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University Professor Studies Public Health Nursing Here and Abroad

University Professor Studies Public Health Nursing Here and Abroad

Marjorie Schaffer, university professor of nursing, discusses her latest research.

University professor of nursing Marjorie Schaffer conducted research on public health nursing practice in both the U.S. and Norway, and plans to travel to New Zealand to do the same. She discussed her work at a recent library forum, summarizing results published in a number of articles, some written in collaboration with students. “I’m grateful for the mentorship opportunities I’ve had in my career,” she says, “and I enjoy the mentorship opportunities I now have with my own students.”

Schaffer cited the critical nature of building an evidence base for public health nursing in the face of public health funding cuts, population changes, and the lack of visibility of public health nurses. Her work has included U.S. research on task analysis of public health nursing, its impact on the health of the community, and outcomes of a specific program serving teen parents. “Public health nurses work in a challenging environment,” she concludes, “but they believe that what they do makes a difference.”

Schaffer traveled to Norway to compare public health nursing there to U.S. practices, finding that Norway’s universal health care system is an influence. In March, she heads to New Zealand to serve as a Fulbright specialist at Auckland University, where she will consult on public health nursing education and study the country’s Maori culture.