In the recently released article, A Critical Gap: Advanced Practice Nurses Focused on the Public’s Health in Nursing Outlook (2021), Bekemeier and colleagues highlight the “need for nurse leaders who “embrace the interconnection” between medicine and public health. The inequitable impact of COVID19 on people of color demonstrates the importance of applying expertise from nursing practice and public health systems to work with communities and other professions on complex health issues. Yet, despite a clear need for improved population health, educational programs designed to produce Advanced Public Health Nurses, with skills to address complex system change, have become increasingly scarce. (p..1)” They assert the urgent need for expanding opportunities for nurses to advance their education in public health practice.
Now more then ever schools of nursing need identify strategies to implement a social mission focused on health equity (Mahoney et al., 2020). Schools of nursing should bolster public health nursing curricula to prepare Advanced Public Health Nurses who have the competencies to improve the public’s health. Both actions, implementing a social mission in nursing education and strengthening the public health nursing workforce specifically address Recommendation 7 in the Future of Nursing 2020-2030 Report.