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Public Health Nurs. 2012 Jul-Aug;29(4):330-42. doi: 10.1111/j.1525-1446.2011.00989.x. Epub 2012 Apr 5.

A public health nursing research agenda.

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University of Illinois at Chicago, School of Public Health, Chicago, Illinois 60612, USA.


Public health nurses (PHNs) use many interventions to prevent illness and promote the health of populations. Unfortunately, generating evidence regarding PHN practice is not explicitly identified as a research priority area of the major national funding agencies. Nor has PHN, as a profession, had a strong enough research agenda to drive practice improvement on a population-level and to drive funding to support such areas of research. To further advance the science needed to guide PHN practice, a national conference to set the research agenda was held in October 2010 with grant support from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. The conference was part of a multimethod, participatory, multistage approach taken to generate the final research priority themes and corresponding priority research questions. The process yielded four high priority PHN research themes: PHN intervention models, Quality of population-focused PHN practice, Metrics of/for PHN, and comparative effectiveness and PHN outcomes. As the agenda is adopted by funding agencies, researchers, and practice-based partners, a more focused program of research will produce evidence that can guide population-focused PHN practice.

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