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Public Health Nursing Resources

Cornerstones of Public Health Nursing

Public health nursing practice:

  • Focuses on the entire population.
  • Reflects community priorities and needs.
  • Establishes caring relationships with communities, families, individuals and systems.
  • Is grounded in social justice, compassion, sensitivity to diversity, and respect for the worth of all people, especially the vulnerable.
  • Encompasses mental, physical, emotional, social, spiritual, and environmental aspects of health.
  • Promotes health though strategies driven by epidemiological evidence.
  • Collaborates with community resources to achieve these strategies, but can and will work alone if necessary.
  • Derives its authority for independent action from the Nurse Practice Act (PDF).

Source: Minnesota Department of Health, Center for Public Health Nursing, Office of Public Health Practice, Community Health Division, 2004.

Quad Council of Public Health Nursing Organizations

The The Council of Public Health Nursing Organizations (CPHNO – formerly the Quad Council Coalition of Public Health Nursing Organizations) is a partnership of four public health nursing organizations: the Public Health Nursing Section of the American Public Health Association; the Council on Nursing, the Primary Care Nursing and Long-Term Care section of the American Nurses Association; the Association of Community Health Nurse Educators; and the Association of State and Territorial Directors of Nursing. Recent council activities have focused largely on the effects of changes in the health care delivery system and the resulting impact on nursing education.

Public Health Nursing Competencies (PDF)

Core Public Health Functions, P-00187-app-b (PDF) from Healthiest Wisconsin 2020, Appendix B: Key Elements of Wisconsin’s Public Health System

Public Health Nursing Scope and Standards of Practice, 2nd Edition (2010) – May be purchased on line.

The work of Wisconsin's public health system is described as three core functions that are defined in Wis. Stat. ch. 250 (PDF) and Wis. Stat. ch. 251 (PDF). The three core functions are Assessment, Policy Development, and Assurance.

Linking Education and Practice for Excellence in Public Health Essential Services

Wisconsin Stat. § 4. 250.03(1)(L) (PDF) of the Wisconsin Statutes incorporates the Essential Services.

Essential Public Health Services (Revised, 2020)
The 10 Essential Public Health Services provide a framework for public health to protect and promote the health of all people in all communities.

To achieve equity, the Essential Public Health Services actively promote policies, systems, and overall community conditions that enable optimal health for all and seek to remove systemic and structural barriers that have resulted in health inequities. Such barriers include poverty, racism, gender discrimination, ableism, and other forms of oppression. Everyone should have a fair and just opportunity to achieve optimal health and well-being.

The Essential Services provide a working definition of public health and a guiding framework for the responsibilities of local public health systems. The 10 nationally recognized Essential Services and their definitions are:

  1. Assess and monitor population health status, factors that influence health, and community needs and assets
  2. Investigate, diagnose, and address health problems and hazards affecting the population
  3. Communicate effectively to inform and educate people about health, factors that influence it, and how to improve it
  4. Strengthen, support, and mobilize communities and partnerships to improve health
  5. Create, champion, and implement policies, plans, and laws that impact health
  6. Utilize legal and regulatory actions designed to improve and protect the public’s health
  7. Assure an effective system that enables equitable access to the individual services and care needed to be healthy
  8. Build and support a diverse and skilled public health workforce
  9. Build and maintain a strong organizational infrastructure for public health

Public Health Accreditation

  • Wisconsin local health departments, tribal health departments and the Wisconsin Division of Public Health are becoming aware of and preparing for Public Health Accreditation in Wisconsin.
  • Accreditation is a voluntary program that measures the degree to which a health department meets nationally recognized standards and measures.

For more information, please contact your Regional Public Health Nurse Consultant.

Last revised September 21, 2021