Nursing For The Public’s Health: A Profile of Public Health Nurses in Five California Counties


Janet Miller, Kevin Grumbach, Elizabeth Mertz

December 1, 2002

Public health nurses (PHNs) make up the largest group of public health workers and are important health care providers for a variety of underserved populations, yet data about PHN demographics and practice are limited. This report provides data on the demographics of the PHN workforce in five counties in California; the educational preparation of the PHN workforce; the job market and employment issues for the PHN workforce; and the scope of PHN practice. Although the study was limited to five counties, these counties span a wide range of geographic areas in the state and are representative of the types of PHN systems in many California counties. Information about the PHN workforce in California can be useful for projecting future trends, shaping nursing education, and guiding public health practice.