Promotes community health maintenance through health assessment, education and counseling in the detection, prevention and control of disease.
This class is the fully qualified professional level in the Public Health Nursing series. This class is characterized by the responsibility to work with individuals and/or families in an assigned geographic area within the County and/or in clinics operated by the Health and Social Services Department or in Foster Care services. Clients typically have limited knowledge of health principles, nutrition, disease process, appropriate care or available resources. Incumbents work in the community making home visits, as well as conducting specialty clinics and health education activities. This class is distinguished from Public Health Nurse (Senior) in that the latter has responsibility to lead a work group in the delivery of services in an assigned health program, and typically perform special assignments requiring more sophisticated health assessment and evaluation techniques.
Supervision Received and Exercised
Receives general direction from the Public Health Nurse (Supervising) and/or other Supervisor/ Program Manager.
May provide technical and functional supervision of lower level nursing staff, support staff or volunteers.
Examples of Duties
Performs epidemiological investigations, health assessment, education and counseling for the detection, prevention and control of disease and health threats to promote community health maintenance.
Educates and counsels the client and their family in health maintenance, promotion and disease prevention, to enhance the individuals’ abilities to recognize need for and to seek treatment to meet health care and general social needs; acts as a patient advocate to ensure that nursing services meet community and individual needs.
Assesses the physical, psycho-social and health care status and needs of families, individual clients, or children in foster care; interviews individuals and/or family, collecting a health history and data regarding current health status and life situations; obtains and reviews medical records and health histories to identify medical conditions; observes client and client-family interaction in the home; develops plan of care; detects cases of physical and/or emotional illness; participates in epidemiological studies by conducting community investigations.
Confers with other health professionals to coordinate client care and assist in improving client’s health; participates in policy development; refers clients and/or families to appropriate community or public agencies to obtain services or assistance to improve or maintain social functioning and health; refers clients to physicians if medical intervention is indicated.
Collaborates with community, county, state and out-of-state programs in the development of health-based systems and resources for the target population.
Manages an assigned caseload, including needs assessment, care coordination and service authorization; provides nursing consultations and recommendations to ensure that medical needs are met; interprets and explains program guidelines to beneficiaries, service providers and community agencies; maintains cases according to program requirements; records data on patients and completes state forms, nursing daily reports and provides written referrals to other agencies; plans and organizes caseload to ensure that work is completed within professional practice and ensures caseload is covered during short periods of absence; acts as client advocate with health care providers.
Participates in public health clinics by conducting health screening and assessment; screens, recommends, and administers vaccines and tuberculosis tests and provides venipuncture testing; trains staff in collection of specimens; interviews and counsels patients; may participate in clinic management.
May be assigned to work within or lead an area of specialization (e.g., geriatric or maternal health) or target population; may be responsible for coordination of small public health programs and/or clinics which may involve the functional supervision of support staff or volunteers; may participate in procedural development/review activities or in-service training coordination; may provide training to County staff and outside agencies on health related topics.
Maintains professional knowledge in applicable areas and keeps abreast of changes in job-related rules, statutes, laws and trends and of new technology and products applicable to the area of specialization; participates in disaster preparedness for control of communicable diseases; makes recommendations for the implementation of changes; reads and interprets professional literature; attends training programs, workshops and seminars as appropriate.
Knowledge, Skills & Abilities
Principles and practices of general clinical and public health nursing, including community aspects of nursing programs and provisions for continuity in patient care.
Working knowledge of physiology, pathophysiology, and pharmacology.
Standardized screening tools and processes.
Health education techniques.
Laws and regulations governing public health.
Causes and means of transmission and methods of control for communicable diseases, including tuberculosis, HIV/sexually transmitted disease, and biological and environmental threats; substance abuse detection practices.
Pediatrics including child growth and development.
Procedures involved in promoting maternal and child health.
Child abuse and neglect detection practices.
Gerontology and the sociological aspects of aging.
Environmental, sociological and psychological problems encountered in disease processes.
Contemporary health management principles.
Current trends in public health nursing.
Work of other social and health agencies, as well as functions of other professions related to public health nursing.
Sociological and emotional problems involved in care of those with special needs and medical conditions.
Principles of mental health; use and effects of medicines.
Principles of nutrition and personal hygiene practices.
Cultural differences affecting health care service delivery and public health.
Effective counseling and coaching techniques.
Principles of clinical health screening including charting histories and system reviews.
Operate office equipment including a personal computer, copy and fax machines and printers.
Utilize various medical tools and medical equipment following specific guidelines and protocol.
Drive a motor vehicle. Ability to:
Make home visits in assigned geographic areas; provide transportation services as needed.
Communicate clearly and concisely, both orally and in writing; deal firmly and fairly with clients of various socio-economic backgrounds and temperaments.
Exercise independent judgment.
Plan, organize and carry out public health nursing activities in a local area.
Establish, maintain, and foster positive and harmonious working relationships with those contacted in the course of work; work effectively with individuals and families to assist them in satisfactory solution of health problems.
Perform an assessment of health status determining the need for and level of nursing and/or medical care.
Identify problems and develop a plan for follow-up.
Effectively communicate verbally and in writing; demonstrate tact, diplomacy and compassion.
Prepare clear and concise reports; maintain accurate records and document actions taken.
Work with groups; conduct classes on health and wellness in the community.
Direct work of technical staff.
Provide transportation services, as needed.
Determine the appropriate course of action in emergency or stressful situations.
Identify and report child and adult abuse and neglect, and domestic violence.
Refer clients to social service agencies and health care providers; act as patient advocate.
Collect and analyze data to draw logical conclusions and make appropriate recommendations.
Interview and counsel clients on health and related matters.
Maintain confidentiality of information.
Education and Experience
A Bachelor’s degree is required in Nursing from a nursing school accredited by the National League for Nursing or equivalent.
One year of public health and clinical nursing experience.
Possession of a valid Registered Nurse license issued by the California State Board of
Registered Nursing and certification in Public Health Nursing.
Possession of a current CPR certificate.
Possession of, or ability to obtain, a valid Class C California driver’s license maybe required.
Physical Ability: Tasks require the ability to exert moderate, though not constant physical effort, typically involving some combination of climbing and balancing, stooping, kneeling, crouching, and crawling, and which may involve some lifting, carrying, pushing and/or pulling of objects and materials of moderate weight (12-20 pounds). Sensory Requirements: Requires the ability to recognize and identify similarities and differences between shade, degree or value of colors, shapes, sounds, forms, textures or physical appearance associated with job-related objects, materials, tasks or people. Environmental Factors: Requires the ability to work under conditions where exposure to environmental factors poses a moderate risk of moderate injury or illness.
Positions allocated to this class may require specialization in target populations, programs and/or bilingual skills. Independent travel is required. Incumbents must be able to work in an environment that may include exposure to communicable disease. Candidates for employment must as a condition of employment sign a statement agreeing to comply with Section 11166 of the California Penal Code relating to child abuse reporting.