Publication date: Sep 22, 2023
Public health workforce development has been an ongoing challenge. Understanding the needs, interests, and demographics of public health practice communities is essential for advancing the field of public health workforce development. The North Dakota Public Health Training Network (NDPHTN) is addressing the needs of public health practice communities through virtual training curricula. The NDPHTN curriculum is based upon 7 domains of public health practice workforce development training, identified via reports, a job task analysis, and workforce competency and skill needs surveys. The curricula also align with the Council on Education for Public Health competencies, and courses offer registrants the opportunity to earn Certified Public Health Continuing Education credit. The NDPHTN curriculum launched on August 1, 2019, is offered on the Public Health Foundation’s TRAIN platform. The educational trainings are available as 6 “courses,” a group of related sessions on a public health workforce topic, or 72 Continuing Education Unit credits (“CEUs”), stand-alone sessions that are not part of a course. The courses were created to meet specialized certificate requirements, while CEUs present both overlapping materials with courses and unique “Special Topics,” such as education and training related to the COVID-19 pandemic. CEUs on “Special Topics” are regularly revised to provide up-to-date information on evolving topics. This research study period was August 1, 2019, to January 5, 2021. Using posttraining evaluations on quality and usefulness of NDPHTN sessions through the TRAIN platform, 96. 71% of respondents reported that the sessions would be useful to their work. The TRAIN platform is an excellent channel to provide public health practice workforce development training to a diverse workforce. This examination of learner characteristics and utilization trends provides indications of topics deemed valuable by members of the public health workforce who engage in continuing education and training opportunities.