Building Community and Public Health Nursing Capacity

Regions: Inuvialuit Settlement Region, Gwich'in Settlement Area, Sahtu Settlement Area, Dehcho Region, North Slave Region, South Slave Region

Tags: health, public health, health care development, nursing

Principal Investigator: Underwood, Jane (2)
Licence Number: 14252
Organization: Nursing Health Services Research Unit
Licensed Year(s): 2007
Issued: Sep 17, 2007
Project Team: Jane Underwood RN MBA (Principal Investigator, Nursing Health Services Research Unit, McMaster Un), Andrea Baumann RN, PhD (Investigator, NHSRU, McMaster Site), Donna Ciliska RN, PhD (Investigator, McMaster University), Donna Meagher-Stewart RN, PhD (Investigator, Dalhousie University), Mary MacDonald, RN, MCEd (Investigator, Univserity of Saskatchewan), Anne Ehrlich RN MHSc (Investigator, McMaster University), Bonnie Schoenfeld RN, MS (Investigator, University of Saskatchewan), Melanie Lavoie-Tremblay RN PhD (Investigator, McGill University), Jennifer Blythe PhD (Investigator, McMaster University), Raisa Deber PhD (Investigator, University of Toronto), Audrey LaPorte PhD (Investigator, University of Toronto), Valerie Munroe RN PhD (Investigator, Vancouver Coastal Health), Kristin Knibbs RN BScN MN (cand) (Investigator, University of Saskatchewan), Dr David Mowat (Decision Maker, Public Health Agency of Canada), Dr David Butler Jones (Decision Maker, Public Health Agency of Canada), Sandra MacDonald-Rencz (Decision Maker, Health Canada, Nursing Policy), Barbara Oke (Decision maker, First Nations Inuit Health Branch), Dr Sheela Basrur (Decision Maker, Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care), Susan Matthews RN, PhD (Decision maker, Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-term Care), Dr Ronald Wall (Decision maker, Public Health Agency of Canada), Carla Jane Troy (Decision maker, Public Health Agency of Canada), Lyne Jobin (Decision Maker, Minister of Health and Social Services), Dr Lynnette Leeseberg Stamler (Decision Maker, University of Saskatchewan), Rosemary Goodyear (Decision Maker, Community Health Nurses Association of Canada)

Objective(s): This study is the third part of a 3- project study that began in September 2006. Its overall goal is to investigate how community health nursing (CHN) services could be optimized.

Project Description: This study is the third part of a 3- project study that began in September 2006. Its overall goal is to investigate how community health nursing (CHN) services could be optimized. Project 1 explored the demographic characteristics of community health nurses in Canada by reviewing CIHI data from the nursing colleges. Project 2 involved a survey of CHNs across Canada (except Ontario) using a stratified random sample of CHNs to determine enablers for CHNs to practice the competencies associated with their speciality, barriers to practice these competencies, and strategies for CHNs to practice the competencies. Project 3 (the current project) builds on the findings of the other two projects and concentrates on Public Health which is the focus of intense scrutiny at this time. The study will result in the emergence of an overall framework of current and potential organizational structures that support the scope of CHN practice. Within this framework the current situation of public health can be interpreted. Future research will be able to take the tools and methods developed here and apply these to other Community Health sectors. This work will contribute to the more effective deployment of Community Health Nursing within the system and potential improvements in working conditions, which in turn could lead to improved Public Health (PH) services and health outcomes for the community.

Objectives: 1. Describe the current organizational designs in which PHNs work. 2. Identify which attributes of the current organizational designs work best to optimize nurses' full scope of competencies. 3. Identify other attributes to enhance PHNs ability to practice their competencies. 4. Identify actions to implement organizational attributes that best support PHNs to practice their skills and knowledge.
Research Method: Focus groups will be conducted in 6 geographic regions across Canada (BC, Prairies, Ontario, Quebec, Atlantic Canada and the North), separately for front line PHNs and policy makers / managers. Each group will have approx. 8 participants and 24 separate groups are planned. Participants will be experts selected by the study’s decision maker / research team members based on their knowledge of the personnel and organizational structure for Public Health in the geographic regions.
Northern focus groups will include participants from NWT, Nunavut and Yukon. Four (4) groups are planned for the North with approximately 8 participants in each: 1 with rural frontline public health nurses, 1 with urban frontline public health nurses, 1 with rural policymakers/ managers and 1 with urban policymakers/managers.

Analysis will result in the emergence of an overall framework within which the current situation in public health can be interpreted. Data management and analysis will be enhanced by the use of NVivo software. Final Analysis Forums of researchers, decision makers, and practitioners will be convened to discuss the findings from all three projects within the program of study and make recommendations for policy to address the findings.

Study reports will be distributed to public health and professional nursing journals, conferences, newsletters and on the researchers’ website www.nhsru.com. Relevant information will be shared with health policy and decision makers. A summary of the results may also be requested from any member of the research team.

Fieldwork will be conducted from September 17 to December 31, 2007 within public health organizations where Public Health Nurses are employed.