Public Health Nursing
Section Newsletter
Spring 2010

Message from the Chair


Greetings Public Health Nursing Section!


It is hard to believe that summer has arrived. As Dr. Seuss, one of my favorite authors, wrote, “How did it get so late so soon? Its night before its afternoon. December is here before its June. My goodness how the time has flewn. How did it get so late so soon?”  I do hope you take time to enjoy sun-drenched days and starlit nights.


 Public Health Nursing Visibility


The Public Health Nursing Section was one of the national nursing organizations that was invited to submit a proposal for a panel discussion to the National Advisory Council on Nurse Education and Practice (NACNEP). This group advises and makes recommendations to the Secretary of Health and Human Services and Congress on policy matters arising in the administration of Title VIII including the range of issues relating to the nurse workforce, nursing education and nursing practice improvement. The NACNEP meeting’s topic was “The Role of Nursing in Primary Care: Implications for Workforce.” At first, I wondered why a public health nursing organization was invited to submit a proposal to a meeting on primary care since, according to the 2008 NACCHO report, only 11 percent of local health departments provide primary care. But then I received HRSA’s expanded, comprehensive definition of primary care, which includes health promotion, screening, public education, illness prevention, primary care and management of stable chronic conditions – a perfect fit for public health nursing. The proposal that I submitted on behalf of the Section was accepted, and I presented to the NACNEP on April 22 in Bethesda, Md.  (See the PHN Section website for the NACNEP proposal.)


I have the honor of representing the Public Health Nursing Section on the Center to Champion Nursing Council. The Council planned to have its first face-to-face meeting on Feb. 11. Given that the entire city of Washington, D.C., was shut down that day by the second blizzard, we had a six-hour phone conference instead!  The intent of that meeting was to identify workforce data generated or utilized by the various professional nursing organizations. The ultimate goal is to create a nursing workforce data repository. Each organization submitted a written two-page summary. Please see the PHN Section website for the workforce summary that we submitted to the Center to Champion Nursing.


The Joint Commission solicited names of potential candidates from Dr. Benjamin, APHA Executive Director. Dr. Benjamin sought nominations from the Section. The Section forwarded letters of recommendations for two potential candidates, Dr. Mary Jo Baisch and Dr. Michelle Issel.


The Section is working on a brochure to market the value of public health nursing and promote PHN Section visibility. Watch for the new brochure this fall!





The Section submitted nominations for several APHA organizational positions:

·        President: Colleen Hughes

·        APHA Executive Board: Diane Downing

·        Science Board: Jo Anne Bennett

·        Publications Board: Judith Baigis

·        International Human Rights: Louise Ivanov

On behalf of the Section, I would like to thank these colleagues for their willingness to take on a leadership role! Good luck to all of you! 


The Institute of Medicine Future of Nursing

A Summary of the December 2009 "Forum on the Future of Nursing: Care in the Community" is available by clicking here.

The report describes the major challenges that public health nursing faces, including a focus on community, partnerships, evidence-based prevention strategies, technology /informatics, social determinants of health and recognition of the importance of equity, accountability, quality improvement and public health preparedness.


Check this out…

Bhandari, M., Scutchfield, D., Charnigo, R., Riddell, M., & Mays, G. (2010) New Data, Same Story? Revisiting Studies on the Relationship of Local Public Health Systems Characteristics to Public Health Performance. J Public Health Management Practice, 16(2), 110–117.


“This study shows, yet again, the relevance of having a director with a nursing degree and no public health degree (positive association with 5 of 10 essential services). So, perhaps, more important to performance is having a nursing degree rather than a public health degree. Previous studies noted improved public health performance among agencies with a director who was a woman and who was working full time, characteristics that may be a proxy for having a nursing degree. Directors who are nurses may be more likely to have full-time positions, allowing for more hands-on leadership and opportunities to be more connected to partners in the public health system, thus leading to higher performance. In any event, continued examination of this phenomenon is warranted.”


