Center for Adolescent Nursing Overview

three teenagers

Our Center supports both graduate education (including PhD studies with an emphasis in adolescent health) and continuing education (including in-person and distance learning options) that integrate knowledge and skills in leadership, research, and public health practice to expand capacity for addressing the health needs of young people.

About Our Center

Our Mission

Improve the health and well-being of young people by educating nurses and other health professionals to respond to the unique and emerging health needs of young people in families, schools, and communities.

Through graduate-level courses, intensive learning institutes, and workshops, we provide educational options in adolescent health and leadership for those in practice across all health disciplines.

Our Vision

Addressing the health needs of young people

Serving as a national hub for health professionals specializing in adolescent health, we:

  • teach graduate-level seminars and courses
  • disseminate educational resources
  • offer continuing education
  • provide technical assistance/consultation to our maternal and child health (MCH) partners.

Our areas of excellence

  • Addressing social determinants of health among young people
  • Healthy eating, physical activity, and obesity prevention
  • Innovative health promotion services for youth and families
  • Promoting healthy development among vulnerable groups of young people
  • Preventing risky health behaviors including substance use, sexual risk behaviors, and violence

Overarching Strategic Goals

  • Offer graduate education in adolescent health. Educational offerings use a resilience paradigm within an ecological model to understand influences on adolescents' health. Leadership, training, and practice is organized within the four domains for Competencies for Education in Maternal and Child Health (MCH):
  1. Scientific knowledge
  2. Management and communication skills
  3. Policy and advocacy skills
  4. Methodological and analytical skills
  • Support continuing education in adolescent health for state, regional, national, and international MCH professionals through intensive learning institutes for on-site and distant learners.
  • Disseminate educational resources, including evidence-based practices and curricular models for graduate and post-graduate education in adolescent health.
  • Provide technical assistance and consultation to MCH and CDC partners in the state, region, and U.S.


  • Center for Adolescent Nursing, Maternal Child Health Bureau (MCHB), Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), 1993-2013
  • Adolescent Health Protection Research Training, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), 2004-2011
  • Minnesota Knowledge to Practice in Adolescent Health, Maternal and Child Health Federal Consolidation Programs (MCH), Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), 2013-2016