The Roles of Public Health Nurses

The roles played by public health nurses

There are nine essential elements of public health nursing; this paper will focus only on two of them, namely, prevention and control of epidemics and promotion of health lifestyles. The key task is to identify and describe the main roles and activities which a nurse must perform.

In order to avert the spread of contagious diseases, public health nurses have to perform a wide range of activities; they need to educate the community about the dangers of the disease and, most importantly, explain the ways of containing an epidemic (Stanhope and Lancaster, 2008, p 1107). Their main duty is to make sure that isolation measures are taken on time.

Secondly, these health care professionals are responsible for implementing regulatory measures and ensuring that others people follow the guidelines of Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Finally, public health nurses carry out immunization of the population against infective diseases.

It is also important to remember that nurses have to cooperate with various governmental organizations and local jurisdictions; they main duty is to help local jurisdictions work out disaster plans and develop regulatory guidelines (Stanhope and Lancaster, 2008, p 1107). These are the main roles that are related to the prevention of epidemics.

In turn, the promotion of healthy lifestyles consists of rather similar roles. A public health nurses acts mostly as an educator. First of all, this person has to inform individuals as well as their families as to how they can change their habits in order to become healthier. These medical workers provide counseling to various groups such as school boards and parent-teacher associations in order to make sure that the students are not exposed to any health risks, for example, inappropriate diet (Stanhope and Lancaster, 2008, p 1111).

The main duty is to be a reliable source of information for individuals and organizations. Again, one should bear in mind that these professionals work closely with local jurisdiction, especially if we are speaking about the development and assessment of educational programs, public campaigns, and training sessions (Stanhope and Lancaster, 2008, p 1111). On the whole, the main role of public health nurse is to ensure that every member of the community is able and willing to pursue a health lifestyle.

National nursing organization

The nation nursing organization that will be discussed is American Nurses Association (ANA). Its major task is to set the standards of that a nurses need to meet. Secondly, this organization aims to defend and promote the rights of these professionals in the workplace (ANA, 2011, p 8). The mission of this organization is formulated in the following way, “to improve advance nursing profession to improve health for all” (ANA, 2011, p 8).

In turn, the vision of ANA is to be a leading agency that promotes the adoption of the best nursing practices and provides nurses with opportunities for professional growth. As far as the platform of ANA is concerned, one should first speak about the key values of this agency; they are as follows: professional excellence, unity of nurses, evidence-based research, and strict compliance with the code of ethics (ANA, 2011, p 9). These are the main pillars on which their platform is based.

It should be noted that not everyone is eligible for the membership in this organization. Only registered nurses who are allowed to practice in the United States can join ANA. Yet, there are no specific requirements for the degree that an applicant ought to have. The dues that have to be paid depend on a specific type of membership and state; they can range from $45 to 180$ per year (ANA. 2011, unpaged).

Reference List

American Nurses Association (2011). “2010 Annual Report”. Web.

American Nurses Association (2011). The Official Website. Web.

Stanhope, M. & Lancaster J. (2008). Community and Public Health Nursing (7th ed). St.Louis: Mosby, Inc.