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Models and frameworks that enable nurses to develop their public health practice—A scoping study

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Ivanka Ezhova, Lynn Sayer, Rita Newland, Nicola Davis, Shelley McLetchie-Holder, Patricia Burrows, Laura Middleton, Mary Ellen Malone

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2150-2160
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Clinical Nursing
Issue number13-14
Accepted/In press1 Jan 2020
Published1 Jul 2020

King's Authors


Aims and objectives: This scoping review commissioned by the Public Health England, WHO collaborating Centre, aimed to explore the models and frameworks which enable nurses to develop their public health practice and deliver public health interventions to individuals, families and communities. Background: There is a plethora of literature regarding the role, activities and scope of practice undertaken by public health nurses across the world. However, only two reviews have explored the models and frameworks used for public health nursing practice. Design: The study drew upon an established framework with a narrative review drawing upon five methodological steps. Methods: A search of databases, Medline, PsycINFO, Embase, CINHAL and British Nursing Index, was undertaken. The search took place between April 2018 and June 2018 retrieving 9,513 peer-reviewed articles published from 2008. Results: Ninety-five studies were retrieved and analysed thematically. From an initial review of literature, two themes were identified: public health models used in practice and models used in public health education. Within the first theme, three subthemes were emerged: Characteristics of the interventions; Characteristics of the public health nurse; and Lack of measurable health benefits. Within the second theme, three subthemes were identified: Faculty and Students Working Together; The Experiential Academic Approach, and What works in Educating Nurses for Public Health. Conclusion: The review identified that many models and frameworks are used in practice. However, within public health practice there is a limited evidence base and it fails to demonstrate that the frameworks and models developed for practice result in measurable health benefits on an individual or population level. However, within education innovative models were apparent with collaborative partnerships enabling preregistration nursing students to develop public health nursing competencies. Relevance to clinical practice: Innovative approaches to education of preregistration nursing students could point the way forward for the delivery of public health nursing practice.

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