Award Date

5-1-2012

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing (ND)

Department

Nursing

First Committee Member

Patricia Alpert

Second Committee Member

Sarah Keating

Third Committee Member

Leann Putney

Number of Pages

67

Abstract

The health of today's children is crucial for the future of our society. There are many children without access to healthcare in these turbulent economic times; times that are increasingly uncertain as society maneuvers its way through the maze of healthcare reform. School based health centers (SBHCs) provide a safety net for children needing basic healthcare who are otherwise underserved. School entry health examinations (SEHE) are legal requirements in many states, and are a proven method for identifying health conditions early enough in a child's life that they can be corrected. Treating identified health conditions facilitates academic success for children, leading to a healthier society.

The purpose of this capstone project was to complete a program evaluation of an elementary level safety net type of SBHC, specifically evaluating SEHE to determine if national guidelines are met. The Shuler Nurse Practitioner Practice Model (SNPPM) was utilized for the practice segment; the Plan-Do-Study-Act model was used for the evaluation segment. A retrospective chart review was completed to determine if three major outcomes were met:

* Are all components of the SEHE completed as outlined in national guidelines?

* Are all health conditions identified treated, followed up or referred?

* Are results of the SEHE communicated to the school of attendance?

The comprehensive literature review includes information on importance of SEHE, history of the SBHC movement (both medical home and safety net types), evaluation of outcomes of SBHCs related to attendance, healthcare access, and academic achievement. Literature relevant to program evaluation criteria and quality improvement programs are identified for pediatric public health providers, such as pediatric nurse practitioners.

Data collection and analysis demonstrated that SBHCs provide SEHE comparable to national guidelines. Results were shared with the program staff after analysis, leading to changes within the evaluated program that will facilitate better care over time. These changes will insure more positive outcomes in child health. Healthy children learn better and become more productive members of society when they have a positive start.

Keywords

Child health services; Elementary school health; Elementary schools; Pediatric nurse practitioners; Pediatric nursing; School based health centers; School entry health exams; School health services; School health services – Law and legislation

Disciplines

Community Health and Preventive Medicine | Education | Maternal and Child Health | Pediatric Nursing | Public Health | Public Health and Community Nursing

Language

English