American Public Health Association
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Public Health Nursing
Section Newsletter
Spring/Summer 2008

Message from the Chair


Greetings from the nation’s capital!


As we make the transition from what seemed to me like a very long winter to the typically hot summer in Washington, D.C., I am struck by the turbulence in weather that has enveloped so much of the nation — oppressive heat, powerful storms, tornados and floods. I am reminded that changes often occur when you least expect them, that some of the impact of life’s challenges can be mediated by prevention or preparedness and that we need to make the most of every day. It also causes me to reflect on the tremendous impact that public health nurses make every day. From assisting communities to develop emergency plans, to conducting surveillance during public health emergencies such as the recent tomato-linked salmonella outbreak, to volunteering in shelters in communities affected by weather events in the heartland, public health nurses serve a key role in disease prevention, health promotion and protection. What would your community be like without public health nurses?


As we move into the time of boomer retirement, is your community ready for the transition? Do we have the supply of PHNs needed to maintain our role in the public health infrastructure? Have we prepared our future work force with the knowledge, skills and abilities they will need to carry on the activities that support the public’s health? What will our experienced PHNs do to mentor the next generation of nurses and leaders? Considering the potential impact of this shift in personnel, have we given enough thought to preparing for this transition? Indeed, no single community is in this alone. I invite you to share your thoughts about what your community is doing to prepare for this work force challenge.


Work force capacity is particularly challenging during hard economic times. Our current economic downturn puts additional pressure on communities to trim expenses in the face of rising costs. Stories abound of hiring freezes, elimination of training funds, threats to current public health programs and positions eliminated due to budgetary constraints. What sacrifices are needed as we tighten our collective belts, and what proposed solutions are just ‘penny-wise and pound foolish’? As a child who anxiously awaits arrival at a vacation destination asks, “Are we there yet?” I ask, “Is it time for making prevention a priority yet?” Are we willing as a nation to invest in the infrastructure that will move us in this direction?


Some state legislatures have taken action to support nursing work force capacity. While not specifically targeting public health nurses, all of us know that the shortage of nurses overall is a threat to the nation’s health. These efforts ultimately assist public health nursing, as they expand the pool from which public health nurses are drawn. The following summary was included in the June 2008 APHA Legislative Update:


“In New York, lawmakers recently introduced a series of bills that would provide incentives, such as student loan forgiveness programs for practicing nurses and free tuition for nursing students, to encourage individuals to enter and remain in the nursing profession. Similarly, the Massachusetts House of Representatives recently passed a bill that would regulate the work-load of nurses in the state. Citing the unmanageably high patient to nurse ratio that the nursing shortage has created, Massachusetts is attempting to lighten the load on nurses by establishing a maximum number of patients that can be assigned to any one nurse at a time.”


Public health nursing, committed to assuring work force capacity, is taking action to determine an appropriate PHN to population ratio. During the 2008 Annual Meeting to be held this fall in San Diego, the Quad Council Learning Institute (Sunday, Oct. 26, 2008 from 5-6:30 p.m.) will feature the results of the work of Linda Olson Keller. Funded through the CDC/ASTDN Cooperative Agreement, Linda will discuss the PHN to population ratio and the implications for public health nursing and the public’s health. Representatives from the four Quad Council organizations will respond with implications for PHN practice, education, research and policy. All are invited to the presentation. There is no fee, but you must sign up when you register for the Annual Meeting. Register today for what will surely be a stimulating meeting.


But you don’t have to wait until the fall to influence health policy. You have a number of opportunities to raise your voices now. APHA is preparing for an effort entitled PHACT. During July and August, members are encouraged to schedule a meeting with legislators when they are home in their districts. Get ready to educate your congressional representatives about the importance of public health to the nation. Specifically, the emphasis of this effort will be three-fold: to make public health a part of the health reform discussion, to make prevention a priority and to invest in the public health infrastructure. Watch the APHA Web site for updates. This is a wonderful opportunity to become part of the action team and make change happen! Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we began the next presidency by putting prevention on the agenda — and then funded it?


Meanwhile, go to the APHA Web site and sign up for the Legislative Update, a monthly summary delivered to your e-mail address. Choose the advocacy drop-down menu, click on advocacy tips and you will find questions to ask of the candidates in your community. You will also find terrific resources for calling, writing to, or requesting a meeting with your legislator. This resource provides most of what you need to begin the process. You can help move prevention to the forefront. We owe it to the public to get involved.


