An online education approach to population health in a global society

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Abstract

Background:

Health professions education content must keep pace with the ever-evolving and changing health care system. Population-based health care is advocated as a way to improve health outcomes, particularly in a technologically advanced health system like the United States. At the same time, global health knowledge is increasingly valued in health professions education, including nursing.

Aims:

This article describes the design and implementation of an online population health course with a global viewpoint intended to accommodate the need for improved knowledge and skill application for graduate nurses. Attention was also given to faculty efficiency during the process of design and implementation.

Materials and Methods:

This population-global health course was piloted in a renovated master's curriculum for two semesters. Administering a Course Improvement Survey after initial course offerings assisted faculty to assess and target essential course changes. Data were collected from 106 registered nurse graduate students.

Results:

Population and global health course objectives were met and students identified areas for course enhancement. Students (90%-94%) reported achieving increased knowledge of population health and global health.

Discussion:

Like other creative works, the first rendition of a course requires pedagogical adjustments and editing. Formal student input, when built into the design and implementation of a course can assist faculty to be efficient when crafting essential course changes for subsequent semesters. Data from the survey showed that major population and global subject matter was being grasped by students, the data also revealed that tweaking specific online strategies like making all course content mobile would enhance the course.

Conclusion:

The course development process and course improvement evaluation for this Population Health in a Global Society course proved valuable in the education of nurses, and helped maintain faculty work efficiency.

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