The Nurse's First Visit


Correspondence to:

Marilyn Givens King, DNSc, RN, Associate Director, Graduate Nursing Programs, Kennesaw State University, WellStar School of Nursing, 1000 Chastain Road, MD # 4102, Kennesaw, GA 30144-5591. E-mail:


Home visiting was an important component of the Public Health Nurse's (PHN) role in the early twentieth century. In this reprint, originally published in 1918 and reprinted in 1926, Edna Foley discusses the significance of the first visit the PHN makes to a family. Critical themes in the paper include the importance of first impressions, communication and observation skills, obtaining the statistical data needed by the agency and collaboration with other community social service agencies. Many of the themes and strategies discussed by Foley are cogent to PHNs and visiting nurses in the contemporary health care arena.