138th Annual Meeting & Exposition: Nov. 6-10, Denver

The theme of the 2010 APHA Annual Meeting is Social Justice. The Section is putting together an outstanding program on social justice and public health nursing. The call for proposals generated many high quality abstract submissions for the 2010 APHA Annual Meeting. With the slots that are allotted to us by APHA, we were able to accept 106 out of 217 (49 percent).  All abstract selections are based on scores from blind reviewers, which are assigned after careful review.


The Quad Council Learning Institute will present the “PHN Challenges of Practicing Social Justice in a Market Justice World” on Sunday, Nov. 6, 4:30 to 6 p.m. Note the earlier starting time. The Quad Council Learning Institute is free, but you must register for the Institute when you register for the Annual Meeting. The Learning Institute is free, but requires advance registration to receive CE credit.


I invite you to become involved with the PHN Section!  If you are interested, send me an e-mail ( or give me a call at (612) 626-5144).


It is a privilege and pleasure to serve as your chair. Thank you for this opportunity.


Best regards,

Your PHN Colleague

Linda Olson Keller


Plan to Attend 2010 APHA Annnual Meeting

Dear Colleagues –


I hope all is going well with you. On behalf of the Program Planning Committee, I would like to give you an update on this year’s APHA’s 2010 Annual Meeting program.


All abstract review notifications have been sent out to all abstract authors who applied to our section, and consequently all sessions have been finalized. You can review the completed program for your reference at the following website by clicking here:  Please note that the title of Monday night's event has changed from "Speed Dating" to "Speed Networking."  Thanks for your great comments.


Unlike previous years (when we had a proportionately higher acceptance rate), this year we accepted less than 50 percent of the abstracts received. Because we had so many high quality abstract submissions, we negotiated with APHA to allow two more oral sessions for the PHN Section.  The additional sessions allowed us to accommodate eight more abstracts, increasing the overall acceptance rate to almost 50 percent (106 out of 217). Although, we would like to accept more abstracts, our acceptance rate is limited by the number of allocated sessions. We have established a wait list for some abstracts in case some of the selected authors decline our acceptance and there are open slots.


Blinded reviewers carefully review and score each abstract.  A minimum score of seven is assigned for a poster session; oral presentations are scored the highest.


As reported at the mid-year leadership meeting, we received several submissions for the full/panel section.  It is really a challenge with a group of abstracts with unequal quality/ratings. If rejected as a group, then the risk is losing high quality abstracts; consequently, some abstracts are accepted as individual submissions but grouped within the same session allowing for one or more abstracts with similar focus to be presented together.


It is hoped this clarifies any questions about the changes in our abstract review process. While we were delighted to have so many high quality abstracts, understandably it may be disappointing if one’s abstract was not accepted. Unfortunately, we can only accommodate as many presenter sessions as are allocated to us. If you have any questions/comments about this year’s program, please feel free to contact either Cecilia Venzon or me.


Have a great summer!  We are looking forward to seeing you in Denver!


Huey-Shys Chen, PhD, RN, CHES

Phone: (973) 972-6299



APHA 2010 Annual Meeting Highlights


The Public Health Nursing Section looks forward to your attendance and participation in this year’s APHA Annual Meeting:  Social Justice “ A Public Health Imperative.”  Some of the highlights for this year’s PHN Section are the following:


1)      The Quad Council Learning Institute


2)      Three Invited Sessions:

a)   Public Health Nursing Research for the 21st Century: Strengthening the Science, Focusing on Evidence and Building Capacity, Nov. 8, 8:30-10:00 a.m.

b)   Getting Beyond the Barriers to Researching the Safety and Quality of PHN Practice—Developing Action Plans, Nov. 8, 10:30 a.m.-noon.

c)    Social Justice and Global Health Disparities, Nov. 8 at 1430-1600.


