Challenging the boundaries : an initiative to extend public health nursing practice : an action research study : a thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Masters of Arts in Nursing at Massey University
Public health nurses working in the Child and Youth Team, Child and Family Services, Auckland Healthcare, view their practice in relation to children and their families, with the primary focus being on the child. Public health nurses could well provide other appropriate assistance and intervention for families and this is the focus of this research project. The purpose for this Action Research project is to provide a process where public health nurses can examine their existing practice and ask: What knowledge and skills would an advanced public health nurse practitioner require to work autonomously and effectively in a 'family centred' clinic within a primary school environment? A convenience sample of competency level III and IV public health nurses in the Child and Youth Team, Child and Family Services, Auckland Healthcare were invited to take part in a collaborative / participatory working group. Using a process of collective inquiry and reflection the working group developed a 'portfolio' from which to define an advanced public health nurse practitioner. The recommendations made by the working group provide a vision of practice. The challenge to public health nurses now is to make this practice a reality.