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A needs analysis for a graduate program in nursing and public health in New England

Araxie Boghosian DeBlois, Johnson & Wales University


The purpose of this study was to conduct a needs assessment of registered nurses with regard to a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) and Master of Public Health (MPH) dual degree program. This research was designed to identify the competencies required for leadership in public health as established by the Council on Linkages Between Academia and Public Health (2001). A focus group composed of nursing and public health experts identified the competencies required for public health leadership and engaged in a group discussion regarding the educational needs of nurses and MSN/MPH program development. The instrument included demographic information and items relating to training and educational needs. The study utilized a sample (N = 147) registered nurses to identify their needs and reported level of interest in a variety of educational and training programs. Interviews with key informants were conducted to identify nursing and public health training needs and to assess the feasibility of a dual MSN/MPH program. Composite means and standard deviations were computed to identify the most important competencies for public health leadership. Percentages of interest were computed from the survey sample. Findings from the group interview and key informants revealed a need to increase the number of Baccalaureate prepared registered nurses. These findings were supported by the survey data in this study whereby 50% of the respondents were Associate's Degree Registered Nurses. Other corroborating evidence was offered by The American Association of Colleges of Nursing (2000) which suggested Baccalaureate preparation as the minimum necessary requirement for entry-level nursing due to the inclusion of public health sciences within the curriculum. This study's qualitative data revealed that, like nurses, public health employees arrive at entry level positions from a variety of educational backgrounds. The data further suggested the need for public health certificate training programs for public health workers. These findings are supported by research from the Institute of Medicine (1988) which notes as changes in the health care system and public health delivery evolve, a competent workforce capable of delivering an increasing variety of services will be needed.

Subject Area

Health education|Nursing|Public health|Higher education

Recommended Citation

DeBlois, Araxie Boghosian, "A needs analysis for a graduate program in nursing and public health in New England" (2003). Dissertation & Theses Collection. AAI3106404.