3)      2 Social Events:

a)   Public Health Nursing Awards Luncheon, Nov. 9,  12:30-2:00 p.m. 

b)   Public Health Nursing Emerging Leaders Speed Networking in the 21st Century, Nov. 9 at 6:30-8:30 p.m.


The PHN Program Committee thanks you for your commitment and participation in this year’s APHA Conference. We look forward to seeing you in Denver this November.


Huey-Shys Chen, PhD, RN

Cecilia Venzon, MSN, RN



Update from The Community Guide Liaison

Update from “The Community Guide” Liaison to Quad Council Members


Role of the Task Force on Community Preventive Services “Organizational Liaison”


The Task Force on Community Preventive Services is a group of experts from diverse backgrounds who work with staff from the CDC to conduct systematic reviews of the evidence for the effectiveness of population-based and public health interventions. The results of the reviews and recommendations are found on The Community Guide website ( and other publications. The Task Force also includes organizational liaisons who: 1) inform the Task Force of their organizational member’s views, priorities, current issues and projects relevant to the work of the Task Force; and 2) share information from the Task Force and Community Guide within their organization’s and among their members/constituencies. The liaison from the Quad Council of Public Health Nursing Organizations appointed in 2009 is Susan Zahner, University of Wisconsin-Madison, and Betty Daniels, Medical College of Georgia, serves as an alternate. Quad Council liaisons to the Task Force serve for a two-year term.


Liaison request for input on topics to be addressed by the Task Force in 2010


The Quad Council liaison cannot be expert in all of the topics addressed by the Task Force and would like to be able to call upon Quad Council members who have more expertise in a given topic area.  If you have expertise in any of the following topics, please contact Susan Zahner at or (608) 263-5282.  The topics of reviews likely to be acted on in 2010 by the Task Force include: Youth development interventions to improve behavioral outcomes in adolescence; reducing out of pocket costs (breast cancer, cervical cancer, colorectal cancer); cancer provider assessment and feedback; communication campaigns that include product distribution; collaborative care for treatment of adults with major depression; technology-based multi-component counseling interventions for obesity prevention; mass media campaigns for promoting physical activity; immunization information systems; and vaccination requirements.


Become a Community Guide Subscriber

You can receive regular news, announcements, and updates from The Community Guide via email by subscribing to the News & Announcements section of The Community Guide website. Just click on the link and enter your e-mail address. This is a great way to keep up to date on the work and recommendations of The Community Guide.


New recommendations from The Community Guide

New recommendations posted since the last Task Force meeting include:


Regulating Alcohol Outlet Density Prevents Excessive Alcohol Use The Task Force recommends the use of regulatory authority (e.g., through licensing and zoning) to limit alcohol outlet density, on the basis of sufficient evidence of a positive association between outlet density and excessive alcohol consumption and related harms.


Abstinence Education Interventions The Task Force concluded that there is insufficient evidence to determine the effectiveness of group-based abstinence education delivered to adolescents to prevent pregnancy, HIV and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Evidence was considered insufficient due to inconsistent results across studies.


Comprehensive Risk Reduction Interventions The Task Force recommends group-based comprehensive risk reduction (CRR) delivered to adolescents to promote behaviors that prevent or reduce the risk of pregnancy, HIV, and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs). The recommendation is based on sufficient evidence of effectiveness in: reducing a number of self-reported risk behaviors, including (1) engagement in any sexual activity, (2) frequency of sexual activity, (3) number of partners, and (4) frequency of unprotected sexual activity; (5) increasing the self-reported use of protection against pregnancy and STIs; and (6) reducing the incidence of self-reported or clinically-documented sexually transmitted infections. There is limited direct evidence of effectiveness, however, for reducing pregnancy and HIV.


Youth Development Behavioral Interventions Coordinated with Work or Vocational Training to Reduce Sexual Risk Behaviors in Adolescents


The Task Force found insufficient evidence to support youth development behavioral interventions coordinated with employment or vocational training to reduce sexual risk behaviors among adolescents. Evidence was considered insufficient because effect estimates were small and inconsistent across the body of evidence.


