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Family and Community Health

Faculty in the Department share a commitment to teaching, research and practice that embeds individuals’ experience of health and illness in the context of their families and their communities. We are particularly interested in exploring how we can strengthen the context in which nursing care is delivered to achieve health equity for all and healthy outcomes for those at different points along the health and illness continuum. 

Global Leaders

The Department also defines our community as a global one. With our longstanding participation in the Global Network of World Health Organization of Collaborating Centers for Nursing and Midwifery Development, we can look to carefully crafted community-based participatory research to affect change. 

The Department’s commitment to enhancing the experiences of families and communities leads inexorably to its commitment to diversity - diversity of thought, of experiences, and a faculty dedicated to eliminating the disparities that plague our health and educational systems.

It also leads to our unique emphasis on historical methods to understand, challenge and change the systems we have inherited from the past as we look to a more just and equitable future. 

We also have a long tradition of interprofessional leadership in our teaching, research and practice. And we now seek the same in our education of students who will assume new roles in a changing healthcare environment. 


Department Programs

Nurse Practitioner

Advanced Practice 


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    Ensuring an Ethical Path to a ‘Warp Speed’ Vaccine

    Penn scholars, including Penn Nursing’s Alison Buttenheim, PhD, consider the ethical implications of the development and allocation of a COVID-19 vaccine.

  • Preparing Future Clinicians to Intervene in Opioid Crisis

    Opioid use disorder and overdose have reached unprecedented levels around the world. In the United States, remediation of pain is one of the most common reasons American adults seek healthcare. Therefore, it is vital that clinicians practicing in diverse roles and settings have a clinical understanding of pain and substance use disorders as well as knowledge about public health and opioid policy interventions.

  • State Laws Key to HIV Prevention Efforts

    HIV prevention remains a public health priority in the United States. Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) is a drug regimen recommended for individuals who have engaged in behaviors that place them at elevated risk for HIV. When used consistently, daily oral PrEP has been shown to reduce HIV transmission by 99 percent. However, despite increases in PrEP awareness and uptake over the past several years, data show that four of five people who could benefit from PrEP did not access the medication in 2018.