Public Health Nurses
Public Health Nurses (PHNs) are Registered Nurses who have a Bachelor of Science
degree in Nursing and a Public Health Nurse Certificate issued by the state of California.
Many of our PHNs also have a master’s degree in Nursing or Public Health, as well
as other specialties.
Public Health Nursing promotes the well-being of the community and seeks to promote
health and prevent disease, disability and premature death. PHNs strive to improve
the quality of neighborhood life by working in partnership with community residents
and partners to create the conditions that ensure healthy lifestyles. The PHN may
focus on a specific geographical area or on a special needs population.
Ask the Nurse
Public Health Nurses can be found at various community sites and at other places
where large numbers of people gather. The nurses work with community agencies to
ensure families and individuals receive services they need through
on-site and telephone consultation. The nurses involve other disciplines, such as,
health education, nutrition or environmental health specialists when needed.
PHNs work closely with other members of the Public Health Team to address community
concerns that affect the health and quality of life of residents in their neighborhoods;
building on existing community strengths and assets. PHNs seek to reduce health
problems or increase neighborhood resiliency and capacity by promoting changes in
community norms, attitudes, awareness, beliefs, practices, and behavior. Whenever
possible, PHNs assist the community to bring its concerns to policy makers and organizations
in order to achieve long term improvement in community health.