Youth Development Behavioral Interventions Coordinated with Sports or Club Participation to Reduce Sexual Risk Behaviors in Adolescents


The Task Force  found insufficient evidence to support youth development behavioral interventions coordinated with sports or club participation to reduce sexual risk behaviors among adolescents. Evidence was considered insufficient because there were too few studies of sufficient quality to draw a conclusion on the effectiveness of this combination of interventions.


Collaborative Care for the Management of Depression and Depressive Symptoms


The Task Force recommends collaborative care for adults 18 years of age or older with major depression on the basis of strong evidence of effectiveness in improving short-term depression outcomes.

Interventions to Reduce Depression Among Older Adults: Home-based Depression Care Management The Task Force recommends depression care management at home for older adults with depression on the basis of strong evidence of effectiveness in improving short-term depression outcomes.


Interventions to Reduce Depression Among Older Adults: Clinic-based Depression Care Management


The Task Force recommends depression care management in primary care clinics for older adults with major depression or chronic low levels of depression (dysthymia) on the basis of sufficient evidence of effectiveness in improving short-term depression outcomes.


Interventions to improve diet and/or physical activity behaviors


Worksite programs help employees lose weight, according to a systematic review published in the October issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine. On the basis of strong evidence of their effectiveness, the Task Force recommends worksite programs intended to improve diet and/or physical activity behaviors for reducing weight among employees. These programs include various approaches to support behavior change, such as informational and educational activities, behavioral and social strategies, and policy and environmental approaches.


Multicomponent interventions with community mobilization to reduce alcohol-impaired driving


The Task Force recommends the use of multicomponent interventions with community mobilization to reduce alcohol-impaired driving. These interventions can include some or all of a number of components, such as sobriety checkpoints, training in responsible beverage service, education and awareness-raising efforts, and limiting access to alcohol.


Clinical Preventive Services Guide Available to PHNs


Clinical Guidelines for preventive health undergo the same systematic review process as the Community Guide. The Guide to Clinical Preventive Services includes U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommendations on screening, counseling, and preventive health care topics and includes clinical considerations for each topic. This pocket guide is an authoritative source for making decisions about preventive services. The USPSTF is interested in making this information readily available to public health care providers and can be accessed through:


Select this link to the Web version.

Select this link for a print version (PDF File, 1.7 MB). PDF Help.


Single print copies of the pocket guide are available free from the AHRQ Publications Clearinghouse at: 1-800-358-9295 or Ask for The Guide to Clinical Preventive Services, 2009 (AHRQ Publication No. 09-IP006).


For more information contact Susan Zahner at

Core Competencies Adopted to Help Strengthen the Public Health Workforce

WASHINGTON, D.C., May 13, 2010 - The  Council on Linkages Between Academia and Public Health Practice (Council on Linkages) unanimously adopted Tier 1 and Tier 3 Core Competencies for Public Health Professionals (Core Competencies), as well as minor changes to Tier 2 Core Competencies. These competencies will help guide public health workforce development efforts that are vital for achieving high-performing public health organizations to protect and promote the public's health.  Click here to view the recently adopted Core Competencies.

What they are:

The Core Competencies are a set of skills desirable for the broad practice of public health. They reflect the characteristics that staff of public health organizations (collectively) may want to possess as they work to protect and promote health in the community. The Core Competencies are designed to serve as a starting point for academic and practice organizations to understand, assess, and meet education, training, and other workforce development needs. 

Why they are important to you:

Core Competencies, a consensus set of skills desirable for the broad practice of public health, have been endorsed by 17 of the nation's leading public health organizations, and are being used by public health agencies and academic institutions throughout the country in their workforce development efforts. The Core Competencies can help:

  • Practice organizations identify gaps in workforce skills, develop job descriptions, and implement staff performance objectives and reviews.
  • Academic institutions develop and evaluate competency-based course content and curricula.
  • Individuals assess and meet their own training needs.

