Date of Award


Document Type

Dissertation - NSU Access Only

Degree Name

Doctor of Education


Center for the Advancement of Education


The Virginia State Department of Health is committed to improving pregnancy outcome. Of the many initiatives that deal with improving pregnancy outcomes, upgrading public health nursing practices in maternity nursing is essential. This Practicum used the DACUM process to identify the competencies public health nurses needed to provide maternity nursing services to pregnant women during the prenatal period. A DACUM Committee was selected. committee members represented nursing faculty, nurse practitioners, staff nurses, nursing consultants and a nursing supervisor. The DACUM process steps were followed: (1) the job was defined, (2) the general areas of responsibilities identified, (3) the tasks for each duty were identified, and (4) the duties and tasks were sequenced. When the DACUM chart was completed, it was validated. Four major duty statements and twenty-six tasks were identified. The recommendations of the study were: 1. When competencies are developed for other nursing specialties use the DACUM process. 2. The maternity competencies to: a. Develop a curriculum for the orientation of public health nurses to maternity nursing. b. Assess performance of public health nurses and based on assessment, develop service programs. c. Develop job descriptions. d. Recruit and select new employees. e. Evaluate educational materials.

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