Organizing public health nursing for the 1990s: generalist or specialist.
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Since the 1930s, Public Health Nurses (PHNs) have been deployed in most health units in Canada to provide community-based care for all people living in defined geographical areas. PHNs have provided nursing services for all ages and stages for a variety of health and illness states. A literature review and a systematic analysis of the internal and external factors affecting Public Health Nursing practice in this community led to a recommendation to assign nurses to specific target populations (e.g. parent-child, school, adolescent, adult, seniors) instead of assigning responsibility for all health problems in a geographic location. We describe the processes of assessment, analysis, planning and implementation of the change from geographic assignment to target population assignment for Public Health Nurses.
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