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Population health as a 'platform' for nurse education: A qualitative study of nursing leaders

Lasater, Kathie; Atherton, Iain M.; Kyle, Richard G.


Kathie Lasater

Richard G. Kyle


Background: Challenges to the sustainability of global healthcare systems are prompting a shift towards more population-focused models of care. Nurse educators need to develop courses that prepare students for population health practice. However, the educational approaches that can support this shift are poorly understood. Publication of new standards for nurse education by the United Kingdom’s (UK) Nursing and Midwifery Council that place greater emphasis on population health presented an opportunity to seek nursing leaders’ views on population health in nurse education.
Objectives: To assess the views of nursing leaders within a Scottish context on the connection between nurse education and population health for all students, evaluate what student nurses need to know to support population health practice, and draw insights from the UK for pre-registration programmes internationally.
Design: Qualitative interview study
Participants: Twenty-four nursing leaders from academic (n=15), practice (n=4) and regulatory (n=5) sectors
Methods: Semi-structured interviews were conducted face-to-face (n=21), by telephone (n=2) or Skype (n=1). Interviews were transcribed and analysed, using interview questions as structural themes, followed by thematic and content analyses.
Results: Nursing leaders encouraged rebalancing nurse education towards population health, suggesting that population health concepts should sit at the core of spiral curricula to enable students to (re)view learning through a population health lens. Seven outcomes were identified to equip student nurses for practice in any setting. These formed the mnemonic FULCRUM: Find and interpret evidence; Understand the psychology of behavior and change; Link epidemiology to population health; Consider others and themselves in context; Recognise social determinants of health; Understand the impact of policy and politics on health; Motivate to encourage behaviour change.
Conclusions: FULCRUM can guide nurse educators globally to support preparation of graduate nurses for the significant shifts in healthcare delivery and service organization toward improving population outcomes.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Dec 2, 2019
Online Publication Date Dec 7, 2019
Publication Date 2020-03
Deposit Date Dec 3, 2019
Publicly Available Date Dec 8, 2020
Print ISSN 0260-6917
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 86
Article Number 104313
Keywords nursing education; views; nursing leaders; population health practice; interviews
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