Oklahoma, www.OK.gov <{$map[0].NAME}>

Contact  |  A-Z Health Index  |  Events & Meetings

get adobe reader

For Release:  May 1, 2014 – Pamela Williams, Office of Communications – 405/271-5601

Public Health Nurses Work to Improve Population Health

National Nurses Week is May 6-12.

Unlike other nursing specialties, public health nursing works to improve the health outcomes of entire populations rather than just one patient at a time. In many communities, public health nurses are often the first line of defense to prevent illness and injury. Public health nurses are also leaders in improving the quality of care and access to care through health policy advocacy that supports improving the quality of life for all. During National Nurses Week May 6-12, the Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH) will recognize the approximately 500 public health nurses who work in county health departments and at the OSDH central office in Oklahoma City.

“This year’s National Nurses Week theme, Nurses: Leading the Way, certainly holds true for many of our nurses who serve as health leaders in communities throughout the state,” said Tina Johnson, director of the OSDH Nursing Service. “We want Oklahomans to appreciate the full range of public health nurses’ contributions to their communities.”

Johnson noted that public health nurses lead initiatives to increase access to care and improve outcomes by focusing on primary care, prevention, wellness, chronic disease management and the coordination of care among health care providers and settings.  These nurses are even more crucial in helping plan how to expand primary care at community-based clinics in the most efficient and cost-effective ways possible, while recognizing the distinct needs of diverse communities.

“From the beginning of public health’s collaboration with emergency preparedness agencies, our nurses have been critical in responding to public health crisis events that occur in Oklahoma,” Johnson said.

Johnson said she is not surprised that the public holds nurses in high regard and trusts them to advocate for patients. For the past 12 years, the public has ranked nursing as the top profession for honesty and ethics in an annual Gallup survey.  

“We would like to encourage students to enter the nursing field, which is projected to be one of the fastest growing occupations. Demand for nursing care will grow rapidly as baby boomers enroll in Medicare and help implement changes due to health care reform. Public health nurses are in great demand and we certainly hope more nurses join in efforts of improving population-based health initiatives,” Johnson said. 


Stay Connected to OSDH!

Subscribe to OSDH E-Updates
Get E-Mail Alerts! Sign-up For OSDH Twitter Follow us on Twitter! Sign up for OSDH on Facebook Like Us on Facebook! OSDH YouTube Channel Find Us On YouTube!

PHAB  SEAL WebPage.jpg


Creating a State of Health Logo