The Core Competencies can also help organizations assess knowledge and skills "gaps" at the individual and/or organizational level; develop discipline-specific competencies; prepare for accreditation; iv) develop workforce development plans; and create training plans.

Users of the Core Competencies:

The Core Competencies are Integrated Into Three of Our Nation's Draft Healthy People 2020 Objectives:

  • HP2020-6: Increase the proportion of Federal, Tribal, State, and Local public health agencies that incorporate Core Competencies for Public Health Professionals into job descriptions and performance evaluations.
  • HP2020-7: Increase the proportion of Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH) accredited schools of public health, CEPH accredited academic programs, and schools of nursing (with a public health or community health component) that integrate the Core Competencies in public health into curricula.
  • HP2020-8: (Developmental) Increase the proportion of Tribal, State, and Local public health personnel who receive continuing education consistent with the Core Competencies for Public Health Professionals.

About the Council on Linkages - The Council on Linkages is a coalition of representatives from 17 national public health organizations. Since 1992, it has worked to further academic/practice collaboration to assure a well-trained, competent workforce and a strong, evidence-based public health infrastructure. The Council on Linkages is funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and staffed by the Public Health Foundation.

For additional information, please contact:

Pamela Saungweme, Council on Linkages Project Assistant
Public Health Foundation
1300 L Street NW, Suite 800
Washington, DC 20005
Phone: (202) 218.4424

China-Tennessee Rural Health Care Exchange

Cathy R. Taylor, DrPH, MSN, RN , led the 2009 China-Tennessee Rural Health Care Exchange delegation, an academic/industry initiative established in 2007 and funded by the World Bank to support China’s efforts to re-design their rural health care system. Under an agreement between the state of Tennessee and the China Ministry of Health, state health officials and academic partners from   East Tennessee State University, Vanderbilt University, and University of Memphis toured villages and clinics and examined the existing Chinese Rural Cooperative Medical System in the Ankang region of Shaan-xi Province.  The Tennessee group worked directly with Ankang providers and policy-makers to learn firsthand about the system, which retains many elements of traditional Chinese medicine, then returned to Xi'an Province to consult and conduct workshops attended by more than 100 professionals and health care leaders from eight Chinese provinces. About 40 of these professionals had participated in the first Exchange, a three-week session in Tennessee in 2007.

The Chinese government aims to improve access to care, provide more equitable financing, and improve the national response to public health threats. Notwithstanding systematic methodologic and payment differences, rural needs in China and Tennessee have many similarities. Both Tennessee and China have large, geographically remote populations, challenging to both primary and acute care delivery as well as to population-based public health and emergency preparedness efforts, and China’s rapid economic development has increased life expectancy, thus producing a concurrent rapid increase in chronic disease and the need for chronic care.  Dr. Taylor provided consultation to Ministry of Health officials and presented sessions on evidence-based Social Marketing and Health Messaging, Population-based Tobacco Control and Chronic Disease Management and Telemedicine, and Emergency Preparedness.  Planning is under way for future Exchange activities.

Research News

National Institute of Nursing Research Celebrates 25th Anniversary


Many nurses (and, hopefully, many others) probably wouldn’t think to question that the National Institutes of Health includes an institute for nursing among the 27 institutes on its campus.  However, for the NIH’s first ,years nursing did not have an institutional presence.  Of course, nurse researchers could seek NIH funding through other institutes, such as the National Cancer Institute (NCI), the National Institute of Mental Health, the National Institute on Aging, or the National Heart, Blood, and Lung Institute.  Today, nurses are still funded by these other institutes, just as non-nurses often apply for and receive grants from the National Institute of Nursing Research (NINR).  The difference is that each institute has an explicit, strategic mission.  NINR’s mission is to address nursing-pertinent questions, regardless of the disciplinary background of an investigator.  Nursing research findings, in turn, substantially contribute to the knowledge base of health and social service disciplines.  NINR seeks to extend nursing science by integrating the biological and behavioral sciences, employing new technologies to research questions, improving research methods, and developing the scientists of the future.


