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PURPOSE

To evaluate selected nursing diagnoses and interventions for their capacity to accurately document public health field nursing (PHFN) practice; to describe the most common nursing diagnoses and interventions used by public health nurses.

METHODS

A retrospective review of family charts was conducted to analyze the use of nursing diagnoses and interventions.

FINDINGS

The frequency pattern of nursing diagnoses and nursing interventions used in care plans is consistent with the scope of public health nursing practice, whose emphasis is on health promotion and disease prevention.

DISCUSSION

These commonly used diagnoses and interventions provide evidence of a core set of interventions useful for practice in public health. In addition, linking the NANDA diagnoses and the NIC interventions revealed that public health nurses have an inventory of frequently used interventions that crosses visit type and nursing diagnoses.

CONCLUSIONS

Identifying the use rate of particular diagnoses and interventions will help determine which diagnoses and interventions should be included in the PHFN electronic medical record. Also, linking diagnoses and interventions will allow PHFN to build a body of knowledge based on actual patient care and, ultimately, to assist public health nurses to make better clinical decisions.