COEC Project #2
Environmental Health for Nurses Collaborative
Above: Participants engage in a hands-on learning activity at the 2005 Environmental Health in Nursing Conference.
Project 2: Outreach to the Health Care Community – Environmental Health for Nurses Collaborative
Project Collaborators: Stephanie Chalupka, EdD, APRN, BC, CNS, Professor of Nursing, UMASS Lowell; Raphael P. Adamek, Boston University Superfund Basic Research Program; Jeanne B. Hewitt, PhD, RN, University of Wisconsin Milwaukee Marine and Fresh Water Biomedical Sciences Center.
Overview: This project is a continuation of the COEC Environmental Health for Nurses Project, begun during the 2003-2008 grant period. An outcome of the 2005 Environmental Health for Nurses conference held at Harvard and the follow-up conference held in 2006 at UW-Milwaukee, the project expanded to include new collaborative insights.
Prior to the 2005 and 2006 conferences, outreach to nurses through the Harvard and UW-Milwaukee Centers was not explicitly related to the Institute of Medicine (IOM) framework (Pope, Synder et al. 1995) nor to a particular approach to the teaching and learning of environmental health concepts. The “site-visit” approach (Backus, Hewitt et al. 2006), which was developed for the 2005 conference, has been tested and found conceptually useful as a teaching methodology for public health practitioners. Now we are confident in using the IOM framework and the “site-visit” approach for our outreach to nurses.
This project will have both a national and a local component and will utilize the most current internet-based technology such as wiki websites. The wiki enables collaboration between environmental health experts and nursing faculty. All educational materials we develop will be linked to the IOM Competencies.
1. Provide educational documents for www.ehnursing.org our new wiki website.
2. Host bimonthly meetings of the EH for Nurses Collaborative, a recently formed organization consisting of nursing faculty from the greater Boston area committed to increasing environmental health content in baccalaureate and graduate nursing curricula.
3. Provide speakers for nursing courses such as Health Assessment and Community Health Nursing.
4. Develop tools such as case-studies that enable nurse educators to build environmental health into existing nursing curricula.
5. Build the capacity for nurse educators and public practice nurses to incorporate the concepts of public health, environmental health, and social justice into their teaching and practice through conferences, publications, and through two national conferences: 2010 Milwaukee and 2012 Boston.
6. Increase the expectation and requirement for competency in environmental health at the state and national levels.