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|Size||6.0 feet of linear shelf space (approximately 3900 items)|
|Abstract||The University of North Carolina's Curriculum in Public Health Nursing began in 1940 as the Department of Public Health Nursing in the School of Public Health. The founding of the School of Nursing in 1950 brought into question the desirability of a specialized nursing program in the School of Public Health. Nevertheless, the Department of Public Health Nursing persisted as such until 1984, when it was made an interdisciplinary curriculum. Records include correspondence and other files pertaining to the administration of and curricula in the Department of Public Health Nursing and Curriculum in Public Health Nursing.|
|Creator||University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Curriculum in Public Health Nursing.|
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By action of the Board of Trustees on 7 June 1940, the Division of Public Health, since 1936 a part of the School of Medicine at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, became the separate School of Public Health under the direction of Milton J. Rosenau. Among the new school's early research projects was a venereal disease study that focused on outreach programs in the Orange-Person-Chatham County and Durham City-County Health Departments. The study made clear the need for more university-educated public health nurses to serve North Carolina communities. While public health nurses had traditionally been excluded from schools of public health, Dr. Rosenau expressed interest in establishing a program, stating "we believe that training for public health nursing should be an integral part of a School of Public Health and with our set up we have an opportunity to establish this useful enterprise on a plane that will be without peer anywhere."
In 1940, the addition of faculty and funding from the North Carolina State Board of Health, the United States Public Health Service, and the Children's Bureau for Cooperation made the Department of Public Health Nursing possible. Ruth Warwick Hay, a national leader in public health nursing education, was hired as the first head of the department. On her recommendation, the department added Margaret Blee, a colleague of Hay's from the University of California at Berkeley.
In 1946, the Department of Public Health Nursing began its tradition of training public health nurses outside the Chapel Hill campus by instituting a cooperative program with North Carolina College at Durham (later North Carolina Central University). This effort was undertaken due to increased awareness of the need for health personnel in southern black communities following World War II. Professors Hay and Blee were consultants to the program from 1946 through 1956, and University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill professors continued to teach public health nursing courses at North Carolina College until 1963.
In 1950, the School of Nursing was formed, leading some to question the desirability of specialized nursing training on the baccalaureate level and to suggest the elimination of the undergraduate program in public health nursing. The Department of Public Health Nursing stopped accepting undergraduates in 1962. The graduate program offered a Master of Public Health degree, with a concentration in either management and supervision or occupational health nursing, and a Master of Science degree in the public health nursing or occupational health nursing fields. The M.P.H. degree was intended to lead to nursing practice in the health community while the M.S. degree was designed to prepare its students for academic pursuits.
Despite occasional conflicts, the Department of Public Health Nursing and the School of Nursing enjoyed a collaborative relationship throughout much of their history. In 1963, the faculties cooperated to create a program that prepared teachers in public health nursing. A joint committee designed the curriculum and coordinated its implementation. The first director of the program was Margaret Shetland, who was succeeded by Marie McIntyre.
In 1970, the department's independence was again brought into question by a self-study report of the School of Public Health. The report resulted in the recommendation that the departments of Health Administration, Health Education, Maternal and Child Health, Mental Health, Public Health Nursing, and Public Health Nutrition be combined in a comprehensive family health division. It was hoped that such a reorganization would break down some of the departmental rigidity that was perceived throughout the School of Public Health. This recommendation, while discussed at length, was not followed due to administrative difficulties and objections from a number of the departments.
Until the mid-1960s, the mainstay of the Department of Public Health Nursing had been its undergraduate and certification programs. In the 1970s, the faculty made an effort to adjust to its new graduate focus. Graduate faculty members were added and the research programs of the department were expanded.
