Public Health Nursing
Section Newsletter
Winter 2005

Message from the Chair

I am awed. I am awed by the momentum and vitality that currently exists in the Public Health Nursing Section, the big shoes I stand in now (of previous influential, inspiring, energetic, and progressive PHN Section Chairs that date from 1923 to 2004!), and the emerging PHN leaders of the near future that we are tasked with laying the ground work for. The Public Health Nursing Luncheon held in Washington, D.C., at the APHA Annual Meeting in November was a very moving event of hundreds of you gathered to celebrate and consider this past, present and future. At the same time, many of the PHN sessions that were held at the Annual Meeting this past year were an opportunity to gather to arouse, motive, and educate ourselves toward creating a more collaborative, progressive, passionate, reform-minded, and well-informed practice. Numerous energetic hallway conversations, business cards being exchanged, great ideas for the year to come, and eager participants volunteering in Section meetings were evidence enough to me that this was achieved! (Huge thanks to all of you who played such a big role on behalf of the Section in making the PHN Program such a success at the Meeting).

Now our task is to keep the momentum up. I am more aware than ever these days that our Section (and the national Quad Council of Public Health Nursing organizations of which we are a member) represents a large and potentially powerful national voice for public health and for the communities and populations with which we partner. The PHN Section leadership will continue to look for and be responsive to opportunities that will keep us faithful to that responsibility.

In the year ahead we have chosen to put our energies into progressive issues related to:
• Public Health Nursing and Environmental Health,
• The Public Health Nursing workforce and system,
• Health Disparities,
• Social Justice and reform, and
• Creating an inviting environment for students in the section.

Several committees and task forces make up workgroups that contribute to these focal areas. In upcoming PHN Section Newsletters you will find out more about these committees and task forces. They are stimulating, enjoyable and mind-expanding and bring you into contact with friends and colleagues that you will value for the rest of your career. (I can personally vouch for this!) Please consider taking part. Contact us. We’ve got a lot of “future” to prepare!

Betty Bekemeier
PHN Section Chair

News About the Community/Public Health Nurse Certification

There is a buzz these days in many public health nursing circles. What many of us found out on Sunday night Nov. 7, 2004, at the annual special session sponsored by the Quad Council during the APHA Annual Meeting is true. The American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) plans to discontinue provision of the Community/Public Health Nurse Certification exam after giving the last exam in May 2005.

Due to apparent low numbers of participants taking the exam in recent years, the exam is no longer cost-effective for the ANCC. PHNs responded at the Sunday session and have been responding ever since through e-mail inquiries, letters to the ANCC, requests for a delay of discontinuation, and plans to examine the real value of credentialing to public health nursing practice.

While many successful practicing PHNs do not have this certification, the implications of discontinuing the Community/Public Health Nurse Certification exam are serious.

These implications include:

• The need for certification of the public health workforce is a priority among national public health partners. Discussions are underway about the possibility of a “public health credential.” The PHN experience with the Community/Public Health Nurse Credential could help inform and provide leadership to this broader discussion.

• Some health departments have used C/PHN Certification as a requirement for PHN employment and strategically leveraged this requirement as an indication for policy-makers that specific standards will be met for the significant role given PHNs.

• The federal Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), Division of Nursing has funded several schools of nursing with the expectation that nursing graduates be eligible to sit for advanced practice certification examinations. Several of these schools, and many existing master’s programs, are implementing curricula in order to meet these C/PHN requirements.

• The ANA has a workgroup under way to revise the scope and standards of PHN practice so that the new scope and standards document will, among other things, serve as the basis for revision of the current C/PHN Certification exam.

At the time of this writing, the ANCC has heard our requests and considers this a “front burner issue” for their immediate attention. They plan to organize a task force to develop options to be considered by the Commissioners on Certification. The PHN Section leadership is staying well-connected to these discussions and will keep you informed of the situation as it unfolds. In the meantime, e-mail us your questions, inform your ANCC of your interests and plan to take the exam in May 2005!

A "Special Session" on the Scope and Standards of Public Health Nursing

During APHA's Annual Meeting, a "special session" on the Scope and Standards of Public Health Nursing was held on Tuesday evening to get input from a broader public health nursing community on the approach that the committee working on this document is taking. At that session the following were shared:

1. The decision by the committee on how to incorporate the current, but outdated, Scope and Standards of Community Health Nursing into the document (an ANA directive): that decision was to put a statement on the inside cover page saying "This document fully incorporates and replaces the 1981 Scope of Standards of Community Health Nursing." Specific language from those standards that is still relevant is being incorporated into the revised document.

2. A draft of the "Introduction" to the revised document showing the committee's overall framework, i.e., use of an ecological model, consistent with the most recent IOM Report.

3. A sample of one standard of care and one standard of professional practice so that people could see the proposed structure for those reflecting application of the standard to two levels of practice - the generalist PHN and the Advanced Practice Registered Nurse. The committee deliberately used the APRN term (consistent with other published ANA standards documents) because we want to affirm the ANA definition of APRN as including the Clinical Nurse Specialist, not just focusing on NPs and CRNAs.