The idea of adding an institute for nursing research at NIH was not universally popular in the 1970s and early 80s.  Many questioned whether nursing was a science or a distinct discipline, especially since a significant proportion of nurse researchers held doctorates in other fields.  And nursing’s research base was thin.  Of course, this could be a catch-22: if research depended on funding and funding depended on having a research base.  Consequently, advocacy for a research institute needed to be two-pronged -- convincing lawmakers that nursing had a distinct role in health care and that nursing knowledge and action had a scientific foundation that is not encompassed by medicine.


The American Nurses Association Council for Research spearheaded the advocacy effort.  Indeed, lobbying Congress was the primary focus of the Council’s agenda through much of the 1980s.  The establishment of a Center for Nursing Research at NIH in 1986 was viewed as only a partial success, albeit an important achievement.  It took several more years for the center to be constituted as an institute, with the passage of the NIH Revitalization Act in June 1993.  NINR is far from being the new kid on the block at NIH today.  It carries an annual budget of 150 million dollars and funds 650 research projects.  Three other institutes and four centers have been added since.


Of its four areas of emphases, three focus on public health: health promotion and disease prevention, quality of life, and health disparities (the fourth is end-of-life).  NINR has had a major initiative promoting community-based population research (CBPR), including action research, with sequential RFAs over the last decade.  At the 2008 Annual Meeting in San Diego, Dr. Paul Cotton (NINR program officer for CBPR) described the funding initiative to participants at the PHN Section Research Committee’s session on “Building Population-Focused Nursing Research Capacity.”  The session highlighted NINR-funded CBPR projects of several PHN Section members including Shawn Kneipp and Jennifer Foster.


In September 2010, NINR will kick off its anniversary year with a symposium at NIH, Bringing Science to Life.  Registration is free.  For more information, got to



Record Number of Abstracts Submitted for Denver Meeting


The good news is that the PHN Section received more than 200 abstracts for presentation at this year’s Annual Meeting, substantially more than in recent years.  The bad news is that we could accept fewer that half of those submitted – even though the Section will have two more oral sessions than last year.  The number of sessions allotted to each Section is based on membership size and attendance at previous meetings.


Abstract selection is based on blind review, and the cut-off for acceptance was 7.0 on a scale of 0 to 10. The Program Committee is delighted to have so many high-quality submissions. Of course, there’s also disappointment that some very good abstracts could not be included in the program. Review notifications were sent out to authors the first week in June. About one-fourth of the accepted abstracts were eligible for the Section’s Junior Investigator Award. Selection for this award is made based on secondary blind review of a more detailed summary of the study to be presented at the meeting.


The co-chairs of the PHN Program Committee are Dr. Huey-Shys Chen and Cecilia Venzon.  The Research Award Selection Committee was chaired by Dr. Karen D’Alonzo.



Who Is a New Investigator?


Even without Shakespeare’s well known verse, few would not immediately, and accurately, recognize a rose.  Or a daisy.  Or orchid. Or…?


But many PHNs (and others, no doubt) can be confused by the term ‘new’ investigator.  It seems few of us think of the term as it is widely used in the general science community. The PHN Section confronted this confusion when we began discussing an annual award to recognize a new researcher investigating population-focused nursing. We struggled with naming the award so that its title would aptly signify the accomplishment being honored, switching from new investigator to young investigator and, finally, to junior investigator.  (The PHN Section awarded its first Junior Investigator Award in 2009.)


Even new researchers, young and not so young, can be confused.  How new is new?  How long is one young?  Does new mean student?  Is new research a dissertation or thesis study?  One’s first research study after finishing school?  Does it depend on publication or funding record?