On the policy front, three pro public health bills were approved recently that will continue funding for community health centers, support the national toll-free poison center number and media campaign and fund pediatric cancer research, in addition to a population-based childhood cancer database. Stay tuned for more policy updates.


In addition to the impact of policy on prevention and work force capacity, pending regulatory changes will have an impact on public health nursing education and practice. During the past four years, the National Council of State Boards of Nursing and the Advanced Practice Registered Nursing (APRN) stakeholders have been meeting to craft a new, narrowly focused definition of advanced practice registered nursing. Driven by a desire to shore up existing practice variation between and among states, a national definition is being proposed that delimits APRN practice to individually focused practice with prescriptive authority. The Quad Council organizations have spoken about and advocated for a broader definition that includes population-focused practice. Our advocacy efforts have been unsuccessful, and it is likely that the currently proposed, narrow definition will be approved in August 2008. There will be implications for the titling of public health nurses who pass the certification exam in Community/Public Health Nursing. The current proposal is for the title Advanced Practice Public Health Nursing, Board Certified to be used. Additional information will be forthcoming. If you have thoughts that you would like to share, contact me at


There is surely a lot going on in public health nursing! We are planning a membership conference call on Wednesday, July 30, from 4-6 p.m. EDT, and all are welcome. Do join us. Call (888) 955-5369. Code: 441177. Watch for a blast e-mail with the agenda in mid-July.


I look forward to talking with you in July and seeing you in San Diego.



Annual Meeting Preview

Don't forget to register for the Annual Meeting in San Diego, Oct. 26 - 29, 2008! 


  • "PHN Central" will be at the San Diego Marriott and Marina.
  • Our Quad Council event (Learning Institute #2018 at no charge to you) Sunday evening Oct. 26, from 5:00-6:30 p.m., will feature Linda Olson Keller's presentation of the CDC/ASTDN cooperative agreement (including the PHN: population ratio), followed by responses by the Quad Council organizations.
  •   An APHA special event will follow: A Right to Care - An Evening with Sarah Jones - a special performance by Tony ® Award Winning Actress, Sarah Jones, from 6:30 p.m.-7:30 p.m.

 Written and performed by the award-winning playwright and actress Sarah Jones, A Right to Care illuminates a variety of issues ranging from chronic disease to cultural barriers to care; from immigrant health concerns to the impact of economic obstacles on the health of Americans of every background. Using only minimal props and costume changes, Ms. Jones transforms into 10 different characters, female and male, young and old, reflecting seldom-heard experiences of Native Americans, Asian Americans, Latino Americans, African Americans and European Americans, each with a uniquely authentic voice and perspective.”

  • PHN Section Business meetings every day during the Annual Meeting (6:30 – 8:00 a.m.), coffee served. Plan to help set your profession’s national agenda!
  • On Monday evening, Oct. 27, we will hold our Town Hall Meeting & Social from 6:30-8:30 p.m.

More to follow...

APHA Announces 5th Annual Film Festival

The Health Communication Working Group (HCWG) Steering Committee is pleased to announce its 5th Annual Film Festival to be held during the APHA Annual Meeting in San Diego, Oct. 25-29. This call for submissions is limited to productions created for audiences in the United States, but is not limited to English language productions.
We are looking for examples of good health communication strategy paired with professional production values. In keeping with Healthy People 2010 Health Communication Objective 11-3 - "Increase the proportion of health communication activities that include research and evaluation", all submissions must have undergone either formative or summative evaluation.  Evidence of the evaluation must be included in the application.


Evidence of Formative or Summative Evaluation:
Formative evaluation typically occurs prior to the development of a production.  Evidence should demonstrate that the producers connected with the target audience to assess needs.  Summative evaluation typically occurs after exposure to the production. Evidence should demonstrate that the producers attempted to measure the impact of the work on the target audience.  
We would like your help in identifying and soliciting worthwhile productions.
Eligible productions should:

1. Be recent (no more than three years old);
2. Address a public health issue;
3. Be 5-10 minutes in length (outstanding longer works will be considered, but they cannot exceed 30 minutes);
4. Provide evidence of evaluation in the application; and
5. Show evidence of collaboration between the producing agency and the intended audience.

