A Qualitative Study on Preparing Baccalaureate Nursing Students for Community/Public Health Nursing as Perceived by Nurse Educators and Administrators
Background: Educational preparation of baccalaureate nurses remains entrenched in yesterdayâ€™s health care, hospital-centric environment. A culture change among nurse educators and in nursing education is needed to prepare competent practitioners capable of practicing from a health promotion/ disease prevention, community/population focused construct.
Objective: This study utilized a qualitative phenomenological research design to determine the belief systems and values of baccalaureate nurse educators and administrators in preparing baccalaureate nursing students for community/public health nursing.
Population: Thirteen nurse educators and six nurse administrators from two urban baccalaureate university schools of nursing participated in the study.
Methods: An in-depth semi-structured interview based on Kotterâ€™s 8-Step Change model was conducted.
Results: Six distinct belief systems and five personal and professional values emerged from analysis of the data. The six belief systems were: health care is really changing, nursing curriculum needs to change, nursing care begins in the community, nursing continues to be a growing and emerging profession, the baccalaureate nursing degree needs to be the entry level degree for nursing practice, and the motivation for being a nurse is to help others. The five values were: professionalism, compassionate care, collaborative practice, community service, and honesty, integrity, and credibility. Change, conflict, and challenge emerged as the major themes.
Interpretation:Â A need for re-envisioning nursing education and practice to improve patient care and promote patient health and wellness from a community and population focused perspective is prompting the need for nurse educators and administrators to re-define and prepare a new nursing workforce for the 21st century. For a change in the educational approach to preparing baccalaureate nursing students to occur, it is critical that baccalaureate nurse educators and administrators acknowledge the role their belief systems and values play in preparing baccalaureate nursing students for practice in the changing national and global societal and health care environment.
Conclusion:Â Further research is needed to determine the best curricular approach for preparing baccalaureate nursing students for community/public health nursing practice.
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