Thought this was important: State Health Department Launches Initiative To Enhance The Roles Of Public Health Nursing In Connecticut

The Connecticut Department of Public Health (DPH) today announced an initiative to enhance the roles of public health nursing in Connecticut by increasing the availability of continuing education opportunities and launching a resource website dedicated to public health nurses.

"Public health nurses are a vital professional component of the public health workforce", stated DPH Deputy Commissioner Norma Gyle, R.N., Ph.D. "Nurses providing services in Connecticut's public health departments work with individuals, families, communities, and systems to promote health and prevent disease."

The initiative was announced today at the Public Health Nursing 2010: Portals to Excellence in Practice conference, held at Department of Veterans Affairs' in Rocky Hill. The conference was sponsored by the Department of Public Health and the Connecticut Association of Public Health Nurses. The conference focused on enhancing the roles of public health nursing in Connecticut by providing tools, identifying best practice models and demonstrating the broad scope of programs/activities public health nurses are involved and influence.

Public health nursing is the practice of promoting and protecting the health of populations using knowledge from nursing, social, and public health sciences. The title "public health nurse" (PHN) designates a registered nurse with educational preparation in both public health or related discipline, and nursing.

"Supporting nurses working in public health is essential in this time of increased demands for public health related services at the state and local levels, responding to re-emerging infections, increased need for services for chronic diseases and management, and emergency response capacity and readiness," stated Dr. Gyle.

The DPH partnership with the Connecticut Association of Public Health Nurses will help to coordinate a continuation of educational venues, like the conference, for public health nurses. The DPH also introduced a new virtual Office of Public Health Nurses (VOPHN) webpage as a resource tool for public health nurses. In 2007 the DPH developed and launched the VOPHN to address the uniqueness of the public health nursing profession, the range of issues affecting it here in Connecticut, and to address national and state efforts to enhance the public health nursing workforce.

As the largest component of the public health workforce, public health nurses are a critical resource in the effort to improve the public's health. The United States is currently, and projected to continue into the future, experiencing a severe nursing shortage.

"Through all of our agency and partnership efforts, we hope to continue expanding our knowledge and understanding of the critical role nurses play in delivering public health services, what resource tools for them are needed, and ultimately strengthen the nursing capacity of Connecticut's public health systems," stated Dr. Gyle.

To learn more about public health nursing or to access the </I>VOPHN resource website</I> visit the DPH web site at and click "Programs and Services" then click the "Public Health Nursing, Virtual Office of" program link, or call 509- 7660.

The Connecticut Department of Public Health is the state's leader in public health policy and advocacy with a mission to protect and promote the health and safety of the people of our state.

The Connecticut Association of Public Health Nurses is a non-profit organization whose purpose is to enhance health and wellness of all individuals and communities through public health nursing practice. To contact the association, please visit its website at