The submissions will be collected, converted to a common media for playback, and featured at the APHA Annual Meeting in San Diego this October. 
If you have a video to submit, would like to nominate an outstanding video, or would like to volunteer, please contact Linda Bergonzi King, MPH, at
Submission deadline is July 31, 2008.

Nursing Excellence in the Community

Averting a Nursing Shortage in Public Health


The Problem:  Michigan and the nation face a 30-year shortage of nurses as the demand for nurses increases. According to Jeannette Klemczak, chief nurse executive for Michigan, “we are at the beginning of the crisis.  If we do nothing, our current work force of nurses will attempt to provide preventive care and acute care for more and more people. This will impact the health and safety of both patients and nurses" (Nursing Agenda for Michigan: 2005-2010 Actions to Avert a Crisis).   More importantly, the systematic factors that have lead to a major nursing shortage also have lead to a critical shortage of public health nurses. The factors leading to a shortage of public health nurses are an aging work force, local health departments have no visible recruitment efforts, governmental agencies have a lengthy hiring process, salaries are less competitive with hospitals, and a BSN degree and one year of experience is required. The need for BSN prepared nurses is compounded by a long waiting list for students at the university as more faculty are needed to assure a steady stream of BSN prepared nurses are entering the health care system.  


Story:   Today, the local health department in Detroit has many public health nurses near retirement, numerous vacant positions, and insufficient new public health nurses joining the work force. Nursing education programs in Southeast Michigan cannot produce new, high-quality nurses without additional public health clinical education sites and innovative approaches to provide clinical experiences at local health departments. To address this issue, the Office of Nursing created the Public Health Nursing Council. The Public Health Nursing Council includes nurse managers and directors from Maternal and Child Health, Children’s Special Health Care Services, Bureau of Preventative and Clinical Services, Nurse Family Partnership, and Communicable Disease and Control Programs.  The purpose of the Council was to give specific attention to the recruitment and retention of the nursing work force.  The strategies also addressed the role of the local health department in educating future generations of nurses and reinvigorating the current public health work force.


Strategies/Solutions:  After a careful inventory of the 15 vacant nursing positions, the Nursing Council agreed to have a Nursing Open House Job Fair. This recruitment effort was a first for the local health department.  Partners in the Open House included other city departments that employ nurses, Information Technology Services/Communications & Creative Services, and Human Resources.  Media coverage included a press release heard on the local Fox 2 News and a WDET radio interview with the director of the Office of Nursing the day before the event. Employment ads were posted in the local newspapers such as the Health Care Weekly Review for three weeks and the Employment Guide Detroit Edition for one week including Internet coverage.


Two weeks before the event, outreach letters were mailed to six university schools of nursing and colleges.  Letters were mailed to local chapters of nursing associations across cultures such as those for Hispanic, black, Asian and Canadian nurses.  In addition to these outreach efforts, 100 fliers were posted in the community at local churches and other employment agencies.


Each program decided to have a table with program information and a staff nurse to talk with the participants about their program and their experience in public health. Human Resources representatives, managers and supervisors were available for on-the-spot interviews.  The outcome of the recruitment efforts were as follows: 56 nurses attended; 29 were Licensed Practice Nurses, 19 Registered Nurses, five BSN, three MSN nurses.  Twenty-eight of the nurses were interviewed, 16 Licensed Practical Nurses, nine RN Clinic Nurses, and three BSN for public health nursing positions. Managers, supervisors, and human resources representatives provided interviews for 7.5 hours, and 17 applicants were scheduled for interviews at a later date.


Lessons Learned:  Interpersonal communication was an effective recruitment strategy. Staff nurses were empowered as they shared information about their programs and long-term commitment to their work in public health. Staff nurses can be valuable team members in nurse recruitment.  Prospective nurses stated often that they were not aware of what a nurse could do in health care except bedside nursing.  Translating the vision of population-based care into a message that nurses could buy into was an effective recruitment strategy as nurses learned about their role in advocacy and health policy development. Involving university faculty was an effective strategy also to recruit registered nurses in the BSN completion programs.  On-the-spot interviews were a success as nurses who were interested in public health paired with program managers,  reducing the barrier of waiting for an interview call.  Because of this effort, many vacancies were filled. The competitive edge may not be the base salary but an overview of the fringe benefits, autonomy, and impact of public health nursing practice on the community's health.   The Office of Nursing plans a semi-annual Open House Job Fair as an ongoing recruitment of nurses to join the team and provide “Nursing Excellence in the Community.”