The committee received lots of good feedback on our approach and the proposed standard format. A next meeting has been established for early January to incorporate this feedback and move forward with revision of the document.

Remembering Dr. Beverly Flynn

Dr. Beverly C. Flynn, who passed on Jan. 19, 2005, will be remembered for her extensive contributions to APHA and our PHN Section. An APHA member from 1964, she was recognized as a 40-year member at the 2004 Annual Meeting. Her contributions include:

APHA appointments/offices:
Governing Council (elected) 1985-1991

PHN Nursing Section:
Chair International Health Committee, 1987-1990
PHN Section, Nominating Committee (elected and then
Appointed chair 1990 chair)
Program Planning Committee At Large Member(appointed), 1992-3
Program Development Board, 1993-1996
Joint Policy Committee, 1996

Myrtle Smith Distinguished Chair in CHN University of South Carolina College of Nursing, Columbia, South Carolina, 1997
Anna M. Filmore Award National League for Nursing, 1993
Distinguished Practitioner National Academies of Practice in Nursing, 1992
Ruth B. Freeman Award APHA PHN Section, 1991
Rozella Scholdtfeldt Leadership Award Midwest Alliance in Nursing, 1991
John W. Ryan Award for contributions to International Programs and Studies, Indiana University, 1990
Community Health Nurse of the Year Award, Council of Community Health Nurses, American Nurses Association, 1986
Fellow Commoner, Churchill College, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, England, 1981-1982
Fellow in American Academy of Nursing elected, 1980

Dr. Flynn was a Professor Emeritus of the IU School of Nursing. She was employed there from 1970 until her retirement in 1999.
She received her BS degree in 1959 from the University of Michigan, Masters Degree from Boston University in 1963, and PhD in 1972 from the University of Wisconsin. She will be missed. Memorial contributions may be sent to the American Cancer Society or Hospice of South Central Indiana, 2626 E. 17th St., Columbus, IN 47201.


American Public Health Association
Public Health Nursing Section

The Public Health Nursing Section of the American Public Health Association is calling for nominations for awards to be presented at the 2005 Annual Meeting. The Ruth B. Freeman Award is for recognition of a person who has had a distinguished career in public health, in service or education. The Public Health Nurse Creative Achievement Award is for recognition of an individual's creative contribution to public health nursing practice, research, education, or administration. The Lillian Wald Service Award is for recognition of individuals, agencies or media depicting exemplary public health nursing practice to the public, especially in political, legislative, professional or interdisciplinary activism.

The deadline for submission of nomination materials is May 1, 2005. Nominees must be members of APHA and primary members of the Public Health Nursing Section. The Awards Committee encourages nominations and is happy to answer questions regarding preparation of materials. For questions or to request nomination materials, please contact the Chair of the APHA PHN Section Awards Committee. Nomination materials should also be forwarded to Sandra Walls at the address below.

Sandra Walls, MSN, RN
Kent County Health Department
700 Fuller N.E.
Grand Rapids, MI 49503
FAX: (616) 336-8099
Telephone: (616) 336-3036 (direct)

An Invitation to PHN Nurses

Best wishes for a happy healthy 2005 from the Oral Health Section of APHA. Hopefully somewhere in your New Year’s resolutions will be to brush and floss and share your great smiles with everyone on a daily basis. To quote Mother Teresa, “Peace begins with a smile.”

We are excited about the 2005 APHA Annual Meeting in New Orleans with the theme of “Evidence Based Policy and Practice.” The Oral Health Section is busy United States. The plenary will highlight the struggles and successes of community water fluoridation, and the improved oral health outcomes for people as a result of these public health efforts.

I am inviting you to partner with oral health services and providers in your communities to present your struggles and successes in the dental/oral health “field” so others may learn either in posters, roundtables, or panel presentations.

Perhaps you have exciting initiatives with WIC preventing baby bottle mouth, or school-based programs focusing on prevention or direct treatment, or programs in hospitals and nursing homes that show nurse leadership in improved patients’ oral health. I know that there are many efforts in advocating for dental care for special education students, or perhaps you can document the needs and trends of adult/geriatric patients and dental health from the angle of Medicaid cuts for dental care in your state. You can submit them to our session for consideration. Nurses for so long have led the health care team in assessment, patient and family teaching and team building. I’m the Chair of the Oral Health Section and also a nurse!

The Oral Health Section would be so pleased to receive exciting and stimulating abstracts from you, highlighting the great work that you do in our communities.

We look forward to seeing you in New Orleans and are interested in hearing from you with any ideas of how we could work more closely together as Sections.

