Public Health Nursing

The section Public Health Nursing of the German Association of Public Health aims to endorse the role of nursing in the context of public health. We want to make the contribution of nurses to prevention, health maintenance and recovery, and health promotion in the whole population or selected groups more visible and effective in Germany.

What is Public Health Nursing?

Public health nursing is a specialty practice within nursing and public health. It focuses on improving population health by emphasizing prevention and attending to multiple determinants of health. Often used interchangeably with community health nursing, this nursing practice includes advocacy, policy development, and planning, which addresses issues of social justice. With a multi-level view of health, public health nursing action occurs through community applications of theory, evidence, and a commitment to health equity.
American Public Health Association / APHA, Public Health Nursing / PHN Section 2013 / 02.02.2022

In this section we deal, among others, with the role and mission of nursing

  • in the public health service, in the community and in community-based health care (Community Health Nursing),
  • in health promotion and health maintenance of different target groups in the school setting (School Health Nursing),
  • in preparing for, mitigating, managing, and coping with crises, emergencies and disasters (Disaster Nursing),
  • in refugee health and other fields of activities with relevance for public health (e.g., immunization, infection prevention, environmental health).


  • Promotion of practice development and professionalisation in the various fields of Public Health Nursing / Community Health Nursing
  • Support for teaching on issues of Public Health Nursing / Community Health Nursing in the health and nursing science degree programmes
  • Stimulation of joint research activities on questions and problems of Public Health Nursing / Community Health Nursing
  • Active and informed participation in public discourses relevant to Public Health Nursing / Community Health Nursing.
  • Networking on Public Health Nursing / Community Health Nursing within Germany and with international partners

Advocacy for disadvantaged populations at all levels of society, the promotion of health literacy, health education and participatory approaches as well as the commitment to an inclusive, person-centred, and outcome-oriented health care system are further essential concerns.

First activities

  • To support the implementation of Community Health Nursing in the German public health and health care system as currently politically intended
  • To promote a sustainable implementation and research-based development of school health nursing in Germany
  • To develop measures for strengthening disaster resilience, especially in long-term care

Interested members of the DGPH are cordially invited to suggest further ideas, wishes and focal points and to actively contribute to the section Public Health Nursing.


Michael Ewers, Prof. Dr. PH MPH
Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin
Institute of Health and Nursing Science
CVK – Augustenburger Platz 1
13353 Berlin / Germany
Tel. +49 (0)30 450 529 092

Annett Horn, Prof. Dr.
University of Applied Sciences Münster
Health Department
Hüfferstraße 27
48149 Münster / Germany
Tel. +49 (0)251 83-65901