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Despite similarities between the goals of primary health care and public health nursing, several obstacles stand in the way of public health nursing's ability to perform its role in achieving an acceptable level of health for all by the year 2000. The purpose of this paper is to describe the essential components of primary health care and public health nursing, discuss obstacles in the way of public health nursing fulfilling its primary health care role, and to pose solutions at the levels of education, practice, and research for overcoming these obstacles.