Abstract Customary public health nursing (PHN) field services such as telephone contacts and home visits to motivate clients to positive health behaviors have not been examined adequately as to outcome. This experimental study investigated the effect of PHN intervention in a preventive child health program. Eight PHNs applied the independent variable (telephone call or home visit) to the experimental group employing a checklist. Using a matched pair design, cases and controls were tracked for receipt of health assessments (dependent variable). The data suggest that the PHN service significantly increased the number of health assessments received in this population of low-income children.