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Public Health Nursing Position Descriptions Congruence with ANA Standards, Public Health Essential Services, and Quad Council Domains




To map position descriptions (PDs) for staff public health (PH) nurses to two national frameworks for PH nursing and one framework for PH.

Design and Sample

This descriptive study included PDs (N = 161) from 66 Ohio local health departments.


Statements in each PD were analyzed for congruence with the twenty 2007 American Nurses Association Public Health Nursing Standards/Substandards (ANA Standards), the 10 Essential Services of Public Health (ES), and the eight 2003 Quad Council Public Health Nursing Skills Domains (QC domains). Health department and PD characteristics also were obtained.


PDs addressed an average of 6.1 of the 20 ANA Standards, 4 of the 10 ES, and 1.9 of the 10 QC domains. The most commonly addressed ANA Standards, ES, and QC domains focused on assessment, linkages, health education, and regulation enforcement. About 78% of the PDs included task statements that did not correspond to any of the professional frameworks.


Findings from this study demonstrate a lack of congruence between the organizational and the disciplinary expectations for PH nurses. Given the increasing focus on PH department accreditation, performance management, and workforce development, PH nursing must address this incongruence to strengthen the profession and the public's health.

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