Doctor of Nursing Practice
Public Health Nurse Leader
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Month Degree Awarded
public health workforce development, health outcomes, public health competency assessment
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Poor health outcomes among South Carolinians, indicated by an overall U.S. health ranking of 42 (America's Health Rankings, 2016) may be the result of an underdeveloped public health workforce. This can be mediated through a thorough assessment of the public health workforce followed by the implementation of a workforce development plan. The purpose of this quality improvement project was to assess the competency level of the South Carolina public health workforce and to develop, implement, and evaluate a workforce development plan to address the weaknesses identified through the assessment process. The Competency Assessment for Public Health Professionals developed by the Council on Linkages between Academia and Public Health Practice was used to assess the competency level of the six Midlands Region Program Managers within the eight domains of the instrument: 1) Analytical/Assessment, 2) Policy Development/Program Planning, 3) Communication, 4) Cultural Competency, 5) Community Dimensions of Practice, 6) Public Health Sciences, 7) Financial Planning and Management, and 8) Leadership and Systems Thinking. Training was developed based on the composite assessment scores for all program managers and was prioritized by the areas with the lowest scores. Pre and post test and focus group findings were used to measure the effectiveness of specific training focused on the Public Health Sciences domain of the Core Competency Assessment tool.
Keywords: public health workforce development, health outcomes, public health competency assessment
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