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 Quad Council 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) Public Health Nursing Scope and Standards of Practice, 2nd Edition (2010)

May be purchased at:

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

Linking Education and Practice for Excellence in Public Health Essential Services

Section 4. 250.03(1)(L) (PDF) of the Wisconsin Statutes incorporates the Essential Services, P-00187-app-b (PDF) into public health planning, services, and functions.

The 10 Essential Public Health Services describe the public health activities that should be undertaken in all communities. The Core Public Health Functions Steering Committee developed the framework for the Essential Services in 1994. This steering committee included representatives from U.S. Public Health Service agencies and other major public health organizations. The Essential Services provide a working definition of public health and a guiding framework for the responsibilities of local public health systems. The ten nationally recognized Essential Services and their definitions are:

  1. Monitor health status to identify community health problems.
  2. Identify, investigate, control, and prevent health problems and environmental health hazards in the community.
  3. Educate the public about current and emerging health issues.
  4. Promote community partnerships to identify and solve health problems.
  5. Create policies and plans that support individual and community health efforts.
  6. Enforce laws and regulations that protect health and insure safety.
  7. Link people to needed health services.
  8. Assure a diverse, adequate, and competent workforce to support the public health system.
  9. Evaluate effectiveness, accessibility and quality of personal and population-based health services.
  10. Conduct research to seek new insights and innovative solutions to health problems.

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.

If you have any questions, email Jamie LaBrasca at the Northern Regional Office.

Last Revised: January 15, 2019