Public health nursing : past and future : a review of the literature prepared by Gay Edgecombe
AbstractThe changing socioeconomic and demographic situation in Europe and the increasing focus on developing high quality, locally accessible health care services have triggered major health service reforms throughout the WHO European Region. Public health nurses have been active in the Region since the late 19th century. They were among the first health professionals to reduce inequalities in health status and in access to basic health services in the communities they served. Public health nursing has been developing alongside the public health movement in Europe under the auspices of national, regional or local government public health departments. The range and scope of this development varies greatly between Member States, owing to the historical development of nursing and midwifery and the related role of feldshers. Despite these differences, the reasons for the development of the public health nursing role at the end of the 19th century were crushing poverty, inequity, lack of basic health services, environmental pollution and infectious diseases. A review of the literature has identified some confusion about the scope, role and title of public health nurse, the issue of generalist versus specialist public health nurses, and their educational preparation. Since the early 1990s, Europe has witnessed the re-emergence of old diseases and the emergence of new diseases as public health infrastructures were weakened and their effectiveness reduced. Public health nurses are as much needed now as they were at the beginning of the 20th century. This first step in a review of public health nursing is designed to assist with an in-depth examination of public health nursing in Europe
Edgecombe, Gay & World Health Organization. Regional Office for Europe. (2001). Public health nursing : past and future : a review of the literature prepared by Gay Edgecombe. Copenhagen : WHO Regional Office for Europe. https://apps.who.int/iris/handle/10665/108460
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