Perhaps the roots of this confusion are understandable.  Many nurses don’t start research pursuits until the third decade of their careers.  For many, including those who start much earlier, research is often not a full-time activity, or even their primary practice track. Often, it is occasional, and rather than building a program of research, their studies have diverse foci. Hence, their portfolios can be hard to quantify, or even describe succinctly.  Some may not even self-identify as researchers; they see themselves primarily as educators or practitioners. 


NIH Criteria:   Early Stage Investigators (ESIs) are within 10 years of completing their terminal research degree.  A principal investigator (PI) applying for an R01 grants is considered a New Investigator if s/he has not previously been awarded a significant NIH independent research award (other than early stage awards, small grants, fellowships, or training, infrastructure and career awards).  Applications from ESIs are given special consideration during peer review and at the time of funding. The review focus is more on the proposed approach than on the track record, and less preliminary data are expected than would be provided by an established investigator.  ESIs may apply for  R03 and P21 grant and, if successful, are still considered new investigators.  Directing an R01 project or taking over from a previous PI does not change one’s status.


The PHN Section relies on the NIH criteria for the Junior Investigator Award.  Young or not so young, possibly a very experienced clinician or educator, but a novice researcher, is eligible.  Research experience is measured in time since completion of doctorate (10 or fewer years) and NIH or other major funding (no more than one R01 award).  Of course, if the reported study is from one’s first R01, then it can be considered even if the researcher is already working on a second R01 study.  The award is for an individual, not a project.  Generally, the award candidate is the principal investigator (PI), but that may mean PI, or even sole investigator, of a sub-study or secondary analysis of a larger research project with a different PI.  The experience and funding of the PI on the parent study is not relevant.  Queries should be directed to 


Some organizations use other criteria, or define these criteria differently.  For example,  small grant programs to fund pilot studies to help scholars who may be preparing to submit an R01 application may not fund people who have had any NIH funding, whether RO3, R01, or postdoctoral fellowships.  Others may set a lower threshold for experience, e.g., the American Nurses Foundation or Sigma Theta Tau.


Nurses often bemoan the late age at which our researchers get started.  So it’s worth noting that the age at which investigators received their first funding at NIH has been on the rise since 1980. The average age of newly funded non-physician researchers is just over 42 years.



Census Time – For PHNs

By this time, data collection for the U.S. Census is almost complete. But watch for the PHN Census as the summer winds down. No doubt, other nursing associations gather some basic demographics and work data when you renew your membership each year. APHA doesn’t ask, but the PHN Section would like to know more about APHA’s nurse members – where we work, what we do, our educational and work backgrounds, and most important, how APHA fits into our professional life, what we want to get out of belonging, and how well that is being achieved.


The Section manual calls for regularly surveying the membership on several issues. We haven’t done so in a few years.  So while the country updates its census, it’s time for us to do some counting too.

We hope when asked, you’ll participate.



Proposal Advances in APHA Policy Cycle to Require Flu Vaccination for HCWs


APHA’s Joint Policy Committee (JPC)has conditionally recommended that the resolution initially proposed by the PHN Section to raise health care worker flu vaccination rates.  The JPC recommended re-titling and reframing the proposal as a position statement.  Another suggestion was to broaden the definition of health care worker.


The next step will be for the APHA Executive Board to put it on the Governing Council agenda to consider making it an official APHA policy. Before the Governing Council discusses it at the Annual Meeting, the proposal will be published in the September issue of The Nation’s Health, along with other policy proposals. There will also be discussion at a policy forum open to all members on Sunday afternoon right after the opening session of the Denver meeting.


The Section emphasizes that the goal is not to mandate vaccination. Rather, the goal is to raise the number who gets vaccinated. Herd immunity requires >90 percent coverage, but typically less than 50 percent of health care workers get the vaccine.  A New York Times editorial in April commenting on the low vaccination rates among health care workers began with the headline, “They Should Know Better” and presented the public’s case for a mandates.  See



PHN Input Vital


The Online Journal In Nursing (OJIN) seeks manuscripts on important public health nursing topics. But will there be a PHN perspective? Only if we – that means YOU – submit papers.  OJIN is a publication of the American Nurses Association (ANA). ANA members have free subscriptions. But all OJIN content is free to everyone around the world four months after initial publication, and it boasts 126,000 readers a month. That makes it an important venue for disseminating information and opinion to a wide audience.


