I liked your post and how you mentioned the history of public health. Public health nursing is a very interesting and diverse specialty of nursing. As nurses we are so fortunate to have such a variety of directions to practice, that it what makes it such a wonderful field, it is also very rewarding. In nursing if you find the area that you are interested and engaged in chances are you will love your job!
According to the American Public Health Association (APHA) (2020) in 1920 the Public Health Nurse (PHN) was established. In 1922 they held their first meeting with 175 PHN. The focus was training and education PHN to have a skilled workforce. In 1988 the PHN chair person started an assembly with the advisers of four organizations, the American Nurses Association, the Association of Community health and Nurse Educators, the Association of Public Health Nurses and the PHN Section/ APHA. In 1989 this together created the Quad Council Coalition of Public Health, which today includes the National Association of School Nurses.
PHN have a goal of responding to the needs of the vulnerable population and current social issues, that is why I admire public health and the great work they do.
Public health nursing is the act of promoting and protecting the health of the community rather than an individual person by emphasizing prevention. Public health nursing roles originated in the late 1800s focusing on environmental conditions such as sanitation, control of communicable diseases, education for health, prevention of disease and disability, and care of aged and sick persons in their homes (Lancaster, 2016). The emphasis on prevention versus cure is a concept that is still very relevant in practice today. Nurses can learn from mistakes made in the past and use this information to guide public health nursing today (Lancaster, 2016).
Some significant milestones occurred in the history of public health nursing which made it what it is today. In 1860, Florence Nightingale established training schools or nurses. In 1872, the American Public Health Association was established. In 1881, Clara Barton and her acquaintances founded the American Red Cross. In 1885, the Visiting Nurses Association was established. In 1903, the First Nurse Practice Act was passed. In 1912, the National Organization for Public Health Nursing was formed. In 1946, nurses were classified as professionals. In 2010, President Barack Obama signed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Lancaster, 2016).
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