Dr. Emiko Kishi, President
At present, we are facing widening social and health inequalities, which are associated with complex and serious health problems, frequent disasters, international infectious disease control, and many other issues. This is against the background of an expected rapid drop in population due to a declining birthrate and an aging population. With this in mind, public health nurses are expected to have a high level of practical ability in public health nursing to deal with diverse and complex health issues, associated inequality and difficulty in living, and community health crises.
In the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, public health nurses are required to respond promptly and appropriately to protect the lives of the people, respect the human rights of patients and their families, and help prevent isolation from the community. Instructors involved in the education of public health nurses are keenly aware of the historical background of the enactment of the Act on the Prevention of Infectious Diseases and Medical Care for Patients with Infectious Diseases (the Infectious Diseases Control Law). It is an important responsibility to constantly focus on national policies and countermeasures for COVID-19 (e.g., movement to amend the Infectious Diseases Control Law), educate students who will become the next generation of public health nurses, and influence society.
The Act on Public Health Nurses, Midwives, and Nurses defines a public health nurse as a “person who provides health guidance as a profession”. However, the fundamental skills required for a public health nurse not only include the ability to provide one-on-one support, but also professional skills that enable them to provide community-level support and draft health promotion policies, and a wide perspective, flexibility, management skills, and professional independence and awareness to support them in carrying out those tasks. Training of public health nurses that can meet the needs of our time and society has a direct impact on the preservation and promotion of national health.
The Japan Association of Public Health Nurse Educational Institutions (JAPHNEI) was founded as an unincorporated organization in 1980 with the aim of improving the quality of public health nurse education. It was incorporated as a General Incorporated Association in 2011, we celebrated for the 40th anniversary of the establishment of JAPHNEI in 2020.We consider the education of public health nurses to be our social responsibility and are working toward its enrichment. Our mission is to improve public health by enhancing public health nurse educational institutions across Japan and enriching public health nurse education. We work to fulfill this mission through six committees and seven regional blocks.
In 2020, in addition to supporting proactive epidemiological investigations of public health centers during the COVID-19 crisis, we have exchanged information on practicum alternative lecture, reported summaries, implemented a systematic career ladder training, created the “Educational content of community health nursing in the nurse education course after revision of the rules for designating public health nurses, midwives and nurses" and the "Graduate school curriculum model for public health nurse education (Zenhokyo version 2020)," published a commemorative magazine to celebrate the 40th anniversary, and streamed an on-demand public information talk as a 40th anniversary project. In addition, we submitted requests for "quality assurance of education and securing of graduates from public health nursing training schools due to the spread of COVID-19" and "flexible response to recruitment tests due to the spread of COVID-19." We also issued the "Statement on the Amendment of the Infectious Diseases Control Law" for penalties for infectious diseases.
In fiscal 2021, we will continue to improve the activities, educational contents, and methods for developing the competence of instructors who are responsible for public health nursing education and the promotion of additional education courses. In addition, as an ad hoc committee, we have established the "Health Crisis Management Countermeasures Committee,” which clarifies public health nursing techniques related to health crisis management and develops audiovisual materials, and the "Education Evaluation Preparatory Committee,” which examines the significance and the ideal way of evaluating public health nurse education.
As of June 2021, there are 226 member schools, accounting for about 80% of the public health nurse education curricula. As of April 2021, there are 17 public health nurse education curricula for graduate school education and 2 for university majors nationwide. The foundation of public health nursing education will be strengthened by teaching community health nursing, amending the rules for designating public health nurses, midwives, and nurses. However, as a result of this, we will promote activities to improve the quality of public health nurse education so that public health nurse education based on public health nursing studies will be further enhanced. We would like to ask all member schools for their support and cooperation.