This website is for all public health nurses in North Carolina

It is our hope that this website will become your first place to go for any information on public health nursing and that it will provide “one-stop shopping” for that information experience. We would love to have your feedback on what is helpful, not helpful and/or missing so that the site will achieve those goals. Happy surfing!……

Phyllis Rocco, RN, BSN, MPH
Head, Public Health Nursing
Division of Public Health
North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services

Public Health Nursing: is the practice of promoting and protecting the health of populations using knowledge from nursing, social and public health sciences (APHA, Public Health Nursing Section, 1996.)


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Public health nursing is unique within the discipline of nursing because of its adherence to all of the following principles:

  1. The client or “unit of care” is the population.
  2. The primary obligation is to achieve the greatest good for the greatest number of people or the population as a whole.
  3. The processes used by public health nurses including working with the client(s) as an equal partner.
  4. Primary prevention is the priority in selecting appropriate activities.
  5. The focus is on selecting strategies that create healthy environmental, social and economic conditions in which populations may thrive.
  6. There is an obligation to actively identify and reach out to all who might benefit from a specific activity or service.
  7. Optimal use of available resources to assure the best overall improvement in the health of the populations is a key element of the practice.
  8. Collaboration with a variety of other professions, populations, organizations and other stakeholder groups is the most effective way to promote and protect the health of the people.