In 1982, Michel Ibrahim became dean of the School of Public Health. Almost immediately, he recommended that the Department of Public Health Nursing be dismantled, citing limited resources and the need to maintain and expand graduate programs. Dean Ibrahim appointed the Committee to Consider Alternatives for the Education of Public Health Nurses in the School of Public Health, which discussed several options, including the absorption of the department by the School of Nursing or by one of the departments of the School of Public Health. Ultimately the committee recommended an interdisciplinary program that would maintain a strong faculty and be under the directorship of a qualified nurse who would report directly to the dean. It also recommended the establishment of a committee representative of all public health interests to study the development of doctoral programs in the school.
This proposed dismantling of the department caused a good deal of public furor. The Public Health Nurses Association and the North Carolina Nurses Association adamantly opposed it; and in July 1983, members of the Women's Caucus of the North Carolina General Assembly introduced a bill putting the restructuring of the Department of Public Health Nursing on hold. But, by the fall of 1984, this opposition had been overcome and the changes to the program were approved. The department then became the Curriculum in Public Health Nursing within the School of Public Health. The new organization created a graduate program offering a master's degree in occupational health nursing or in public health nursing with tracks in either administration and supervision or teaching. The faculty of the curriculum held joint appointments with other School of Public Health departments and the chair reported to the dean.
In 1996, the School of Public Health established the Interdisciplinary Curriculum in Practice and Leadership, which incorporated three existing programs: the Curriculum in Public Health Nursing, the Public Health Leadership Doctoral Program, and the Center for Public Health Practice.
A list of Department of/Curriculum in Public Health Nursing heads and their tenures follows.
|1940-1959||Ruth W. Hay|
|1972-1974||Virginia Nelson, Acting|
|1984-1985||Marion Highriter, Acting|
|1986-1991||Marla E. Salmon|
|1991-1996||Rachel H. Stevens|
For additional information on the histories of the School of Public Health and the Department of Public Health Nursing, see Dreaming of a Time by Robert Rodgers Korstad and A History of the Department of Public Health Nursing, 1941-1950 by Elizabeth Dianne Greenhill, both available in the North Carolina Collection.Back to Top
Records include correspondence and other files pertaining to the administration of and curricula in the Department of Public Health Nursing and Curriculum in Public Health Nursing.Back to Top
This series contains the administrative files of the chairs of the Department of/Curriculum in Public Health Nursing. These files include extensive information on the founding of the department and on its change to curriculum status in 1982. Also included are faculty meeting minutes, correspondence with the School of Public Health, and other administrative records.
Correspondence, Administrative, 1940-1942; 1945; 1949-1954; 1958; 1960; 1962; 1965-1972; 1974-1981 #40121, Series: "1. Administration, 1940-1986." Box 1
(includes material on the founding of the department)
Departmental Faculty Meeting Minutes, 1975-1981 #40121, Series: "1. Administration, 1940-1986." Box 1
(includes minutes and reports of faculty committees with the exception of the Curriculum Committee, which is in Series 2)
Restructuring: Ad Hoc Committee to Consider Alternatives for the Education of Public Health Nurses in the School of Public Health: Report of the North Carolina Conference of Public Health Nursing Supervisors, Directors, and Consultants to, 22 April 1983 #40121, Series: "1. Administration, 1940-1986." Box 1
(see also Series 3)
Retirement Banquet for Professors Blee and Hay (1 June 1962), 1962 #40121, Series: "1. Administration, 1940-1986." Box 1
(includes some historical photographs collected for the occasion)
This series contains records pertaining to the planning and implementation of the Public Health Nursing curriculum. The files include minutes of the Curriculum Committee, information on cooperative teaching efforts with the School of Nursing, and the syllabi and bibliographies for specific Public Health Nursing (PHNU) courses.
This series contains the department's/curriculum's correspondence with various organizations external to the university. The majority of this material deals with the organizations' training programs, conferences, workshops, and consultations that members of the Public Health Nursing faculty planned, conducted, or attended.
North Carolina Conference of Public Health Nursing Supervisors, Directors, and Consultants, 1983 #40121, Series: "3. Outside Organizations, 1959-1984." Box 4
(see also Restructuring in Series 1)
Processed by: University Archives Staff
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