforce,” Pamela G. Russo, MD, MPH, senior program officer for RWJF, said in the news release. As health reform is implemented, and as public health agencies are transforming to a more population health-oriented role in promoting health and protecting communities, public health nurses will need additional training to keep pace with the changes. The size, makeup and preparation of the public health nursing workforce greatly affect the ability of agencies to protect and improve the health of people in their jurisdictions.”

For strategies on how to ease the public health nursing shortage, nurse retention and nurse recruitment visit SelfCare for HealthCare™. Please CONTACT ME DIRECTLY to talk about customizing this powerful program for your employees.

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