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More than a decade ago, I was pleased to lead a group of public health nurses in Wisconsin in designing a project that aimed to connect nurse educators and practitioners to improve public health nursing practice and education in our state. For inspiration and best practices, we needed to journey no farther than our neighboring state of Minnesota. We purposefully took a “follow-the-leader” approach in adopting or adapting many collaborative education and practice improvement strategies pioneered in Minnesota for our Linking Education and Practice for Excellence in Public Health Nursing (LEAP Project). Throughout the 6 years of the LEAP Project, we often looked to public health nursing leaders in Minnesota for guidance because they clearly understood the processes and challenges of academic-practice collaboration and of contemporary public health nursing practice and education. I clearly recall the “Minnesota-nice” generosity of the outstanding faculty and public health nurse members of the Henry Street Consortium in sharing their wisdom on academic-practice collaboration when we consulted with them during a groundbreaking international public health nursing conference held in St. Paul in 2011. In many ways, the Henry Street Consortium epitomizes the best of the best practices for academic-practice partnership and sustainable efforts toward improving public health education and practice.

Publication of the first edition of Population-Based Public Health Clinical Manual (2011), authored by members of the Henry Street Consortium, was an important milestone. Its creation demonstrated that magic happens when public health nurses in academic and practice settings work collaboratively. The first and second editions of this book offered a refined set of competencies for entry into contemporary, population-based public health nursing practice. The authors provided clear, practical, evidence-driven content and activities for teaching and learning the knowledge, skills, and values required for becoming a public health nurse in the 21st century. This book was truly a gift to public health nursing faculty, students, and preceptors across the United States and beyond because of its accessible format, applicability to contemporary practice, and clarity of language. It clearly fulfilled the need for a practical guidebook to public health nursing practice for students and novice nurses.

The legacy of excellence continues with the third edition, but in an entirely redesigned format in full color, making it easier to read and more engaging for students and other users. As a former public health nurse and a current public health professor, I think it offers exactly what is needed for readers seeking to teach or learn population-based public health practice. I am impressed with the use of a scaffolding approach that leads students to compare and contrast new information and experiences about public health with what they have already encountered as students in acute care. I am enthused by the many opportunities for readers to apply and develop critical thinking skills, the essence of all knowledge professions. The highly regarded Public Health Intervention Wheel remains central as a core component of the population-based approach. It is refreshing and important that the authors do not expect that students and novice nurses will only be able or asked to work with individuals or families but also provide case examples, stories, and learning activities that support public health nursing interventions provided at the community and systems levels. The case examples and stories included are representative of contemporary practice, while the suggested active learning strategies align with contemporary pedagogy. Past users of this manual will be pleased with the new material in this edition, including a new competency on using principles and science of environmental health to promote safe and sustainable environments, theory applications showing how PHNs use frameworks to further public health, and the inclusion of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals throughout the text.

While it is a great textbook for student nurses and nurses new to public health practice, this book could also be used in additional ways. First, faculty at the graduate level should find it useful in guiding curricular design for advanced practice public health nurses. Second, the examples that demonstrate the role of nurses as members of interprofessional teams practicing in public health settings make good interprofessional health education activities to help teach collaborative practice and leadership.

Collaboration between academia and practice, although increasingly common, remains challenging. The Henry Street Consortium is one of the finest examples of linking education and practice to improve public health nursing education and practice. The Population-Based Public Health Clinical Manual, Third Edition, is one of the best products I have seen that illustrates a successful and sustained academic-practice partnership. Although many community health textbooks are good, none is as clear, organized, practical, and relevant to population-based public health nursing clinical experiences as this one.

Students, teachers, and preceptors will find it the best guidebook for the journey toward becoming a public health nurse.

–Susan J. Zahner, DrPH, MPH, RN, FAAN

Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs

Vilas Distinguished Achievement Professor

University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Nursing

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