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Public Health Nurse

Salary: $30.00-$36.62 hourly / $5,217-$6,369 monthly / Range: 6152

DEFINITION: Under general direction, promotes community health through detection, prevention, and control of disease; provides assessment, education, and counseling in the care and prevention of illness and injury and in wellness promotion; performs related duties as required.

DISTINGUISHING CHARACTERISTICS: This class is characterized by the responsibility to work with individuals and/or families in an assigned geographic area within the County, categorical program, or clinic operated by the Health Care Services Department. Duties involve the full scope of public health nursing activity at the fully qualified professional level. 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 the higher level of Public Health Nurse, Supervising, in that the latter is responsible for supervising the public health nursing services of an assigned program or clinic.


1. Educates and counsels clients and their families in health maintenance and promotion and disease prevention in order to enhance the individual's ability to recognize the need for and to seek treatment to meet health care and general social needs; and demonstrates nursing techniques for home care of the ill or injured.
2. Assesses the physical, psycho-social and health care status and needs of families and/or individual clients; interviews client and/or family, collecting a health history and data regarding current health status and life situations; observes client and client-family interaction in the home; develops plan of care; detects cases of physical and/or emotional illness; and participates in epidemiological studies and communicable disease control by conducting community investigations.
3. Coordinates client care with other health professionals to improve client's health; refers clients and/or families to appropriate community or public agencies to obtain services or assistance to improve or maintain social functioning and health; and refers clients to physicians when medical intervention is indicated.
4. Manages a caseload of clients requiring prioritization of patient care; records patient data; completes state forms and nursing daily reports; provides written referrals to other agencies; plans and organizes caseload to ensure that service is delivered according to program and professional guidelines; ensures caseload is covered during short periods of absence; and acts as client advocate with health care providers.
5. Coordinates and participates in public health clinics or outreach programs targeting specific populations or in response to epidemic outbreaks; interviews and counsels patients; conducts health screenings and assessments; directs the daily work activities of support staff and volunteers; and provides health education presentations to schools and other community groups.
6. Coordinates health and related services in categorical programs; determines eligibility according to program guidelines; manages an assigned caseload, including needs assessment, care coordination, and service authorization; interprets and explains program guidelines to beneficiaries, service providers, and community agencies; refers beneficiaries to other appropriate community services; maintains case records according to program requirements.

EMPLOYMENT STANDARDS: Possession of a valid Registered Nurse license issued by the California State Board of Registered Nursing and certification in Public Health Nursing.

Independent travel is required. Possession of a valid California Class C Driver's License is required.

Knowledge of: the principles and practices of general clinical and public health nursing, including community nursing programs; case management and provisions for continuity in patient care; health promotion techniques; laws and regulations governing public health nursing; causes and means of transmission and methods of control for communicable diseases, including tuberculosis and sexually transmitted diseases; 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 nursing; 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; and principles of clinical health screening including charting histories and system reviews.

Ability to: exercise independent judgment; plan, organize, and carry out public health nursing activities in a local area; apply public health nursing laws and regulations; work effectively with individuals and families to assist them in satisfactory solution of health problems; perform assessments of health status determining the need for and level of nursing and/or medical care; identify problems and develop a plan for follow-up; communicate effectively verbally and in writing; maintain accurate records and document actions taken; prepare clear and concise reports; work with groups; direct work of support staff; make home visits in assigned geographic areas; deal with clients of various socio-economic backgrounds and temperaments; demonstrate tact, diplomacy and compassion; respond appropriately in emergency or stressful situations; identify and report domestic violence and child abuse and neglect; 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; and maintain confidentiality of information.

SUPPLEMENTAL INFORMATION: Positions allocated to this class may require specialization in target populations, programs, and/or bilingual skills.

Incumbents must be able to work in an environment, which may include exposure to communicable diseases and a variety of field conditions.

Selectees 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 and elder/dependent adult abuse reporting) and Sections 11160 - 11163 (relating to domestic violence reporting).

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