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Funded Projects

Grant Status: Completed

Grant Title: Nursing Leadership: Pediatric Special Needs

Web Site: University of Colorado Health Sciences Center Project Exit Disclaimer

Project Director(s):

Marilyn J. Krajicek, Ed.D., R.N.
University of Colorado Health Sciences Center
School of Nursing
4200 E 9th Ave
Denver, CO  80220-3706
Phone: (303) 315-8662
FAX: (303) 315-8533
Email: Marilyn.Krajicek@uchsc.edu


Too few advanced practice nurses (APNs) are prepared with MCH policy/practice, and public health knowledge to address pediatric health needs, including those of children with special health care needs (CSHCN), and the health disparities evidenced in this population

Goals and Objectives:

Goal 1: Increase the number of pediatric nurse leaders and MCH APNs in Colorado and the Western region who are equipped to promote the health of, and reduce disparities experienced by, the MCH population. Objective 1: Educate at least 15 long-term leadership trainees committed to serving children and their families and CSHCN, and 50 medium- and 20 short-term APN trainees by 2013, targeting minority and rural nurses. Objective 2: Create an MCH-rich curriculum that enmeshes MCH policy, C/YSHCN, health disparities, family-centeredness, cultural competence, and systems of care in didactic courses and practica, in blended format, 2008-13 and fully online, 2010-13. Objective 3: Goal 2: Increase the capacity of the Colorado and Western Region MCH workforce to better promote health and reduce disparities among children and families by strengthening MCH knowledge and skills. Objective 1: Collaborate with key MCH partners to identify important recurrent and emergent MCH topics for delivery of at least one continuing education (CE) program annually, to Colorado, 2009-13, and to Western states, 2010-2013. Goal 3: Increase the capacity of MCH programs to better serve children and families or educate providers of MCH services. Objective 1: Provide favorably-rated technical assistance (TA) to local, regional and national MCH programs, delivered by faculty and trainees, to address systemic and emergent MCH issues (2008-2013). Goal 4: Goal 4 (Cancelled- project assigned to another grantee). Foster Nursing Leadership Alumni networking for career-long contact/mentoring of graduates, and create a platform for MCH collaboration. Objective 1: Create and maintain an NLA listserv, for Colorado leadership alumni, 2009-2013, and for other programs, 2010-2013, with 10% subscriber growth and volume of postings per year. (Cancelled Yr1 as above)


Graduate pediatric nursing students are recruited in master's (CNS and PNP) and doctoral (PhD, DNP) programs in Colorado and Western states. Didactic pediatric courses developed and/or revised in collaboration with other College of Nursing and interdisciplinary colleagues incorporate extensive MCH content and enmesh content regarding children with special health care needs for thorough preparation of long-term trainees and greater influence upon short- and medium-term trainees. Practicum placements emphasize service to families and their children with special needs, and/or opportunities to participate in development or implementation of MCH policies in systems of care. Leadership activities include active roles in provision of CE and TA. Technology, such as Internet webinars, podcasts, and listservs, increases cost-effectiveness in all program aspects, including diversity and distance recruitment, distance learning and supervision, and MCH collaboration. Collaboration with Colorado and Western Title V programs and other nursing programs enriches and expands opportunities for training, development and delivery of continuing education (CE) and technical assistance (TA), and leadership networking.


To better coordinate approaches to child, CSHCN, and family health service needs, health disparities, and the generation/dissemination of MCH knowledge, the program actively collaborates in trainee preparation, CE, and TA with local, state and regional: public health departments (e.g., Colorado Department of Health and Environment); other nursing leadership and MCH programs (e.g., CoLEND); and, service and advocacy programs (e.g., Family Voices and the Spina Bifida Association of Colorado).


The evaluation protocol utilizes an administrative data collection system to facilitate annual reporting and an objectives-driven evaluation that includes formative, summative and impact components to document trainee/graduate leadership achievements, CE and TA outcomes. Quantitative and qualitative methods (descriptive data, documentary evidence, questionnaires, surveys, and interviews) are used to advise program revisions and assess progress and outcomes against stated goals and objectives.

Experience to Date:

In Year 03, the Pediatric Nursing Leadership and Special Needs Program trained 17 long-term trainees in MS, DNP and PhD programs: 11 masters' leadership students (9 pediatric CNSs, 1 PNP, and 1 post-masters PNP); 6 doctoral students (4 DNP candidates and 2 PhD students). There were 18 medium-term trainees who were students in PNP, PMHFNP (Psychiatric Mental Health Family Nurse Practitioner), DNP, and PhD programs. Another 84 graduate nursing students were short-term trainees in FNP, Nurse Midwifery, PMHFNP, DNP, ANP, and PNP programs. Two specialized online graduate MCH courses, developed by PNL faculty under this grant, were delivered in Genetics and in MCH Leadership. The MCH Leadership course was modified in Year 03 to include a Life Course module developed by a PNL long-term pediatric CNS trainee. Continuing Education courses were delivered online nationally to 172 registrants via Colorado's participation in the national TRAIN public health network. The web courses, developed collaboratively with CDPHE Title V, are a 3-part series on social-emotional development of young children and a new course on nursing care coordination. A fifth collaborative course on the medical home, with extensive family input, was introduced late in Yr. 03. Ongoing collaboration with LEARN MCH grantees resulted in a joint LEARN 2010 presentation to and meeting with HRSA leadership and a collaborative AACN presentation.

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