Submitted by:  Gwendolyn A. Franklin, RN, MSN

Robert Wood Johnson Executive Nurse Fellow

Detroit Department of Health and Wellness Promotion

Director, Office of Nursing

PHN Advanced Practice Exam Update

The American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) is revising its Web site (  The registration form for the Public Health Nurse Advanced Practice certification exam is not presently available online. Graduating students or colleagues who wish to take the upcoming certification exam can receive a registration form via e-mail by contacting Diane Thompkins, assistant director certification services, at diane.thompkins@ana.orgPass this on to other students and colleagues you know who may be interested in registering for the exam.

Giving Voice to Public Health Nursing's Work and Outcomes: Computerized Documentation

What do county and state public health agencies in Washington, Minnesota, California, New Mexico, Wisconsin, Maine and many other states have in common?  Increasingly, public health departments across the United States are allocating resources and time for the use of computers in public health nursing. The desired and expected outcome of implementing computerized information systems is to improve services and health status for individuals, families and populations. There are many program-specific databases and software programs that fall within this vision: immunization registries, vital records, etc. In this article I will focus on the promise of computerized public health nursing documentation systems for local public health agencies and clients.

Public health managers and nurses have long been interested in demonstrating the outcomes of our care. The work of Kathryn Barnard1 and David Olds2 has advanced that agenda in maternal-child health. The Barnard and Olds programs of research were built through traditional randomized controlled trials over a period of several decades. To replicate those efforts for other PHN programs would be costly and time-intensive. An alternative approach is to access the increasingly available data from PHN documentation. In the documentation data sets lie the answers to such questions as:

·      What did the PHN do today (or this week, month, year)?

·      What kinds of clients does our agency serve at the individual and community level?

·      What were the most common problems our PHNs addressed with these clients?

·      What kinds of PHN interventions were used, and for which kinds of clients?

·      Did PHN interventions make a difference?


In areas in which we have defined our best practices, we can use computerized documentation systems to disseminate the best practices in the form of standardized careplans within the software. Standardized careplans are useful as agency standards of care. When kept up to date, standardized careplans become a continuing education tool, constantly refreshing the PHN users about current agency care standards as they document their work.


These benefits may sound like a futuristic view, but they are actually happening today as more and more agencies adopt computerized nursing documentation systems. Agencies are evaluating outcomes, sharing data across jurisdictions, justifying budgets, and defining practice standards using PHN documentation data. The tool within the documentation system that makes it all work is the instrument that allows for standardized documentation: the classification system.


Standardized classifications may be difficult to learn at first, but when used every day for documentation they become second nature. In many regions, PHNs have actually become fluent in using standardized language, and agencies have begun to depend on the data they generate. In Maine, PHNs are measuring outcomes of community level interventions to promote best practices in TB clinics. In Washington, PHN directors are working together with social workers to define intervention pathways for child protective services. In Minnesota, PHNs from agencies across the state are working together to standardize practice and share outcomes data reliably. Although working within diverse software platforms, all of these groups are using the Omaha System as their standardized classification system. For more information on use of the Omaha System, see, and

Standardized classifications in PHN documentation systems are giving voice to PHNs. The data we generate through our documentation are rich and powerful. We are beginning to describe the challenges our clients face, the work we do to address those challenges, and the outcomes we achieve as a result.


1Barnard, K. E. (1998). Developing, implementing, and documenting interventions with parents and young children. Zero to Three, February/March, 23-29.

2Olds, D. L. (2002). Prenatal and infancy home visiting by nurses: From randomized trials to community replication. Prevention Science, 3, 153-172. 

Submitted by: Karen A. Monsen, PhD, RN

In Retrospect: South Africa’s Black Nurses Struggle against Apartheid Nursing

As the Public Health Nursing Section prepares for its 85th anniversary, it is fitting to acknowledge and recognize the Section for one of the its many contributions.  In particular, this article recognizes the crucial role PHN Section members and APHA played in advocating for social justice and equity for black South African nurses during South Africa’s apartheid era.  This is a brief historical and personal account of the struggle that South Africa’s black nurses encountered with the then South African Nursing Association (SANA) and the South African Nursing Council (SANC).


