Kane County Health Department’s Public Health Nursing Immunization Project: Improving Nurse Competency in Childhood Immunizations

Summary

Impact Statement: 
The health department needed all staff nurses to be able to give vaccinations for emergencies like the H1N1 influenza epidemic, including nurses working in roles that do not involve giving clinical care. They improved the process for keeping all nurses competent in determining when, how, and which vaccines should be given as well as performing the vaccinations.
Summary: 

The Kane County Health Department (KCHD) public health nursing section was reorganized in November 2010. The initial assessment of public health nurse (PHN) competency at that time revealed a gap in knowledge relating to childhood immunization.
The aim of this intervention was to help PHNs fill this knowledge gap and move the PHN workforce toward increased clinical competency. Benner’s novice-to-expert skill acquisition model, as described in the Benner Stages of Clinical Competence, was chosen to develop and assess skill development. Initially, expert nurses reviewed PHN performance using a one-on-one model. In between clients, the PHN spent time on self-study. After 9 months, only 25% of the PHN workforce was competent. It was collectively decided that a point of distribution (POD) model would be implemented. After 2 months of using the POD model, adjustments were made as to what skills the PHN would perform during clinic. After 3 months, each PHN performed a self-assessment and discussed his or her progress and further training needs with the expert and clinical supervisor. As PHNs reached competency, they only attended clinics if they felt they needed to, in order to give more opportunity to those who had not reached competency.

Organization that conducted the QI initiative: 
Kane County Health Department
Citation: 

Ryndak, A. Public Health Quality Improvement Exchange. Kane County Health Department’s Public Health Nursing Immunization Project: Improving Nurse Competency in Childhood Immunizations. Mon, 12/17/2012 - 13:52. Available at https://www.phqix.org/content/kane-county-health-department%E2%80%99s-public-health-nursing-immunization-project-improving-nurse. Accessed May 29, 2017.

Submission Status: 
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