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Teaching Nurses to Focus on the Health Needs of Populations: A Master’s Degree Program in Population Health Nursing

Frisch, Noreen Cavan PhD, RN, FAAN; George, Valerie PhD, RN; Govoni, Amy L. MSN, RN,CS; Jennings-Sanders, Andrea DrPH, RN; McCahon, Cheryl P. PhD, RN


Responding to the mandate to prepare nurses for practice in population-based healthcare, the faculty at Cleveland State University (CSU) developed a unique Master of Science in Nursing program to prepare Population Health Nurse Experts. The program prepares nurses to examine the health status of populations and to design, implement, and evaluate nursing interventions accounting for the varied factors impacting on the health of a defined group. The speciality of population health nursing is practiced by nurses who can use population sciences (epidemiology, demography, population projections, and population behavioral theories) along with post-baccalaureate nursing competencies to work with defined populations across care environments. The authors discuss a curriculum that prepares nurses for this emerging speciality.

Authors’ affiliations: Professor and Chair (Dr Frisch), Associate Professors (Dr George, Ms Govoni, Dr McCahon); Assistant Professor (Dr Jennings-Sanders); Program Director, Graduate Nursing Program, School of Nursing, Cleveland State University, Cleveland, Ohio.

Corresponding author: Noreen Cavan Frisch, PhD, RN, FAAN, School of Nursing, Cleveland State University, 2121 Euclid Ave, Cleveland, OH 44115 (

© 2003 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.