Afrikaans, the primary language of the largely Dutch, British and other white European settlers in South Africa known as Afrikaners, became the official language for all of South Africa’s populace regardless of race.  In 1948, the Nationalist Party comprised mostly of Afrikaners and supported by Afrikaner farmers, often referred to as Boers, came into power, streamlining and transforming the then British colonial system and its policies into an apartheid state.  In Afrikaans, “apartheid” is a term equivalent to segregation.  Racism was elevated and dominated state ideology policy and political legislation.  Integrated into the education system, apartheid became a social, political and economic institution.


In 1913, white registered nurses formed the voluntary and exclusive South African Trained Nurses Association (SATNA) (Searle, 1965).  Its aims were to weld the nurses of South Africa into a united band of workers, to encourage cooperation, take a united action to protect the interests of the profession, and maintain the highest ideals of nursing in South Africa (Searle, 1965).   Few African women, however, had the educational qualifications to take the nursing certificate, and many in positions of authority were reluctant to provide for the training of black nurses whom they believed were incapable of passing nursing examinations (Critical Health, 1988). 


The belief that black women could not be nurses was a misconception.  Prior to apartheid, Neil Mac Vicar, a Scottish physician and medical officer at Victoria Hospital in the Eastern Cape of South Africa, trained black African women as nurses.  He took the chance to train a few African nurses with great success, and the first black African nurses graduated in 1908.  For many years, Victoria Hospital continued to train black nurses because no other schools of nursing were open to these women (Lubanga, 1991).  Apartheid’s segregationist and racial policies, however, continued to exclude black nurses from belonging to SATNA.  During the 1920s, black nurses formed their own organization, the Bantu Nurses Association (BNA). The BNA grew and by 1941 had seven branches, a national headquarters, officers, and held national conferences (Wright, 1985). 


In 1942, despite the privilege enjoyed by white nurses in SATNA, dissatisfaction among some nurses grew, leading them to form a new organization along trade union lines (Borcherds, 1958).  The nationalist apartheid government, along with SATNA leadership, became concerned that these separatist nurses would adopt “a trade union mentality” and go on strike to improve their situation.  In response to the efforts to form a nurses’ trade union, the government enacted the Nursing Act No. 45 of 1944, establishing the South African Nursing Association (SANA).  This legislation recognized SANA as the representative body for South Africa’s nurses, midwives and student nurses.  A clause in the legislation called for compulsory membership of all nursing personnel in the association, effectively pre-empting the threat of unionization by nurses.  The law required that in order to hold a license and to practice nursing, one had to be a member of SANA.  This was unprecedented because no other country required membership in a professional association in order to obtain the right to practice.   Furthermore, it legislated and required the minister of health to review and approve any constitution that SANA might draft.


Formed at the cusp of the Nationalist Party’s rise to power in 1948, the newly formed South African Nurses Association integrated apartheid values into its policies, and governmental reforms continued to institutionalize apartheid practices into nursing.  The Nursing Act No. 69 of 1957 amended and replaced the Nursing Act of 1944, restructuring both the South African Nursing Association and the South African Nursing Council (SANC).  The 1957 Act called for segregating nurses along racial lines and maintaining separate registers for each racial category, Whites, Coloreds (mixed race), Indians and Africans.  It made it a criminal offense for the supervision of white nurses by a nurse from another racial group regardless of educational experience or qualification.  A white nurse working on a hospital ward with an equally qualified African or Colored nurse always assumed positional authority over non-white nurses.


The South African Nurses Association’s policies also prohibited non-white nurses from holding any official positions within the organization.  The South African Nursing Council held the responsibility for nursing education, and as the numbers of Afrikaans speaking girls entered nursing, the crusade to further apartheid policies in nursing followed.  Whereas white nurses trained within well-equipped hospital schools and later nursing colleges, black nurses experienced harsher conditions within poorly resourced hospital settings, nursing homes and educational settings.  However, the dominant ideology of white superiority could hardly escape challenge by the achievements of African nurses.  In competitive state nursing examinations, the achievements of African nurses disproved the assumptions of racial inferiority perpetuated by the apartheid system.