Published three times a year, each issue is topically focused. An interesting – and useful – aspect of this peer-reviewed journal is its continuing updating of previous topics. That is, articles that further a previous topic, adding new insights, information, experiences, and/or research are sought.  Letters to the editor and follow-up articles are published immediately. Related articles and updates are all found together in a single location. The journal’s intent is to enable readers to understand the full complexity of a topic by presenting different views on issues so that a comprehensive discussion can build nursing knowledge about a topic’s policy implications.


The editors recently called for papers to address: Moral Courage, Multistate Licensure, Initial & Continuing Competence in Education/Practice, Electronic Publishing, Complementary Therapies, Telehealth, Domestic Violence, Diversity and Cultural Competence, Aging Population, HIPAA, Infectious Diseases, Environmental Health, and The Value of RNs. Surely each one of these topics cries for a PHN’s population-focused perspective.


To see a complete list of all 40 topics published since OJIN’s inception in 1996, go to



World Views


  • Health Workforce:  the World Health Organization (WHO) updated the traditional wanted poster this year on International Nurses Day. It said, “Wanted: 2.4 million nurses by 2012 – and that’s just in India.”  It accompanied a theme issue of the WHO Bulletin that addressed workforce. An article specific to nursing addressed policy development to recruit nurses to rural areas based on multi-site/multinational experiment of tailored interventions.  Another article presents a conceptual framework for monitoring and evaluating interventions to retain health workers in underserved areas.  Access this issu here:,


·                     HIN1 pandemic:  A global update issued in early June by WHO said that pandemic activity is continuing, although the period of most intense pandemic activity appears to have passed for many parts of the world. The most active areas of current pandemic transmission are in tropical regions, primarily the Caribbean and Southeast Asia, with low levels of resurgence following their 2009 experience. Temperate zones of the Southern Hemisphere have not had unusually early influenza activity preceding their coming winter season.


·                     Three themes were addressed in a joint communiqué from the International Council of Nurses, the International Confederation of Midwives, and WHO following their May meeting with government chief nursing and midwifery officers and representatives of national nursing associations and regulatory bodies: the economic crisis, chronic disease, and health system strengthening.  For information, go to


·                     Maternal-Child Health:  The upcoming G-8 economic summit is expected to highlight maternal and child health.  In anticipation, the Kaiser Family Foundation has published an overview of international efforts in improving global maternal, newborn, and child health, including the current U.S. Global Health Initiative.  It analyzes the implications of policy trends for reducing maternal and child mortality by 2015.  To read the entire overall go to:


·                     WHO recently issued a new publication," Equity, Social Determinants and Public Health", which presents the analysis of social determinants’ impact on 12 health conditions, explores possible interventions and identifies possible entry-points.  The conditions addressed are TB, tobacco and alcohol, violence and unintended injury, neglected tropical diseases, cardiovascular disease, childhood nutrition, food safety, diabetes, mental health, oral health, and unintended pregnancy.  To access the publication go to:


Submitted by Jo Anne Bennett, PhD, RN

APHA Initiatives on Transportation and Public Health

As we all appreciate, our health is profoundly affected by our transportation decisions and options. Limited opportunities for physical activity, higher exposure to poor air quality, higher incidences of adult and childhood obesity and greater prevalence of asthma and cardiovascular disease are a few of the inequities brought by poor transportation policies. As part of our effort to enhance crosscutting activity and knowledge among various APHA members and sections, APHA is developing advocacy materials and helpful information related to the links between transportation and public health. If anyone is interested in learning more about this initiative, sharing success stories or lessons learned, or establishing a new Forum on Transportation and Public Health, please reach out to us! Interested members are asked to contact Eloisa Raynault at

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