Public health and nursing: A natural partnership

Christine Savage, Joan Kub

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


The health of individuals occurs within the context of their environment and the other individuals they interact with in the communities they live in, work in and visit. Promoting the health of the public requires multiple strategies aimed at improving the environment, the health knowledge of groups and individuals, maintaining adequate food and water, and reducing the spread of disease. Many disciplines are needed to meet these goals, but the largest segment of the professional health work force required to meet these needs is nursing. Historically, nursing leaders in public health such as Florence Nightingale and Lillian Wald made significant inroads related to serious health issues because they were nurses. Today across the globe, nurses provide the key components of public health interventions including well baby care, health education, screening and immunization clinics, disaster management and emergency preparedness. With the growing nursing shortage in acute care settings, the brain drain of nurses from certain areas of the world, the shrinking public dollars for preventive health care, the nursing workforce needed to continue to provide these essential health care services is threatened. It is essential to put the spot light on nursing's role in public health with the hopes of attracting more public funds and more nurses to provide these essential services.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2843-2848
Number of pages6
JournalInternational journal of environmental research and public health
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Health care workforce
  • Nursing
  • Public health

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pollution
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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