In hospitals, African nurses began to express resentment against perpetual tutelage by less qualified whites, and when the Nursing Act No. 69 of 1957 passed, African nurses demonstrated in protest. Several of the movement’s leaders formed an un-official, non-racial association, the South African Federation of Nurses. The association, however, was weak, and SANA harassed many the federation’s nurses.  Some nurses were placated with senior positions in hospitals to silence them; continued harassment forced some out of their jobs, while others fled the country.


The success of SANC and SANA to support the policies of apartheid is credited to sanctioning by the nationalist government.  While these organizations upheld segregationist policies, for example preventing black nurses from serving on its governing bodies and requiring separate registers for nurses, they failed as professional associations and regulatory bodies to investigate inconsistencies in health care delivery.  Moreover, they failed to provide leadership, representation, guidance and protection to black nurses.  Efforts to establish nursing councils and associations in the homelands for African nurses (akin to Native American Reservations in the United States) without consulting affected nurses or without financial support undermined the professional integrity and the international status of nursing in South Africa.  Furthermore, SANA and SANC failed to challenge injustices perpetrated against victims of police and army violence in hospitals in their complicities with the Emergency Laws of the apartheid regime.  During these times, nurses cooperated with government and local police to keep lists of patients admitted with gunshot wounds, regardless of age.


Calls to end apartheid in South Africa by the international community galvanized as the system of apartheid became more and more brutal.  There was pressure on both SANA and SANC to reform and change its apartheid policies and practices.  In 1975, during the International Council of Nurses’ (ICN) Quadrennial Congress in Mexico City, SANA refused to change its constitution stipulating that only whites could serve on its Central Board, after which it walked out of the ICN Congress.  After the 1976 student uprisings in South Africa, and the 1977 murder of Steve Biko (a medical student activist) by state police, the outcry from the international community and in the United States intensified.  Protest marches took place in the United States, with protesters demanding an end to apartheid.  South Africa was expelled from international sporting events including the Olympics.  Transnational corporations moved to divest and cease business with South Africa companies, economic boycott and sanctions were enacted, and South African Airways was barred from landing at U.S. airports.


The international medical and nursing communities also began to put more pressure on the South African government to dismantle apartheid and allow freedom of association in a democratic society.  Addressing the health care crisis in South Africa was paramount -- not just access but equity in treatment.  Redressing the inequities that had existed for centuries between black and white hospital workers of all levels also became the agenda for the health care community.  In the United States, numerous anti-apartheid health care and nursing organizations pledged their support of the black nurse’s struggle in South Africa.  APHA and the Public Health Nursing Section demonstrated its support and leadership.  Many resolutions and position papers passed condemning South Africa’s racist policies.


In 1988, this author presented a resolution and several papers bringing to the attention of APHA and the PHN Section the oppression of black nurses by the South African Nursing Association.  In 1991, the National League of Nursing adopted a similar resolution supporting the efforts of black nurses to oppose institutional racism in the work place.  Joining the efforts of the PHN Section to end apartheid were the American Nurses Association, the National Black Nurses Association, the International Council of Nurses, the California Nurses Association, the Illinois State Nurses Association, and labor unions.   Each passed their own resolutions in support of black nurses in South Africa.  In 1994, the post-apartheid restructuring of the civil service system known as the 1994 Dispensation began, and with it the transition of SANA to the present Democratic Nursing Association of South Africa (DENOSA).  This long and protracted struggle came into fruition with the recognition of DENOSA in 1996, and with its full membership in the International Council of Nurses in 1997.  Today, DENOSA has more than 65,000 members throughout South Africa.


The coming of age and recognition of all of South Africa’s nurses on equal terms would not have occurred without the support and leadership of the Public Health Nursing Section and the international nursing community.  In 2009, DENOSA will host the ICN’s 24th Quadrennial Congress in Durban, South Africa.  It is with great humility and gratitude that DENOSA invites the PHN Section to come to South Africa and participate in hosting the 24th ICN Quadrennial Congress, and in a way enjoy the fruits of its labor.


