Launch of Global Network of Public Health Nurses by President Michael D. Higgins, at Institute of Community Health Nursing Conference, Dublin , Ireland, June 2014
A global network of public health nurses, health visitors and community nurses working in Public Health Nursing with a focus on strengthening practice, policy, research, leadership and education in this specialized area of professional work in order to increase access to public health services across the lifespan for families, individuals and communities throughout the world.
A number of objectives have been outlined by the Global Network of Public Health Nurses. The Network aims to:
- Raise the profile of public health nursing practice making this group of professionals more visible and thereby able to influence health policy locally, nationally and globally.
- Develop public health nursing practice by sharing the experiences of public health nurses, health visitors and other practitioners, educators, leaders and researchers in this area from around the world.
- Use the knowledge of those countries with well-developed public health practice to support those without such a service so that they might develop their own public health care service.
- Develop a shared definition of public health nursing practice that will be able to reflect the culture, professional traditions, social-economic climate and the policy of individual countries throughout the world.
The GNPHN holds that all members of the network are equal and diversity provides opportunity for growth. It also recognises that public health nursing practice is central to high standards of public health for all and to the reduction of inequality in health. It believes that high standards of education, research, leadership and practice for public health practitioners are essential for equity and equality in public health nursing practice, and seeks to ensure the ethical practice of public health nursing practice.
The main principles of the organisation revolve around strength in togetherness, and the belief that public health nursing practice improves lives. The Network firmly believes that all children, families and communities should have access to public health systems, and will seek to work collaboratively with other groups and organisations, particularly other global and international organisations.
RATIONALE FOR THE NETWORK
The case for such a network has been expressed in the professional journals as;
“There may, however, be a need for mechanisms to support the sharing of knowledge, beyond journal publications, between public health nurses and health visitors to enhance their contribution to the interdisciplinary approach needed to promote child and public health” (Journal of Research in Nursing 17 (2) 105–107 Sally Kendall The Centre for Research in Primary and Community Care, University of Hertfordshire, UK Ros Bryar, City University London, UK . 2012)
This sharing of knowledge across the world has been the driving force of the three International Public Health Nursing conferences. The conferences have taken place every 2-3 years. Delegates identified the need for a forum to support the ongoing conversations and discussions between the conferences.
The 2013 conference delegates voiced their responsibility to support nurses in countries who are in the process of developing their community and primary health care systems. The network will seek to include these nurses.