Enumeration and Characterization of the Public Health Nurse Workforce: Findings of the 2012 Public Health Nurse Workforce Surveys

Source: Matthew L. Boulton, Angela J. Beck, University of Michigan Center of Excellence in Public Health Workforce Studies, June 2013

From the press release:
Public health nurses play an essential role in improving the population’s health and delivering essential health services to communities, but the public health nursing workforce is facing significant challenges. More than two in five state health departments report having “a great deal of difficulty” hiring nurses and nearly 40 percent of state and local health departments report having insufficient resources to fill vacant nurse positions.

Those are among the findings of a report released today by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF), which provides the first comprehensive assessment of the size, composition, educational background, experience, retirement intention, job function, and job satisfaction of nurses who work for state and local health departments.

Enumeration and Characterization of the Public Health Nurse Workforce: Findings of the 2012 Public Health Nurse Workforce Surveys, produced by the University of Michigan Center of Excellence in Public Health Workforce Studies and funded by RWJF, collected data from state and local public health departments and surveyed public health nurses themselves. It finds that public health nurses report concerns about job stability, compensation, and career growth in light of budget-tightening at many state and local health departments. Yet these nurses also report very high levels of job satisfaction and that they feel they are making a difference in their communities—factors that could bolster recruitment efforts.