Purpose: This study describes influencing factors that public health core and public health nursing competency sets have had on public health nursing workforce development since their release in 2007 and 2009 respectively.
Methods: A descriptive, non-experimental pilot study was conducted using Rogers Diffusion of Innovation Theory as a framework to explore awareness and utilization of public health core and nursing competencies among a sample of 221 public health nurses (PHNs) working in Ontario health units.
Results: Findings suggest substantial awareness and moderate use of both competency sets among PHNs, with a statistically significant difference between management and front-line staff in level of awareness of core competencies only. Barrier/facilitator themes influencing competency set utilization frequently represented organizational factors, and were slightly different between competency sets.
Implications: Results have implications for knowledge translation efforts of competencies integration into practice and addressing barriers to precluding competency-based public health nursing workforce policy and planning.