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Nursing Research and Practice
Volume 2012, Article ID 149673, 5 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2012/149673
Research Article

Oral Health Nursing Education and Practice Program

1New York University College of Nursing, 726 Broadway, 10th Floor, New York, NY 10003, USA
2New York University School of Medicine, 227 East 30th Street, 6th Floor, New York, NY 10016, USA

Received 2 February 2012; Accepted 5 March 2012

Academic Editor: Mary George

Copyright © 2012 Maria C. Dolce et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Millions of Americans have unmet oral healthcare needs and profound oral health disparities persist in vulnerable and underserved populations, especially poor children, older adults, and racial and ethnic minorities. Nurses can play a significant role in improving the quality of oral health including access to care with appropriate education and training. The purpose of this paper is to describe New York University College of Nursing’s response to this challenge. The Oral Health Nursing Education and Practice (OHNEP) program is a national initiative aimed at preparing a nursing workforce with the competencies to prioritize oral disease prevention and health promotion, provide evidence-based oral healthcare in a variety of practice settings, and collaborate in interprofessional teams across the healthcare system. The overarching goal of this national initiative is to create an educational infrastructure for the nursing profession that advances nursing’s contribution to reducing oral health disparities across the lifespan.