Introduction to Public Health Nursing

May 5-7, 2015

Registration will open on February 16.

NC Division of Public HealthThis course is designed by the Office of Public Health Nursing and Professional Development to address public health core functions and aid public health nurses to develop a basic understanding of public health responsibilities in a variety of roles. It consists of two prerequisite online short courses and a two-and-a-half-day land-based session in a central location.

The prerequisite short courses will familiarize participants with the practice, issues, and challenges of public health in NC and review basic epidemiological concepts important to the practice of public health. The land-based session emphasizes a synthesis of nursing practice and public health. Nursing services directed to individuals, families, and groups will be presented in the context of improving the health of the populations.

Back to top


  • Public Health Nursing and Professional Development, North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services
  • The North Carolina Institute for Public Health, Gillings School of Global Public Health, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Back to top

Who should take this course?

The target audience is registered nurses working in local health departments, particularly those who do not have a BSN degree. Successful completion of this course is a legal requirement for public health nurses who do not have a BSN during their first year of employment with a local health department. Ideal timing is after the first six months of employment, but the course must be completed within the first year of public health practice. Nurses with a BSN degree are also welcome to enroll in the course. Many find it a useful resource in acclimating to the public health environment. The course is a prerequisite for the Physical Assessment of Adults course for nurses who do not have a BSN.

Back to top


Participants ARE REQUIRED to complete two short online courses as prerequisites to the Introduction to Public Health Nursing Course. These prerequisite online courses have separate registration systems, are free of charge, and award certificates upon completion. The prerequisites will require approximately eight hours to complete and must be done prior to the start of the on-site course in Chapel Hill. Participants will receive instructions on how to access these online courses once their registration fees have been processed.

Back to top

Course Schedule

The land-based part of the course consists of five modules taught over two-and-a-half days at a central location. Sessions begin at 8:30 am on day one, 8:45 on day two, and 9:00 am on day three. Classes end at 4:15 pm on day one, 4:30 on day two and at 12:00 pm on day three. There will be a brief, optional exam review session on Tuesday afternoon.

Upon completion of the course, participants will be expected to complete a final exam which will include content from both the prerequisites and the land-based modules.

Back to top


Stanhope, Marcia and Lancaster, Jeanette; Public Health Nursing: Population-Centered Health Care in the Community, Seventh Edition OR Stanhope, Marcia and Lancaster, Jeanette; Public Health Nursing: Population-Centered Health Care in the Community, Eighth Edition.

A copy of the seventh edition of the text was provided to all local health departments in 2008 (one per county for districts). Counties have been notified that the eighth edition is available for purchase if they choose. Either book can be found in many local book stores or can be ordered from UNC-CH Health Affairs Bookstore (phone 919-966-2208). Appropriate readings for each module will be included in the syllabus.

Back to top

Continuing Education/Contact Hours

Nursing contact hours will be awarded by the Public Health Nursing and Professional Development Unit.

Public Health Nursing and Professional Development, Department of Health and Human Services, is an approved provider of continuing nursing education by the North Carolina Nurses Association, an accredited approver by the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Commission on Accreditation.

Special Note: Nurse licensees are required to attest to having completed one of several learning activity options during the preceding license renewal cycle and be prepared to submit evidence of completion if requested by the Board. Most of the learning activity options include continuing education activities related to the nurse’s practice. The Public Health Nursing and Professional Development Unit qualifies as an acceptable provider of continuing education as defined by the Board of Nursing for the Continuing Competence process. Therefore, if the content of this educational program is congruent with your individual learning plan, it will meet the Continuing Competence requirement for relicensure in your license renewal period.

Back to top

Conference Center

The conference will be held at the William and Ida Friday Center for Continuing Education in Chapel Hill. Get directions to the Friday Center here.

Back to top


Fees: $75

Registration will open on February 16, 2015.

Back to top

Confirmation of Registration

Confirmation of registration will be done only by e-mail. If you do not have e-mail capability, please give us a colleague’s e-address so we can transmit your confirmation. If you have not received your confirmation email within two weeks prior to the start of the course please email Cherelle Whitfield at

Back to top

For more information

For more information, contact Cherelle Whitfield,, 919-843-9262.

Back to top