About the Program

Nursing Services supports and acknowledges the primary mission of the Office of Public Health to take knowledge about wellness and prevention of illness, disability and premature death and translate the knowledge into community services for the people of Louisiana.

We believe that nursing is a humanistic, caring discipline focused on human beings and their health.  The goal of professional nursing is to promote, maintain, and restore optimal health.  Nursing requires judgment and skill based on application of principles from the biological, physical, and social sciences.

Public health nurses facilitate comprehensive, holistic care, by developing partnerships and collaborations with private health care providers, other state agencies, local government groups and community based organizations to address community health care needs.

We believe that public health nursing practice is unique and the framework is clearly communicated by the ASTDN Model:

*ASTDN: Association of State and Territorial Directors of Nursing

Description of the ASTDN Model

This model consists of three concentric circles.  The center circle depicts the nursing process or the art and science of nursing practice.  The middle circle suggests a flow or movement of the core functions of assessment, policy development and assurance. The 10 essential services of public health are detailed in the outer circle.  The model demonstrates the dynamic nature of the practice of public health nursing within the framework of the core functions and the essential services.  The activities performed to accomplish the public health core functions and essential services will include all of the elements of the nursing process.  For example, a nurse may utilize evaluation (an element of the nursing process) for policy development (a core function) in monitoring health status to identify community health problems (an essential service).

Core Functions of Public Health:  Assessment,  Policy Development,  Assurance

Ten Essential Services of Public Health*


  1. Monitor health status to identify and solve community health problems
  2. Diagnose and investigate health problems and health hazards in the community
  3. Inform, educate and empower people about health issues
  4. Mobilize community partnerships and action to identify and solve health problems
  5. Develop policies and plans that support individual and community health efforts
  6. Enforce laws and regulations that protect health and ensure safety
  7. Link people to needed personal health services and assure the provision of health care when otherwise unavailable
  8. Assure a competent public and personal health-care work force
  9. Evaluate effectiveness, accessibility, and quality of personal and population-based health services
  10. Research new insights and innovative solutions to health problems

*Adopted: Fall 1994, Source: Public Health Functions Steering Committee, Members (July 1995): American Public Health Association, Association of Schools of Public Health, et al