Perceptions of public health nursing: views from the field


Dr. L Reutter Faculty of Nursing 3rd floor, Clinical Sciences Building, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada T6G 2G3 e-mail lreutter@ua-nursingualberta ca


While there has been considerable debate about future roles for public health nurses, there is little research that explores public health nursing from the practitioner's perspective The findings reported in this paper are part of a larger study that explored public health nurses' perspectives and experiences of their practice what they do and how they feel about what they do Qualitative data were gathered through in-depth individual and focus group interviews with 28 female public health nurses (PHNs) in Alberta, Canada This paper describes how PHNs feel about their work The analysis revealed that public health nurses perceived that their work was valuable and worthwhile, enjoyable, demanding, and not well understood by others These perceptions are discussed in terms of their implications for the future role of public health nursing in a reformed health care system and for the quality of nursing work-life