NMHS40700 Public Health Nursing: Principles and Theory

Academic Year 2023/2024

This module focuses on the concepts, theories and approaches of primary health care and promoting public health in an integrated care environment. The wider social determinants of health such as social, political, economic and cultural influences that impact on environments in which individuals, families, communities and societies will be analyzed in relation to optimizing health and well being. Multidisciplinary and inter-sectoral collaborations are explored with a focus on maximizing population health and addressing inequity and supporting the social inclusion of client groups. The role of the public health nurse is critiqued in terms of optimizing health and social care through participatory and client-centred empowerment approaches and in leading and co-developing health-promoting initiatives with communities.

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Curricular information is subject to change

Learning Outcomes:

On completion of the module, students should be able to:

1. Explain understanding of the concepts of health, the wider social determinants of health and health inequity in primary care and the strategies required to improve population health;

2. Evaluate the impact of national and international health information systems and health policies and their impact on population health;

3. Demonstrate understanding of epidemiological concepts and methods that underpin evidence based practice and health information systems;

4. Appraise empowerment and community development strategies and their impact on health promoting practices and population health outcomes;

5. Justify the role of the public health nurse in planning care in collaboration with clients, families and other health professionals demonstrating appraisal of behavioural change techniques to support client engagement and positive health outcomes;

6. Through a community profile analysis, identify an aspect of practice or service that may require improvement and create a report to include recommendations for practice and/or service promoting health and well being for individuals, families and communities.

Indicative Module Content:

The content of the module will reflect the learning outcomes for the module and programme and in adherence with Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland Public health nursing and education programme: standards and requirements (2015).

Student Effort Hours: 
Student Effort Type Hours
Small Group


Seminar (or Webinar)


Specified Learning Activities


Autonomous Student Learning




Approaches to Teaching and Learning:
This module will require attendance at UCD for lectures and clinical skills sessions. It is envisaged that attendance at UCD is required for 30% of the module. one-third of the module. 
Requirements, Exclusions and Recommendations
Learning Requirements:

Registered General Nurse with An Bord Altranais
Two years general nursing experience
Undertaken prior study at level 3, (level 8)

Module Requisites and Incompatibles
Public Health Nursing: Princip (NURS40700)

Assessment Strategy  
Description Timing Open Book Exam Component Scale Must Pass Component % of Final Grade
Assignment: 1) Written essay and 2) completion of written community profile analysis report [using a template provide]. Coursework (End of Trimester) n/a Alternative non-linear conversion grade scale 50% No


Group Project: Critique of health promotion activity at a local health centre level. Group presentation and reflection on learning. Varies over the Trimester n/a Alternative non-linear conversion grade scale 50% No


Carry forward of passed components
Resit In Terminal Exam
Summer No
Please see Student Jargon Buster for more information about remediation types and timing. 
Feedback Strategy/Strategies

• Feedback individually to students, on an activity or draft prior to summative assessment
• Feedback individually to students, post-assessment
• Group/class feedback, post-assessment

How will my Feedback be Delivered?

Feedback from assignment one will be provided usually in advance of submission of the second assignment. Feedback from second assignment will arranged following review by External Examiner.

Essential reading

Anderson, E., McFarlane J. (2015) Community as partner. Theory and Practice in Nursing. 7th Ed. Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.

A health promotion text book.

Naidoo, J., Wills, J. (2016) Foundations for Health Promotion. 4th Edition. Edinburgh: Balliere Tindall.

There are a number in the library and some are available online to you. You don’t need to read all - select a textbook that you can access and provides an overview of the topics and conceptual context. I will provide reading from Naidoo and Wills textbook.

