Public Health Nurse

What Does the Public Health Nurse Do?

The American Public Health Association defines public health nursing as ‘the practice of promoting and protecting the health of populations using knowledge from nursing, social, and public health sciences". Public health nurses are also known as a community health nurse within the community.  Public health nurses asses the a community and implement ways through which these concerns can be evaluated. 

Roles and responsibilities for public health nurses may include:

  • Design and implement educational campaigns for community members about how to prevent diseases
  • Help to lead communities during times of crisis such as widespread addiction or disease outbreaks
  • Recognize and intervene in cases of violence or abuse
  • Monitor trends and identify risk factors that affect specific communities
  • Provide screening tests for specific populations
  • Administer medication
  • Assess physical, nutritional, psychosocial, and mental health needs of individuals within a population
  • Collect data and identify patterns and trends in disease outbreaks
  • Advocate for federal, state, and local authorities to improve overall access to health services for underserved communities
  • Provide immunizations to children and adults of the community who couldn't afford them otherwise
  • Motivate members of the community to adopt healthy lifestyles
  • Act as a community role model and provide leadership
  • Educate and treat infectious disease which include STIs
  • Educate high-risk populations such as sex workers and drug addicts on methods of disease prevention and healthy behavior
  • Educate community members on the kinds of healthcare options that are available in their area
  • Respond to and execute interventions during community-wide emergencies and natural disasters

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