Developing an orientation toolkit for new public health nurse hires for Ontario's changing landscape of public health practice.
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In 2008/2009, the Orientation: Transition to Public Health Nursing Toolkit was developed to enhance the integration of new hires into public health nursing practice in Ontario and to increase retention of these hires. The changing landscape of public health in Canada, such as the introduction of new standards and competencies, presents challenges to leaders orienting staff to public health nursing. The toolkit was designed to provide a standardized general orientation, involving a broad range of public health knowledge and issues. Through the use of technology, a virtual network of public health nurses, educators, managers, senior nurse leaders and nursing professors from various areas of Ontario designed, implemented and evaluated the toolkit. Three modules were developed: foundations of practice (e.g., core competencies, national and provincial standards, public health legislation), the role of the public health nurse, and developing partnerships and relationships. Evaluations demonstrated that the toolkit was useful to new hires adjusting to public health nursing. It has had significant uptake within Canada and is well accepted by public health nursing leaders for use in Ontario's health units.
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