Advanced Public Health Nursing student projects highlight leadership, practice and research with community impact

Students in the Wayne State College of Nursing’s MSN in Advanced Public Health Nursing (APHN) program showcased their community-focused quality improvement projects alongside faculty, family and friends during a special event on Nov. 30.  

From left: APHN students Natasha Villarreal, Beth Ann Perkins-Simmons, Kaitlin Bratby, Bianca Clarke and Whitney Ottenhoff

Five APHN students prepared posters and presentation synthesizing their research and practice initiatives in a variety of public and community health settings. Each project focused on a specific topic and population, employing different methods to improve both care quality and public health outcomes. The projects were developed, implemented and evaluated over the course of several semesters.  

  • Bianca Clarke: “Facilitation of Harm Reduction Education for Law Enforcement”
  • Kaitlin Bratby: “HIV Prevention Outreach Programming in a Local Health Department”
  • Whitney Ottenhoff: “Project Girl Power,” which aims to improve women’s knowledge of their reproductive health and contraception options at a charitable health clinic in Southwest Detroit.
  • Beth Ann Perkins-Simmons: “School Wellness Program for Kentwood Public Schools”
  • Natasha Villarreal: “Support and Sustainability for School Nurses,” which created a universal training platform for Michigan school nurses called Michigan School Nurse 101.

“These students have developed and implemented quality improvement programs that have made a positive, measurable impact on public and community health across the state,” said Assistant Professor (Clinical) and APHN Graduate Specialty Coordinator Kathy Balint, DNP, PHNA-BC, CHSE, CRRN, FCN. “These students, both individually and as a group, represent the best of Wayne State and the College of Nursing.”

The APHN program is designed to equip nurses for advanced care of people and communities and prepare graduates be a voice for public health in a nursing career. The program trains nurses to improve the health care of populations through community assessment, strategies for leadership, health policy development and the implementation of program development and evaluation. Students also work in collaboration with community partners to determine the best way to implement health care initiatives through leadership, practice and research.

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