News Flash


Posted on: July 13, 2017


MEMPHIS—The Shelby County Health Department (SCHD) and the University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC) have launched a Public Health Nurse Residency Program, the first of its kind in the state, to benefit both institutions through shared clinical and educational resources.

“Nurses play a vital role as we continue to strive to achieve a healthier community for all,” said Alisa Haushalter, DNP, RN, director of SCHD. “We are excited to continue our partnership with UTHSC and provide a great opportunity for public health nurses in Shelby County.”

The residency is the first major initiative of the UTHSC College of Nursing’s newly established Center for Community Partnerships and Nursing Innovation. The mission of the center is to develop sustainable partnerships in Memphis, the Mid-South and across the state to advance health care, reduce health disparities and improve health outcomes.

“This program is an excellent example of community collaboration,” said Shelby County Mayor Mark H. Luttrell, Jr. “Our partnership with the University of Tennessee will provide an excellent career path to our public health nurse program at the Shelby County Health Department.”

“This important initiative with the Shelby County Health is the type of collaboration we are seeking out through our newly developed center to improve the health of our communities,” said Wendy Likes, Ph.D., DNSc, ARNP-BC, FAANP, dean of the College of Nursing at UTHSC. “We are excited to see this off the ground and see the positive impact it can have on the practice of public health nurses to improve community health.”

The Public Health Nurse Residency Program is a 12-month curriculum that will teach nurses to:

  • Recognize nursing’s key role in the generation and dissemination of knowledge.
  • Develop quality improvement and evidence-based practice skills.
  • Develop and implement public health initiatives and projects relevant to the Shelby County Health Department’s clinical and quality needs.
  • Measure outcomes of initiatives and disseminate findings.
  • Achieve selected core competencies for public health professionals and public health nurses.
  • Develop and advance innovative strategies to build and strengthen public health nursing practice.

“Providing support and resources to advance nursing practice is an important priority for improving public health in Shelby County,” said Sara Day, Ph.D., RN, assistant dean of the UTHSC Center for Community Partnerships and Nursing Innovation.

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