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Public Health Nursing Practice Manual

The revised PHN Standards of Practice, as outlined in the Public Health Nursing: Scope and S t a n d a r d s o f P r a c t i c e , ( 2 0 0 7 r e v i s i o n ) 6 i n c l u d e s t h e f o l l o w i n g c o m p o n e n t s : 1. Assessment 2. Population diagnosis and priorities 3. Outcome Identification 4. Planning 5. Implementation 6. Evaluation

The six Standards of Practice describe a competent level of public health nursing care as demonstrated by the critical thinking model known as the nursing process.

Population-based Practice

The model depicts three interwoven circles that show the three levels of population-based practice: individual and family, community and systems. The circles are nested within the overall label of population-based practice, which applies at all points of the nursing process described in the PHN Standards. Consideration must be given to all three levels of practice at each step in the nursing process.

The Ten Essential Public Health Services

The American Public Health Association3, in partnership with other public health associations, has described the fundamental public health services in language the general public can understand. Using the three Public Health Core Functions of assessment, assurance, and policy development as a starting point, the ten Essential Public Health Services were defined (see page A8). These essential services are easily incorporated into the nursing process as described by the PHN Standards, demonstrating that the PHN Practice Model is consistent with nationally accepted practice for all public health workers. This is an important consideration for a model that has to be viable within an interdisciplinary public health team environment.

Health Indicators

PHN resources are often scarce and need to be directed thoughtfully in order to achieve public health improvement objectives. The consideration of health indicators assists in this process at the assessment and diagnosis steps of the nursing process. In deciding what indicators to choose, the public health team can be guided by work that has been done at the national level to identify the most important indicators for health improvement of the population.

Healthy People 20104 is the national agenda on health promotion and prevention of disease, disability, and premature death. The health objectives described in this agenda are designed to identify the most significant threats to health and to establish national goals to reduce these threats. Work continues to build on goals set forth in 1979 through national health objectives established by the Surgeon General’s report, Healthy People. These objectives, and those set forth in Healthy People 2000, can serve as a guide for the development of health plans for states and for local communities.

The two overarching goals of Healthy People 2010 are to increase quality and years of healthy life, and to eliminate health disparities. The ten leading health indicators represent the major public health concerns in the United States. They were chosen,

“Based on their ability to motivate action, the availability of data to measure progress, and their

© 2007 LAC DPH - Public Health Nursing


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