Call for Papers on Race and Genetics

Call for Papers

Race and Genetics

The American Journal of Public Health, in collaboration with the National Minority Health Leadership Summit, intends to publish a collection of manuscripts on Race and Genetics in Public Health. We are interested in soliciting focused primary data and important review or commentary manuscripts concerning the relationship between race and genetics in determining health and health care. Emphasis will be directed at manuscripts that examine this subject in the context of the national effort to understand and address racial disparity in health care. Full (180-word structured abstract, 3,500-word text, up to four tables/figures) and brief manuscripts (80-word structured abstract, 800-word text, up to two tables/figures) in the journal format of “Research and Practice” are welcome. All manuscripts will undergo standard peer review by the AJPH editors and peer referees as defined by the AJPH policy. To be considered for inclusion in this theme issue, manuscripts must be submitted by April 1, 2005, using the online submission system at <>. The AJPH Web site provides instructions for authors, including specific guidelines for various types of manuscripts. Please indicate at submission that your manuscript is intended for this call for papers by selecting “Race and Genetics” under the Theme Issue menu. For additional information about this theme issue, please contact the guest editors at <>.

Guest Editors:

Michael J. Fine, MD, MS
Center for Health Equity Research and Promotion, Pittsburgh

Stephen B. Thomas, PhD
University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health

Said A. Ibrahim, MD, MPH
Center for Health Equity Research and Promotion, Pittsburgh

ASTDN Annual Meeting

ASTDN Annual Meeting
April 30-May 4, 2005
New Orleans

ASTDN extends an invitation to APHA PHN Section Members to join the public health nursing leaders from all 50 states when they gather for the annual meeting of the Association of State and Territorial Directors of Nursing (ASTDN). The meeting will be held April 30–May 4, 2005, at the Doubletree Hotel, 300 Canal Street, New Orleans. The 2005 meeting will mark the 70th anniversary of ASTDN.

This annual gathering of professionals engaged in public health nursing or in partnership with public health nursing will focus on the leadership challenges facing the practice of contemporary public health nursing. The concepts, models and best practices presented will serve as resources and guides to the future practice of public health nursing. The
theme for this meeting is Using Quantum Leadership. Program content will focus on:

--Applying the Principles of Quantum Leadership To Public Health Nursing Practice For Meaningful Change

--Making a Thoughtful Distinction between Leadership Practices to Leave Behind and Those to CObjectives: The following learning objectives will be integrated throughout the meeting:

1. Identify how the political, economic and social complexities of the current health system affect the work of public health nursing.

2. Identify how the principles of quantum leadership can assist the public health nurse in implementing the Healthy People 2010 Objectives.

3. Identify current leadership activities that are not consistent with the principles of quantum leadership and how they may hinder the public health nurse's success (or efforts).

4. Describe how the public health nurse can increase community partnerships to develop and sustain public health policy.

5. Apply quantum leadership to the nursing roles in emergency preparedness.

Continuing Education Day Speaker: Tim Porter-O’Grady, EdD, PhD, RN, FAAN

Porter-O'Grady has continually contributed creative and innovative models of thinking and practicing in an ever-evolving health care system. For 20 years he has written and published books that "push the walls" of our thinking regarding health leadership and systems change. Always at the forefront of health care leadership, his best-selling books have challenged and encouraged leaders to think and act differently in order to assure health service is as meaningful and viable as it can be.

Join Us in New Orleans:
Network with professional peers and colleagues.
Learn about best practices that apply to public health.
Discover new models relevant to public health.
Gain new insights into contemporary public health challenges.
Enjoy the magic of Jazz Fest activities in the French Quarter.
Tour historic New Orleans.
Celebrate 70 years of ASTDN.

For More Information: The meeting agenda and registration will be posted on the ASTDN Web site at <>.

The Omaha System International Conference: A Key to Practice, Documentation, and Information Management

The Omaha System International Conference:
A Key to Practice, Documentation, and Information Management
April 21-23, 2005

For more details, click on <>, Conferences, and the PDF flier. The new Omaha System book (2nd ed., 2005) has just been published by Elsevier. Included are the revised terms and definitions, descriptions of use in public health departments, and public health case studies. More information is available on <> and <>.


Betty Bekemeier, RN, MSN, MPH
Deputy Director, Turning Point
University of Washington
School of Public Health
8 Nickerson Street, Suite 300
Seattle, WA 98109

Marjorie Buchanan, RN, MS
Senior Program Officer
Community Health Connections
1304 Oyster Cove Drive
Grasonville, MD 21638

Kaye Bender, RN, PhD, FAAN
Professor and Dean
University of Mississippi Medical Center
School of Nursing
2500 North State Street
Jackson, MS 39216-4505

Derryl Block, PhD, MPH, RN
Chair Professional Program in Nursing/Director BSN LINC
University of Wisconsin-Green Bay
2420 Nicolet Drive
Green Bay, WI 54311-7001

Beth Lamanna
Clinical Instructor
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
School of Nursing
Carrington Hall, CB #7460
Chapel Hill, NC 27599-7460