Pub. date: 2008 | Online Pub. Date: November 27, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412953948 | Print ISBN: 9781412928168 | Online ISBN: 9781412953948| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Public Health Nursing
James A. Fain
Public health nursing is a specialty within nursing whose primary focus is on the health care of communities and populations rather than individuals, families, or groups. The goal of public health nursing is to prevent disease and preserve, promote, and protect health for the community, a focus that allies it closely with the concerns of epidemiology and public health in general. This entry reviews the history of public health nursing and describes the varied settings and functions of work by public health nurses. The primary emphasis in public health nursing is on populations that live in the community, as opposed to individuals or families. In public health nursing, problems are defined (assessments/diagnoses) and solutions (interventions) implemented for or within a defined population or subpopulation as opposed to diagnoses, interventions, and treatments carried out at the individual level. In contrast, community-based nursing is setting specific, whereby care is provided for ‘sick’ ...