Green, J., Tones, K., Cross, R., Woodall, J. (2015) Health Promotion Planning and Strategies. 3rd Edition London: Sage


Research papers and reports

All Ireland Traveller Health Study Team, UCD School of Public Health, Physiotherapy & Population Science (2010) All Ireland Traveller Health Study. Summary of Findings. Dublin: University College Dublin http://www.dohc.ie/publications/aiths2010/ExecutiveSummary/AITHS2010_SUMMARY_LR_All.pdf

Cowley S., Whittaker K., Malone M., Donetto S., Grigulis A., Maben J. (2015) Why health visiting? Examining the potential public health benefits from health visiting practice within a universal service: A narrative review of the literature. International Journal of Nursing Studies. Vol. 52, Issue 1, pp.465–480

Department of Health (2021) Sláintecare Implementation Strategy and Action Plan 2021-2023. Dublin: Department of Health

Dunne, S., & Fallon, A. (2020). Public health nurses' experiences of supporting women to breastfeed in community settings in Ireland. Journal of Health Visiting, 8(6), 240-246.

Frazer, K., Mitchell, L., Stokes, D., Lacey, E., Crowley, E., & Kelleher, C. C. (2021). A rapid systematic review of measures to protect older people in long-term care facilities from COVID-19. BMJ open, 11(10), e047012.

Gavin A., Keane E., Callaghan M., Molcho M., Kelly C., Nic Gabhainn S. (2015) The Irish Health Behaviour in School aged Children (HBSC). Galway: Health Promotion Research Centre, National University of Ireland.

Giltenane, M., Sheridan, A., Kroll, T. and Frazer, K. (2021). Identifying the role of public health nurses during first postnatal visits: Experiences of mothers and public health nurses in Ireland. International Journal of Nursing Studies Advances, 3, p.100017.

Giltenane, M., Sheridan, A., Kroll, T., & Frazer, K. Identification of quality indicators of public health nursing practice:" modified Delphi" approach. Public health nursing (Boston, Mass.).

Giltenane, M., Sheridan, A., Kroll, T., & Frazer, K. (2021). Work environment challenging Irish public health nurses' care quality: First postnatal visit. Public Health Nursing (Boston, Mass.).

Graham, H. (2009) Understanding Health Inequalities 2nd Edition (electronic version) Berkshire: Open University Press.

Government of Ireland (2019) Slaintecare Action Plan. Available at https://www.gov.ie/en/publication/109e2b-slaintecare-action-plan-2019/

Government of Ireland (2019) First 5 A whole of Government Strategy for Babies, Young Children and their families 2019-2028. Dublin: Government Publications Government of Ireland (2019) Healthy Ireland Framework 2019-2025. Dublin: Government Publications.

Health Service Executive (2016) Making Every Contact Count A Health Behaviour Change Framework and Implementation Plan for Health Professionals in the Irish Health Service.Dublin:HSE.

Hawtin, M., Hughes, G., Percy-Smith, J. (2007) Community Profiling: auditing social needs. 2nd Edition (electronic version). Buckingham: Open University Press.

Marmot, M et al (2020). Health Equity in England: The Marmot Review 10 years on. Executive Summary. Institute of Health Equity. The Health Foundation, p, 29. Available at: https://www.instituteofhealthequity.org/the-marmot-review-10-years-on

Marmot, M. (2015) The Health Gap. The Challenge of an Unequal World London: Bloomsbury Publishing (9781408857991)

Milbrath, GR. and Guzman, PB. (2015) ‘Neighbourhood: A Conceptual Analysis’Public Health Nursing, 32(4),pp.349-358
Name Role
Dr Aoife Claire MacCormac Lecturer / Co-Lecturer
Timetabling information is displayed only for guidance purposes, relates to the current Academic Year only and is subject to change.
Online Learning Offering 1 Week(s) - 29 Mon 09:00 - 12:50
Laboratory Offering 1 Week(s) - 21 Mon 09:00 - 16:50
Lecture Offering 1 Week(s) - 26, 31 Mon 09:00 - 16:50
Lecture Offering 1 Week(s) - 24, 32 Mon 10:00 - 12:50
Lecture Offering 1 Week(s) - 25 Mon 10:00 - 12:50
Lecture Offering 1 Week(s) - 19 Mon 10:00 - 16:50