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Public Health Nursing Practice Manual

Public Health Nursing Practice Model

Introduction

A PHN model was developed to describe the building blocks of PHN practice and to delineate their relationship to each other. The model communicates the foundation of the practice to those within the discipline and also to public health colleagues from other disciplines. This narrative serves as an accompanying text to the diagram, elaborating on the components of the model.

Assumptions of Population-Based Practice and the Tenets of Public Health

The Public Health Nursing Practice Model is built upon the assumption that public health nursing practice is population-based. Practice is population-based if it meets the following criteria, which are a blend of tenets developed by the Quad Council of Public Health Nursing Organizations1 and Minnesota Department of Health, PHN Section2:

  • Focuses on entire populations possessing similar health concerns or characteristics.

  • Relies upon an assessment of population health status.

  • Considers the broad determinants of health.

  • Considers all levels of prevention, with a preference for primary prevention.

    • i.

      Primary Prevention: promoting health, protecting against health threats to the community, and keeping problems from occurring in the first place.

    • ii.

      Secondary Prevention: detecting and treating problems in their early stages. It keeps problems from causing serious or long-term effects or from affecting others.

iii

.

Tertiary Prevention: preventing existing problems from getting worse.

Considers all levels of practice.

i.

Individual/Family Focused Practice: changes knowledge, attitude, beliefs, values, practices, and behaviors of individuals, alone or as part of a family or group.

  • ii.

    Community-Focused Practice: changes community norms, attitudes, awareness, practices, and behaviors of the population.

  • iii.

    Systems-Focused Practice: changes organizations, policies, laws, and power structures of the systems that affect health.

  • Reaches out to all who might benefit, not focusing on just those who present themselves.

  • Demonstrates a dominant concern for the greater good of all the people. The interest of the whole take priority over the best interest of the individual or group.

  • Creates healthy environmental, social, and economic conditions in which people can thrive.

  • Supports resource allocation to achieve maximum population health gain. Resources are allocated so that they will do the most good to the greatest number of people.

  • Collaborates with members of other professions/organizations.

These tenets permeate all aspects of the Public Health Nursing Practice Model to assure that nursing practice is grounded in a population-based perspective.

Interplay of the Key Components The PHN Practice Model is a melding of nationally recognized components: The Standards of

© 2007 LAC DPH - Public Health Nursing

A2

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