Submitted by:

Nonceba Lubanga, RN, MPH,

Governing Councilor


ICN Confirms New Dates for 24th Quadrennial Congress

The International Council of Nurses (ICN) has announced that its 24th Quadrennial Congress will be held June 27 - July 4, 2009, in Durban, South Africa.  In an effort to ensure the most favorable conditions and comfort for participants, ICN revised the dates by one week, moving the congress from its original scheduled date of June 19-26, 2009 to its new date.  This change was in response to the 2009 British and Irish Lions Tour of South Africa, known to be the second biggest rugby event globally.  The event planners unexpectedly chose Durban for this major sporting match at the same time as the ICN's original Congress dates. This event brings with it a flood of more than 50,000 rugby fans resulting in tough competition and high prices for hotel rooms and services, diminished visibility for nursing and the Congress and congestion throughout the city.  ICN, with the support of the Democratic Nurses Organization of South Africa (DENOSA), revised the dates of the Congress to its new dates of June 27 - July 4, 2009.  The deadline for submitting abstracts to the 24th Quadrennial Congress is Sept. 15, 2009. Click here for more information.

2008 Mid-year Meeting Highlights

The Public Health Nursing Section’s annual mid-year meeting took place March 28 – 29 at APHA’s headquarters in Washington, D.C.  PHN Section Chair Jeanne Matthews presided over the mid-year meeting attended by 25 Section leaders.

APHA Executive Director Dr. Georges Benjamin addresses PHN Section Leadership.


 PHN Section mid-year meeting attendees.

PHN Section Chair-elect Beth Lamanna & Research Committee Chair Joanne Bennett.

Call For Beverly Flynn Legacy Leader Applicants

Application due August 22, 2008

This program provides mentorship to nurses for one year for the purposes of establishing meaningful connections in the public health nursing community, developing future PHN leaders, maximizing mentee experiences at the APHA Annual Meeting, and supporting involvement in the PHN Section.  Nurses from the HHS region where the APHA Annual Meeting is held are urged to apply for the legacy leadership award. The donor of this award valued diversity and recognized the importance of developing PHN leaders from all walks of life.  Click here for the application and eligibility requirements.  Completed applications should be sent to Anne Belcher, DNS, .

Update on Continuing Education

Congratulations to Colleen Hughes who is now an appraiser for the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC).  She is a team member for site visits to accredited provider and approver organizations.


During the past year, Beth Benedict served on the ANCC Task Force for Manual Revisions, and on another group that focused on accredited approver requirements.  Beth is currently serving on the ANA Workgroup that is updating the Scope and Standards of Professional Nursing Development – which addresses the broad scope of professional development opportunities for a registered nurse.    


In March 2008APHA/PHN submitted to ANCC its annual report on provider activities and in June the report on the approver activities and unit operation was submitted.  In July 2008, the APHA CE Manager and Beth will attend the ANCC Annual Symposium on best practices in CE.  In Sept. 2008 several of the committee will attend the ANCC workshop on CE updates which will be held in Crystal City, Va.   


The 2007 APHA Annual Meeting found that all of the PHN developed scientific sessions were CE accredited for CHES, CME, and CNE; and, there were no reports of commercial bias in any of our presentations.  The number of reports of commercial bias presentations for the overall meeting dropped dramatically from 2006.  This improvement is thought to be due in large part the website including a brief explanation of what constitutes commercial bias and what does not. 


At the 2008 PHN CE Committee mid-year meeting, we developed a survey to assess how the provider and approvers are operating.  This is being refined and prepared for administration by Zoomerang.  The survey will be sent to a sample of nurses, others involved in the APHA CE program who are physicians or health educators, staff who support the APHA CE program, and to the Associations that we have co-provided with or approved for CE.  Results are expected to be available this fall. 


We continue to work toward our goal to have a completely electronic filing option completing the CE application.  We hope to have this process operational in 2008.  The forms are interprofessional, meaning they include health education, medicine and nursing requirements.    

Become a PHN Section Member!


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PHN Section Officers 2007-2008


Jeanne A. Matthews, RN, PhD

Public Health Program Specialist
Arlington County Department of Human Services



Beth Lamanna, RN, WHNP, MPH

Public Health Nurse Liaison

UNC-CH SPH Institute for Public Health




Kathy Jaskowiak, RN, MSN




Judy Gibson, MSN, BSN, RN

Nurse Consultant, Field Services and Evaluation

CDC, Division of TB Elimination