Nurses Utilizing Research, Service, and Education in Applied Practice

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NURSE AP is a 5-year project focused on three critical barriers to health care for farmers:(1) delayed access to research findings that are needed to develop and deliver evidence-based nursing care,(2) lack of interventions tailored to local farm culture and needs, and(3) the limited number of nurses with expertise in agricultural occupational health and safety.

Dr. Reed discussing tractor safety with a regional farmer

Led by Dr. Deborah Reed of the UK College of Nursing, NURSE AP It is the translational stage of the Nurse Agriculture Education Project, which was initiated in 2001 to increase awareness of nurses in the Southeast about health and safety issues in production agriculture. Between 2006 and 2011, the project expanded to respond to nurses across the U.S. Since 2006, schools of nursing in at least 22 states have accessed the project.

In 2010, the project team evaluated the need for focusing on nurses in clinical practices and for adding distance learning and social media as more efficient methods of reaching the growing number of nurses with interest in agricultural health and safety.  Accordingly, the NURSE AP project (2011–2016) is applying new strategies for the translation of research to practice through academic and clinical settings. NURSE AP stakeholder outreach reaches hundreds of producers and farm employees annually; ever widening uptake of NURSE AP information and materials includes hands-on users and diverse audiences such as Farm Bureau, the Farmer Veteran Coalition, Southeast Farm Press, Syngenta Inc., Bluegrass Equine Journal, and Modern Farmer. In addition, Dr. Reed has been invited to lead a 90-minute session at the annual conference of the American Association of Occupational Health Nurses (AAOHN) in May 2014. These sessions are highly prized and Dr. Reed’s will be the first in the AAOHN history to highlight the agricultural industry.

The long-term goal of NURSE AP is to provide farm communities with tailored evidence-based health care and health promotion resources delivered by transdisciplinary teams. The intermediate goal is to advance agricultural health and safety nursing practice through emerging education and communication strategies (e.g., electronic delivery and distance learning), new clinical interventions, service learning opportunities, and community collaboration. Five schools of nursing in Kentucky, Tennessee, Alabama, and Louisiana are serving as initial project sites.

NURSE AP is supported by CDC/NIOSH Cooperative Agreement 5U54OH007547 through the Southeast Center for Agricultural Health and Injury Prevention and the University of Kentucky College of Nursing. For more information contact Deborah Reed, PhD, RN, MSPH, FAAOHN, Distinguished Service Professor and Good Samaritan Endowed Chair, UK College of Nursing, Room 553, CON Building, Lexington, KY 40536-0232, Phone 859-257-9636.