The Public Health Nursing & Nutrition (PHNN) Division of the Durham Region Health Department (DRHD) in Ontario has been a pioneer to establish competencies to guide public health nursing practice. In October of 1993, members of the Nursing Practice Committee reviewed and discussed foundational documents. Using the Division’s nursing competencies strategic plan and the philosophical statement of the Division, the committee identified 20 key topics. After delivering education sessions on these topics and receiving input from members of the PHNN Division, the final competency document was completed in January of 1997. When this document was developed, it was received as a unique approach in Canada and was used to develop similar documents across the nation. Review and revisions of this document were last completed in June 2004.
Members of the Nursing Practice Committee (NPC) started a review of the nursing competencies in January 2016. After an extensive review of different foundational documents, the Public Health Nursing Discipline Specific Competencies Version 1.0 (2009) from the Community Health Nurses of Canada (CHNC) was selected to replace the DRHD PHNN Nursing Competencies. The CHNC Competencies were the most comprehensive while reflecting the majority of the knowledge and skills already highlighted in the PHNN Nursing Competencies.
An event was implemented to provide an overview of the CHNC Competencies as well as introduce a Knowledge and Skills Support Document that was created to support nurses in utilizing these competencies. The support document includes 21 key elements that enhance nursing practice. The launch event included a detailed description of the competencies and provided history, insight and different perspectives, delivered by guest speaker, Ruth Schofield, BScN, RN, MSc(T), former president of CHNC and CHNIG. Activities were also included to help nurses and nutritionists become familiar with the CHNC competencies. The CHNC Competencies are currently being used to guide practice in the PHNN Division.
For more information contact Lindsay LaBarre, RN, Public Health Nurse, Durham Region Health Department at firstname.lastname@example.org