The eight weeks in the course have been resourceful where I have learned epidemiological concepts that provide the approach to study communicable diseases. The epidemiological concepts learned in the course assists in identifying the circumstances under which both the disease and the infection occur in a population and the contributing factors influencing the incidences. This was attained by exploring the epidemiological data, emerging infectious and chronic diseases, screening and prevention, and the role of nurses in applying the epidemiological data to improve health outcomes. I will reflect on the program outcomes, MSN essentials and the nurse practitioner’s core competencies in relation to this course.
MSN Program Outcome #2: Create a caring environment for achieving quality health outcomes
Throughout the course I learned varying ways to create a caring environment to achieve quality health outcomes. For example, I remember exploring the role of nurses in training patients the risk factors to infectious diseases and infections, and the steps that promote behavioral changes. This is in line with the MSN requirement to APNs that they must apply knowledge and national guidelines to educate populations on the best prevention and screening tools to prevent the occurrence of a disease while promoting the achievement of quality health outcomes. In our lessons in the course we learned that chronic diseases are effectively prevented through early diagnosis and intervention and healthy lifestyle behaviors.
On the aspect of NP competencies, I believe I was able to attain the required competencies. For example, in week 6, we were required to evaluate an epidemiological issue that affects a particular geographic region through the integration of reflective practices, research and in the discussion posts. One of the NP core competences #4 is being a leader to translate new knowledge into practice which in the course we learned about the development of evidence-based action plans for future, appraising current surveillance methods, and conducting a descriptive epidemiological analysis. This was hastened by learning different epidemiological study designs like case study and cohort studies to attain results that identifying gaps where evidence is lacking (Poston et al., 2016).
MSN Essential IV Translating and Integrating Scholarship into Practice
The MSN essential IV according to American Association of Colleges of Nursing (2013) applies research outcomes in nursing, resolve practice issues and disseminates the findings. I applied this essential in particular while working on the Healthy People 2020 assignment. I learned some of the strategies to improve the health status of a population by exploring the maps of patients, their families, communities, and health professionals to reduce health disparity in a community. As APNs we can apply epidemiological data to evaluate the effectiveness of preventative and treatment measures. Therefore, the MSN Essential IV will help in attaining the ultimate goal of epidemiology which according to Ahlbom (2017) is to apply knowledge to control diseases by reducing their incidences and promoting healthy outcomes.
Ahlbom, A. (2017). Biostatistics for epidemiologists. CRC Press.
American Association of Colleges of Nursing. (2013). The essentials of master’s education in nursing. 2011.Poston, L., Caleyachetty, R., Cnattingius, S., Corvalán, C., Uauy, R., Herring, S. and Gillman, M. (2016). Preconceptional and maternal obesity: epidemiology and health consequences. The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology, 4(12), pp.1025-1036.
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