Curriculum Improvement

Curriculum Improvement

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Improving the curriculum in public health nursing is a multi-faceted endeavor. AACN conducted a survey of 61 member schools of nursing that have a graduate focus in community/public health nursing. The survey information on innovative practices in public health nursing education as well as information on academic/practice partnerships. Some of the innovative practices that were reported are listed below.

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Curriculum Support for Public Health

Population Health Supplement to Baccalaureate Essentials
Recommended Baccalaureate Competencies and Curricular Guidelines for Public Health Nursing

Curriculum Best Practices

Curriculum Thread

Developed Courses

Service Learning Experience

Evidence-Based Practices and Programs

The Health Impact in 5 Years (HI-5) initiative by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention highlights non-clinical, community-wide approaches that have evidence reporting 1) positive health impacts, 2) results within five years, and 3) cost effectiveness and/or cost savings over the lifetime of the population or earlier.

Racial and Ethnic Approaches to Community Health (REACH) initiative is a national program that focuses on reducing racial and ethnic health disparities. Through REACH, awardee partners plan and carry out local, culturally appropriate programs to address a wide range of health issues among African Americans, American Indians, Hispanics/Latinos, Asian Americans, Alaska Natives, and Pacific Islanders. REACH initiatives have been implemented in various community settings including community health centers, governmental health departments, academia, and various non-profit community-based organizations.

Million Hearts® a national initiative co-led with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services that promotes the use of proven, evidence-based techniques to prevent and treat heart attack and stroke in clinical and non-clinical community settings. Million Hearts has established tools, resources and action guides that support the understanding and implementation of strategies and interventions. Metrics and clinical quality measures have been identified to measure and achieve the goal of reducing heart attack and stroke and achieving the Million Hearts goal.

Additional Resources

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Forum on the Future of Public Health Nursing
identified three educational models focused on the public health nurse workforce.  Information about these models provides insights into areas that can strengthen the public health nursing curriculum. 

LEAP is a project coordinated through the University of Wisconsin-Madison. LEAP is a model interprofessional education project focused on strengthening the skills of public health nurses. Information on LEAP is provided on the AACN academic/practice partnership website:

KRISP is a collaborative effort  coordinated by the University of Washington and the University of Illinois in Chicago. KRISP focused on providing resources and information to strengthen public health nursing practice.  More information can be found at

PHN-Ready is coordinated by the University of Albany School of Public Health and provides training leading to a certification for RNs and LPNs interested in or working in public health. The training is based on the Quad Council’s public health nursing competencies. More information can be found at


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